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Tipping protocols on the Canadian


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#21 Lonestar648

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 12:33 PM

Though the average attendant makes a good annual income, much of that money is overtime and tips.  Reviewing reported incomes, about 1/3 of the annual salary was from tips, thus the attendants and food service staff are dependent on their tips. I always tip at the end, never up front, unless service is poor or non existent, then no tip..



#22 Dakota 400

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 03:09 PM

This has been a helpful and interesting thread.  I did not realize that the SCA would change part way through the trip.  Does that include the Dining Car and Lounge Car staff as well?



#23 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 04:21 PM

This has been a helpful and interesting thread.  I did not realize that the SCA would change part way through the trip.  Does that include the Dining Car and Lounge Car staff as well?

Correct. All of the on board service staff.  Although when I rode one of the dining car servers stayed on because one of the employees didn't show. I think he may have gotten paid quite a bit extra for doing that, he seemed rather happy about it. 


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#24 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 08:33 PM

And thus are recognized in Canada as stiffing the waitstaff.  While in Canada, the tips tend more toward 10%-15% rather than 15-20 in the US, the basic tipping etiquette in Canada is the same as the US.

 

Canadian waitstaff enjoy a higher minimum wage with government funded healthcare and other benefits.  Which is why I don't mind paying double or even triple the average US rate for things like food and drinks.  By the same token I don't worry so much about leaving a substantial tip for each meal like I do in countries where waitstaff need every single tip just to survive.  I've never encountered a culture or country that expected waiting tables to make you rich, so I'm not sure how I'm "stiffing" someone who is already fairly compensated.


Edited by Devil's Advocate, 18 April 2018 - 08:48 PM.

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#25 Bob Dylan

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 08:23 AM

Duplicate!

Edited by Bob Dylan, 19 April 2018 - 08:25 AM.

"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#26 Bob Dylan

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 08:24 AM


And thus are recognized in Canada as stiffing the waitstaff.  While in Canada, the tips tend more toward 10%-15% rather than 15-20 in the US, the basic tipping etiquette in Canada is the same as the US.

 
I've never encountered a culture or country that expected waiting tables to make you rich, so I'm not sure how I'm "stiffing" someone who is already fairly compensated.
Good point Chris with the exception of Paris and New York City!😄

Edited by Bob Dylan, 19 April 2018 - 08:26 AM.

"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#27 PVD

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 09:33 AM

It is really dependent on whether or not the culture of the place you are at supports tipping, not how much money someone makes. There are occupations in certain countries where tipping is the norm, in one of those places, not tipping would certainly be considered stiffing. 


Edited by PVD, 19 April 2018 - 09:33 AM.


#28 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 10:45 AM

It is really dependent on whether or not the culture of the place you are at supports tipping, not how much money someone makes. There are occupations in certain countries where tipping is the norm, in one of those places, not tipping would certainly be considered stiffing.


At this point nearly every culture and country on Earth supports tipping at one level or another. Japan was one of the last remaining holdouts but after decades of recession and population decline, the fracturing of the extended family unit, and the loss of dependable lifelong employment some Japanese workers are now starting to accept tips. Tips by their very nature are discretionary rather than obligatory. I choose to base my personal tipping levels on how well someone performs their job, how much purchasing power they enjoy without my tips, and what sort of safety net is available should calamity befall them. Other members are free to base their own tipping decisions on whichever factors they personally find most important, including blind adherence to a vaguely defined tradition.  One of the reasons our forum receives so many questions about tipping protocol is because tipping culture itself is often devoid of any fundamental logic or reason from which to extrapolate.


Edited by Devil's Advocate, 19 April 2018 - 11:02 AM.

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#29 PVD

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 10:14 PM

That's not unreasonable. I consider myself pretty supportive of tipping in general, how service is delivered is my deciding factor. If you are served by someone in a job where tipping is the norm, regardless of economics, I'm fine with tipping for the expected level of service, but poor (when it is the fault of the person in question) or rude service is not excused by low pay. 



#30 flitcraft

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Posted 22 April 2018 - 08:47 PM

It was with trepidation that I asked the question. I do understand how volatile an issue that tipping can be.  So I am very appreciative that this thread mainly stayed on point, without unnecessary flames against those who tip or those who do not.  My husband and I are very much looking forward to our trip on the Canadian--we are celebrating a five year milestone of his being cancer free after being diagnosed with stage four cancer.  It is quite literally the trip of a lifetime.  My sense is that on Canadian trains, we will tip the same categories of workers that we would tip on Amtrak, though not to the equivalent extent. We plan to tip a Toonie each at breakfast, probably double that for lunch, and triple that for dinner. We'll leave a Loonie or two with rounds of drinks, and will tip the SCA (aka concierge in Premier class) 10-15 per night for keeping us comfortable in our room.

