Tipping: mandatory or voluntary?

Tipping came up in my Social Media class and a debate ensued. It was a very interesting topic to discuss.

Tipping is different from country to country. In some places, tipping is not accepted (Japan). In other countries not only is it accepted, it is expected. The big question we were discussing was: should tipping be mandatory (automatically included in the bill) or should it be voluntary?

Some people argue that mandatory tipping is better. They think it’s easier than having to decide on the right amount to give. They also say that it would greatly improve the service; waiters and waitresses would know they are getting a tip so they would be pleased to serve people.

On the other hand, there are people who believe that voluntary tipping is the way to go. Among their reasons are that people should be able to show if they are pleased with the service through the tip they leave. Also, they don’t think mandatory tipping would necessarily improve service. The servers would have no motivation to go the extra mile for a customer. Why would they, when the tip is secure and the amount fixed?

I’m personally inclined towards voluntary tipping. For me, tipping is part of the dining out experience. I like being able to reward good service or show my displeasure at bad service.

What are your thoughts on this topic? If you are a newcomer, what are the tipping customs in your country?

Please visit Tipped Off, a wiki with excellent information about tipping customs in Canada and around the world.


About Diana Massimi

As a newcomer in Canada, I've had some really great experiences. Every day, I continue to learn and adapt to my new country. As I've just passed the three year mark as a permanent resident, I'll soon be applying for citizenship. It's an exciting step to take and I'm looking forward to being "officially" Canadian. This blog is to share what I've learned so far and my everyday experiences and feelings being a newcomer to this country. More than anything I'll be looking forward to hearing from other newcomers and exchanging impressions and anecdotes about our new life in Canada. Feel free to share and ask questions, I'm also always happy to help a fellow newcomer!
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2 Responses to Tipping: mandatory or voluntary?

  1. thehcrscoop says:

    Good article. The problem I see with voluntary tipping is that it leads to expected tipping the industry. I prefer mandatory tipping and then if I am impressed I will leave extra.

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