February 16, 2023 – Canadians have reached a tipping point when it comes to gratuities.
New data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds so-called “tip-flation” a key pain point. Most Canadians report being asked to tip more (62%) and more often (64%), and in several cases, they are obliging.
In 2016, 43 per cent of Canadians said they left a tip of less than 15 per cent when they last ate at a restaurant. Now approximately half as many (23%) say the same. Meanwhile, one-in-five (21%) say they left a tip of 20 per cent or more when they last dined out, more than double the rate (8%) of those who said so in 2016.
Canadians also report “tip creep” – where locations that previously may not have prompted for a tip have added the request to digital payment machines – as a source of fatigue. Four-in-five (83%) say too many places are asking for tips these days, including at least three-quarters across all regions and demographics. Meanwhile, few (13%) believe customer service has improved as tips have increased.
The result: a significant increase in the number of Canadians who say they prefer (59%) a “service included” model, which would see an end of tipping and higher base wages for employees. ARI polling from 2016 found respondents were more likely to prefer tipping (46% to 40%).
Which system would you prefer?
More Key Findings
Those who previously worked a job that received tips (58%) are as likely as those who have not (59%) to support a move to a “service included” model.
BC Tip Creep
Those in British Columbia are the most likely to report “tip creep” (74%) and “tip-flation” (73%). Atlantic Canadians are the least likely to say they’re being prompted for an increased tip (42%).
More than four-in-five (86%) Canadians who want to do away with tipping believe the current system allows employers to underpay their employees. Half (53%) of those who want gratuities to stay agree.
The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey from Jan. 31 – Feb. 2, 2023 among a representative randomized sample of 1,610 Canadian adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. The survey was self-commissioned and paid for by ARI.
For detailed results by age, gender, region, education, and other demographics, click here.
For detailed results by which system the respondent preferred, and whether they had worked a job with tips as part of the income in the past, click here.
To read the full report, including detailed tables and methodology, click here.
To read the questionnaire, click here.
Image – Blake Wisz/Unsplash
From the Angus Reid Institute, Canada’s non-profit foundation committed to independent research.For detailed breakdown of the results, visit angusreid.org