via Daily Mail:
Burlington, Vermont, has had an influx of French Canadians from Quebec
In Burlington, Vermont, there seems to be an 18 percent surcharge for speaking French.
Some waiters in the New England tourist town have begun adding a mandatory tip onto the bill of foreign diners.
Restaurant owners say it’s their solution to an influx of French-speaking Canadians from Quebec who are extraordinarily bad tippers — sometimes leaving just $1 or a few cents tip on $50 or $100 tabs.
At least one Vermont resident, who grew up in France, says the new rules are discrimination and they might be illegal. She has been slapped with an automatic 18 percent gratuity three times because she often speaks friends to her friends during dinner.
Restaurant owners say there’s no policy in place to include mandatory tip on diners from Canada and other countries. They claim they have left the decision up to individual waiters and waitresses.
However, the practice is so common, servers refer to it as the ‘Queeb tax’ — after the Quebecois who inspired it, Seven Days, a Vermont news site, reports.
The Asiana Noodle Shop is one restaurant where foreigners are likely to be hit with an 18 percent gratuity included on their bill .
Owner Sandy Kong told ABC News that she was tired of her waitresses getting bad tips.
‘But some Canadians come in, they spend like $100 or $150 and they leave the wait staff maybe a $1 tip,’ she said. ‘It happens pretty often. I realize that the Canadians think it’s discrimination, but on all the receipts it’s printed out on bottom: “We suggest an 18 or 20 percent tip.”‘
Ms Kong, who was born in Hong Kong, said other foreigners are often lousy at leaving money for the wait staff.
‘Asians do it also. But it seems that Canadians tip the worst,’ she said.
Anne-Marie Humbert, who lives in a nearby town in Vermont, first noticed the practice when she had dinner with her husband at Splash at the Boat House on Burlington.
The two spent their dinner speaking French to each mother. Ms Humbert was born and raised in France, but has lived in the United States for 30 years.
When the bill came, it looked too steep, until she realized the waitress had included an 18 percent tip on top of the total for the meal.
Ms Humbert protested and the server removed the surcharge. Ms Humbert says she left a 15 percent tip.
The policies are discrimination, Ms Humbert says, because waiters are targeting anyone who they assume isn’t American.
The problem likely arises from a cultural difference. In Canada and most countries, tipping 10 to 15 percent is customary, though many restaurants automatically include a gratuity on the bill.
Waiters in Vermont make just $4.10 an hour without tips.