NATIONAL PULSE – Most would scrap gratuity system for higher wages


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%).

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.
  • Past CPC and Bloc Québécois voters are divided as to whether they prefer the current system or to move away from tipping. Three-quarters of those who voted Liberal (73%) and NDP (76%) in 2021 would like to see the end of tipping.
  • 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.

Link to the poll here:

About Mel Rothenburger (9489 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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