“Cheap” Quebec Customers Hit With Mandatory Gratuity in Vermont


BURLINGTON, Vt. — Some French speakers eating out in Burlington, Vt., are being slapped with a special gratuity, as foodservice operators are fed up with vacationing Quebecois, who have earned a reputation for being “cheap” customers.

A local newspaper reported some restaurants are tacking on a gratuity of up to 20-per-cent on French-speaking customers’ bills. Asiana Noodle Shop owner Sandy Kong told Seven Days, a local Vermont newspaper, that it was up to the discretion of the waitress to add the gratuity. “If the Canadian customers were tipping at 15 per cent, I wouldn’t let them do this,” she says. Vermont Service staff rely on tips since they receive $4.10 per hour.

“Giving servers the option is discriminatory and bad business,” Bob Conlon, owner of the Vermont-based Leunig Bistro, told the Toronto Star. Instead, his servers use “gentle persuasion” by adding a line at the end of the bill that does the math for a 15-, 20- or 25-per-cent tip.

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