Tired of tipping: Most Canadians prefer to scrap tips and pay for higher service wages 

Feb 16 2023, 4:12 pm

Looks like Canadians have reached a tipping point for gratuities.

Inflation has not only affected grocery prices and housing costs, but also tips.

A new report from the Angus Reid Institute (ARI) found that “tip-flation” has been a big frustration for many Canadians.

Many people report being asked to tip more (62%) and more often (64%), and a lot of the time, they’ll go through with it.

In terms of how much people are tipping, it seems the 15% standard is no more. One-in-five diners say they left a tip of 20% or more, more than double the rate (8%) of those who said so in 2016.

On top of that, the report found that Canadians are frequently encountering “tip creep,” where places that usually don’t ask for tips have now added a gratuity on their payment machines.

ARI found that this tipping fatigue culminated into nearly 60% of Canadians saying they would prefer a “service included” model, which would scrap gratuity in exchange for higher base wages for service workers.

It’s a significant change from responses in 2016, where up to 46% of Canadians favoured the current tip system.


Angus Reid Institute

The reason for this? According to the report, 78% of Canadians believe tipping is no longer used to show appreciation for a job well done. Instead, many (73%) think it’s a way for employers to underpay their workers.


Angus Reid Institute

Discussions surrounding eliminating tips have been brought to the forefront amid inflation, and there is definitely a divide.

ARI found that preference for tipping is more common among Canadians who voted Conservative and Bloc Québécois in the 2021 federal election.

Whereas 73% of Liberal voters and 76% of NDP voters want to see an end to tipping culture, and higher wages for employees.


Angus Reid Institute

Of course, this idea may sound good in theory, but can actually be hard to implement in reality.

In order to pay workers a living wage, establishments need to raise prices on their menus. Many have been met with pushback from customers when this happens.

One restaurant in Richmond, BC, even faced blowback against an automatic 15% gratuity.

The debate around tips never rests. What do you think about ending tipping?

Isabelle DoctoIsabelle Docto

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