Worldwide Guide to Restaurant Tipping
United States and Canada: Restaurants
In the States, at least 15 percent; 17 to 20 percent is the new norm. (For parties of more than six, a gratuity is often included.) In Canada, aim for 15 to 20 percent.
Across much of North America, where a waiter’s income depends on gratuities, tipping is an obligation, and it’s considered bad manners to leave less than 15 percent in a restaurant unless you are intentionally making a statement that the service has been horrible. In major American cities, tipping standards continue to rise. New Yorkers, for example, often double the 8.875 percent tax, and then round up. In Canada, the standard is slightly lower, though customers rarely give less than 15 percent, as workers are automatically taxed on their earnings from tips. —Sherri Eisenberg