What's your tipping point?
About one in five customers gives nothing, said Turkish-born Gunenc. "They never give a reason, maybe that's their nature."
Canadians need some tips on tipping, according to a Bank of Montreal survey released Tuesday.
While 78% tip 15% or more in restaurants, fewer than 40% are equally generous to pizza delivery workers, taxi drivers, estheticians or hair stylists.
Beauty salon owners get nothing from more than 54% of Canadians, an oversight that Norma Ann Eaton, CEO of the Cosmetology Industry Association of B.C., blames on outdated British etiquette that says only employees should be tipped, not owners.
"It's an old protocol and I hope it dies very soon because the salon owners are working harder in many cases than the employees."
She said hairdressers sometimes get a $2 or $5 tip, even when they have spent three or four hours with one person, while restaurant workers are typically well rewarded, even when service is mediocre.
Stead, a 27-year-old migrant from Newfoundland, says her tips are at least 14% to 15% at The TransContinental restaurant, newly opened at Waterfront Station, and sometimes more than 20% in the evenings.
"Tips are in important part of our income," she said. "A lot of restaurants actually pay minimum wage, or close to, because they realize that tipping is where you make most of your money. In my case, I would say tips go a long way, yes."
What's your tipping point?
Non-driver Christine Stead always tips around 15% when she takes a cab. She says that's because she serves in a Vancouver restaurant and can count on the same from her customers.
But cabbie Abraham Gunenc says most of his customers "are fair or not so fair" when it comes to gratuities.
On a $20 ride, he can expect a $2 tip, or 10%, from four out of five customers.
In contrast, the BMO Mosaik MasterCard Tipping Etiquette survey found that 24% of Canadians never leave a tip for services provided at retail outlets such as a spa or nail salon.
Pizza and food delivery people receive the worst tips with 40% of Canadians giving less than 15%. Only 18- to 24-year-olds and those aged 65-plus tend to give the standard 15% gratuity to taxi and limo drivers.
Black Top driver Gunenc says the volume of his business is more important than the size of his tips. "If I am busy, I am not really too concerned about tips, but it would be nice to get more."
People feel obliged to tip at restaurants but consider gratuities optional for other services, suggests psychologist Erika Horwitz, associate director of counselling at Simon Fraser University.
"I have a daughter who is 22 and has worked as a server and she is always very insistent that we tip well," Horwitz said. "We just left a tip of around 25% at the pub at Simon Fraser University because we know they are students and we want to support them."
Good service generates good tips, according to Renee Sarich, general manager of Vancouver's Axis Hair Salons and a teacher at the company's academy.
"We teach our students that they should never work for tips," she said. "They should always work just to make people feel great and look great, and if they do that, tips are a great byproduct."
The Leger Marketing survey of 1,500 Canadians is described as accurate to within plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
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