Expectations of tips are rising and most people would rather workers were just paid better
Of all the issues surrounding the cost of living, tipping may not be top of the agenda, but it’s a real concern and Canadians have had enough.
Low-paid workers in hospitality and other service roles receiving gratuities to enhance their wages is a deeply-engrained custom in many countries, but a new poll reveals it is pushing Canadians to tipping point.
The Angus Reid Institute survey identifies ‘tip-flation’ where we are being asked to tip more (62% of respondents said so), and ‘tip-creep’ where tipping is expected more often (64%).
Back in 2016, 43% said they left a tip after a restaurant meal of less than 15%. In 2023, this share has dropped to 23% while the percentage tipping 20% or more has more than doubled to 21% (from 8% in 2016).
The survey also found that more places are asking for tips when they did not previously, often adding the charge to digital payments. More than 8 in 10 participants say too many places are asking for tips but just 13% think customer service has improved as tips have increased.
Scrap the tips?
Asked about the model of low wages supported by tips, 59% of respondents would prefer ‘service included’ prices with workers being paid higher base wages.
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.