‘Tip-flation’ is getting out of hand for some Canadians: Angus Reid survey
Following a more than a year of high inflation, most Canadians believe the gratuities in the service industry is getting out of hand, new polling suggests.
A new Angus Reid survey found that 59 per cent of Canadians would prefer a system that has a “service included” model where employees would be paid higher wages and customers wouldn’t have to tip based on the percentage of their meal.
The survey also found that Canadians are not only being asked to tip more but they are also being asked to tip more often, even in places that haven’t always asked for tips – a phenomena known as a “tip creep.”
“Four-in-five (83 per cent) say too many places are asking for tips these days, including at least three-quarters across all regions and demographics,” the study results read.
According to the report, 23 per cent reported tipping less than 15 per cent, marking a drastic change from the 43 per cent that reported the same range for tipping in a 2016 survey.
Since the world began to “return to normal” following the closures of restaurants and other public spaces due to COVID-19, a 2022 report found that Canadians were tipping more and likely doing so out of sympathy and excitement to the return of public dining.
The Angus Reid survey also noted Canadians are still tipping regardless and some are still following the socially standard 20 per cent tip. Twenty-one per cent of Canadians said they left a tip of 20 per cent or more, a large jump from the 8 per cent in 2016 who said they tipped the same.
REASONS BEHIND TIPPING NO LONGER ABOUT SERVICE
The report found that the majority of Canadians no longer tip depending on the quality of the service but because tips are a way for employers to underpay their employees.
Approximately 73 per cent of Canadians believe this, while 69 per cent said tips are usually the only benefit to working a service job since minimum wage jobs can only give so much.
In 2020, a Toronto, Ont., restaurant Richmond Station banned tipping and followed a “hospitality included” model where they would increase the prices of their food to better compensate the staff. The restaurant said their staff is paid above minimum wage, with most having salary wages. While many countries around the world have moved to a similar model, the restaurant noted it hopes other restaurants in North America follow suit to end a model that is seen as “unfair.”
“The fact of the matter is, tipping has been proven time and again to be sexist, racist, prejudiced and predatory. Every employee hopes to avoid having those traits present in their workplace,” the FAQ page on the restaurant read.
The Angus Reid Institute conducted this online survey between Jan. 31 and Feb. 2, 2023, gathering a randomized sample of 1,610 Canadian adults who are 18 and older and members of the Angus Reid Forum. The probability sample size would carry a margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
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