“Do You Tip in Quebec City? Quirky Etiquette 101: Unraveling the Mysteries of Gratuity-Giving in the Land of Maple Syrup and Poutine!”

By John Goldsmith •  Updated: 11/03/23 •  5 min read

Do You Tip in Quebec City?
Quirky Etiquette 101: Unraveling the Mysteries of Gratuity-Giving in the Land of Maple Syrup and Poutine!


Welcome to this blog post where we will delve into the fascinating world of tipping etiquette in Quebec City. Understanding how and when to tip is essential for travelers visiting this vibrant Canadian city. In this article, we will explore the cultural context of tipping, discuss unusual customs, provide guidance on splitting the bill, clarify common misconceptions about service charges, and offer dos and don’ts for tipping in Quebec City.

Why understanding tipping etiquette is important in Quebec City

Tipping is an integral part of the service industry around the world, but it can often be confusing or differ from place to place. By understanding and following local customs when it comes to gratuity-giving, travelers can show respect for local culture while also ensuring a positive experience for themselves. In Quebec City specifically, where culture plays a significant role in everyday life, knowing how to tip appropriately can enhance interactions with locals and create a more immersive travel experience.

The Cultural Context of Tipping in Quebec City

Quebec’s cultural values greatly influence its attitude towards gratuity. The province takes pride in its distinct French heritage and exhibits a strong sense of community. This cultural context impacts tipping practices in unique ways that differ from other regions or countries.

French culture strongly influences tipping customs in Quebec City. Traditionally, service staff are paid higher wages compared to other regions where tips make up a significant portion of their income. However, despite these differences, tips are still appreciated by service providers as a token of appreciation for exceptional service.

Understanding the Basics: When and Whom to Tip in Quebec City

In restaurants and cafes across Quebec City, it is customary to leave a tip ranging from 15% to 20% of your total bill before taxes. Servers rely on tips as a significant part of their income, so it is essential to show appreciation for their hard work. Similarly, bartenders and baristas should be tipped for their service, with a dollar or two being customary.

When it comes to hotels, tipping is also expected. Bellhops who handle your bags should be tipped around $2 per bag, while housekeepers can be given $1 to $2 per night of your stay. If you receive exceptional assistance from the concierge, it is customary to offer a tip as well.

Other service providers in Quebec City also appreciate gratuities. Taxi drivers generally expect a 10% to 15% tip on top of the fare. Tour guides who provide informative and enjoyable excursions should be tipped around 15% of the tour cost. Hairdressers typically receive 10% to 20% of the total bill as a tip.

Unusual Tipping Customs in Quebec City

Quebec City has some quirky tipping customs that may surprise travelers. For example, when buying beer from local microbreweries or purchasing maple syrup at specialized stores, it is common to leave a small tip for the staff.

These customs exist because small businesses often rely heavily on customer support and appreciate any additional acknowledgment of their efforts. Embracing these unique customs not only shows respect for local culture but also contributes to a more immersive travel experience.

Splitting the Bill: Group Dining Etiquette in Quebec City

When dining out with friends or in large groups in Quebec City, splitting the bill can sometimes become complicated. Locals often prefer each person paying for what they ordered individually rather than splitting evenly between all diners. It is considered polite to make this preference known early on when organizing group meals.

To handle group bills efficiently, consider using apps that calculate individual shares or ask your server for separate checks at the beginning of your meal. Being proactive and organized can help avoid confusion and ensure that everyone pays their fair share.

Tipping vs Service Charge: Clarifying Common Misconceptions

In Quebec City, it is important to understand the difference between a service charge and a tip. Some establishments may include a service charge automatically on your bill. This fee goes towards compensating the staff, and additional tipping is not expected in these cases. However, if there is no service charge included, it is customary to leave a tip for good service.

Dos and Don’ts of Tipping in Quebec City

To navigate tipping etiquette successfully in Quebec City, keep the following dos and don’ts in mind:

– Do tip servers, bartenders, baristas, bellhops, housekeepers, concierge, taxi drivers, tour guides,
– Do embrace unique tipping customs at local microbreweries or specialized stores.
– Don’t assume tips are included; always check your bill.
– Don’t forget to carry cash for tips as not all establishments accept credit cards.
– Do aim for 15% to 20% when tipping at restaurants and cafes.

By following these guidelines and showing respect for local customs, travelers can leave a positive impression while exploring Quebec City.


Tipping etiquette is an essential aspect of travel that allows visitors to engage with local culture respectfully. In Quebec City specifically, understanding how and when to tip enriches travel experiences by fostering meaningful connections with locals. By embracing local customs and following the recommendations provided in this blog post, travelers can confidently navigate the quirky world of gratuity-giving while enjoying all that Quebec City has to offer.

John Goldsmith