 

It is truly a dream come true that we are able to make this trip. Thank you for your advice and suggestions.



#31 flitcraft

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Posted 22 April 2018 - 08:56 PM

Incidentally, China has not really embraced tipping culture, at least in my experience there. Last fall when I was in Shanghai, i took a fairly long cab ride, which ended up costing about 37 yuan, so when leaving the cab I gave the driver two 20's.  To my surprise, he stopped the cab and chased me down the street calling out that I had forgotten my change--an amount equal to about 50 cents!  Tipping just isn't done, even in higher end restaurants, except that some higher end places that cater to foreigners have begun to add a service charge. Even then, I haven't seen tipping outside of Beijing and Shanghai. 

 

I suspect this may change as low end service occupations fail to keep pace with the increased cost of living in Chinese cities. 



#32 Bob Dylan

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 11:04 AM

Congrats on your husband's "miracle" and your post is one that makes one smile!😍

Have a ball and please share a trip report with us!😎
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"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#33 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 11:40 AM


Incidentally, China has not really embraced tipping culture, at least in my experience there. Last fall when I was in Shanghai, [i] took a fairly long cab ride, which ended up costing about 37 yuan, so when leaving the cab I gave the driver two 20's. To my surprise, he stopped the cab and chased me down the street calling out that I had forgotten my change--an amount equal to about 50 cents! Tipping just isn't done, even in higher end restaurants, except that some higher end places that cater to foreigners have begun to add a service charge. Even then, I haven't seen tipping outside of Beijing and Shanghai. I suspect this may change as low end service occupations fail to keep pace with the increased cost of living in Chinese cities.

 

American style tipping is already common in Hong Kong and Macau. In mainland China businesses that cater primarily to foreigners are starting to accept tips.  Now that Chinese tourism is growing by leaps and bounds in both directions American style tipping culture may become more and more common over time.


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#34 AG1

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 11:02 PM

Tipping was considered an insult in SE Asia culture, akin to waving with your fingers pointing up . Fingers down is ok. I realize that around American hotel chains  employees have become Americanized.  



#35 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 11:53 PM

Tipping was considered an insult in SE Asia culture, akin to waving with your fingers pointing up . Fingers down is ok. I realize that around American hotel chains  employees have become Americanized.  

 

I'm not entirely sure what you're trying to say here.  Southeast Asia refers to a group of several distinct countries with differing cultures and attitudes toward tipping.  Calling someone over with curled finger from a palm-up hand is considered a supreme insult and a massive loss of face, but it's mainly associated with punishing a pet or berating a live-in servant, and if you were to do it to the wrong person it could potentially put you in serious trouble.  That being said, finger beckoning has no direct connection or correlation with casual tipping of commercial service staff.  Nor is tipping (or failing to tip) considered a legally enforceable/preventable matter in most countries, including the US.  Having witnessed supposedly uninitiated Japanese tourists casually tipping in Thailand and Korean tourists tipping in the Philippines implies to me that tipping culture of one sort or another has become a nearly worldwide phenomenon.


Edited by Devil's Advocate, 25 April 2018 - 12:48 PM.

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#36 Lonestar648

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 10:38 AM

If I calculate correctly, there are 13 meals, and 2 nights per SCA, so for 2 people you need to have about $40-$50 in CAD coins and $40 - $60 CAD bills to cover the OBS tips.  Just planning ahead so we get enough money converted to tipping denominations before going to the station.  I already do this before traveling on Amtrak, have $1, $5, etc so I don't have to ask for change since everything is electronic today.



#37 OBS

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 11:37 AM

If I calculate correctly, there are 13 meals, and 2 nights per SCA, so for 2 people you need to have about $40-$50 in CAD coins and $40 - $60 CAD bills to cover the OBS tips.  Just planning ahead so we get enough money converted to tipping denominations before going to the station.  I already do this before traveling on Amtrak, have $1, $5, etc so I don't have to ask for change since everything is electronic today.

Another option I have seen frequently on the Canadian is just tipping the DC crew once at end of each segment that crew works. They always make a general announcement at end of meal, before arrival, indicating they are changing in Winnipeg and new crew will be boarding there.






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