HUFFINGTON POST
08/28/2012 02:07 pm ET | Updated Aug 28, 2012

Foreign Tourists Charged An Automatic Tip At Restaurants In Burlington, Vermont

Some restaurants are charging customers who seem to be from outside the United States a little extra.

At least two restaurants in Burlington, Vt., recently charged a French-speaking family an automatic tip, Seven Days reports. These restaurants say they charge foreigners extra because they assume they are bad tippers.

Splash at the Boathouse charged Anne-Marie Humbert and her family an automatic 18-percent tip in July because they appeared to be from Quebec or Europe, the news outlet reports, even though the family lives in Vermont. The waitress removed the tip after the family spoke with her. Asiana Noodle Shop in Burlington also charged an automatic tip because the family spoke French.

Sandy Kong, owner of Asiana Noodle Shop, told ABC News that Canadians often are bad tippers, a problem for waiters in the Vermont town, which sees a high volume of Canadian tourists. "Some Canadians come in, they spend like $100 or $150 and they leave the wait staff maybe a $1 tip," she said.

The median pay for restaurant servers in the U.S. is $8.72 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and servers often depend on an expected tip of 15 to 20 percent of a restaurant bill. But in Europe, service often is included in the bill, so any additional tips usually are smaller or even nonexistent. Tipping in Canada, however is similar to tipping in the U.S.

Some Hawaiian restaurants are guilty of charging foreigners an automatic tip, too. Waikiki restaurant Keoni by Keo's was under investigation last year for charging customers that speak a foreign language an automatic 15 percent tip, according to the Associated Press. The owner of Hank's Cafe in Honolulu told The New York Times that for many foreign tourists, tipping is "not part of their culture."

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