Canadians think tipping should be limited

According to recent Angus Reid Institute polls, Canadians are reaching their tipping breaking point. The survey, which was conducted on Feb. 16 and 17, shows that although 62% of respondents claim they are being requested to tip more, 1 in 5 also stated they left a gratuity of 20% or more the previous time they went out to eat.

Tipping in a Restaurant

Instead of 12, 15, and 18%, the suggested tip now reads 18, 24, and 30% when you get the tipping machine, and Canadians are not responding well to the new change, study shows.

The majority of respondents from British Columbia reported “tip-flation,” whilst respondents from Atlantic Canada were the least likely to indicate they are being asked for more gratuities.

In addition, a recent Ipsos poll conducted revealed that 22% of respondents said they are “completely out of money” to the point where they would not be able to pay more for basic necessities. This is despite the fact that the cost of living has hit Canadians hard across the board.

Last year, Canada’s annual inflation rate reached a 40-year high, peaking at 8.1% in June 2022. Inflation in 2018 was 6.8% more than it was in 2021, with Canadians experiencing the biggest price increases in food, transportation, and housing.

READ MORE: Subway is selling the Sandwich Company

Many places who previously didn’t ask for tips are now requesting them when it comes to gratuities. In previous years it was unthinkable to see tip requests from sandwich places for instance or over the counter sales where there is no services included at all, well that are things of the past.

When we look at other countries like the ones in Europe, tipping is welcome but not an expectation. There are no requests to tip and no suggestions on how much to tip. But in Canada and the USA, tipping is expected, no tipping is outrageous and tipping below 10% considered very rude!

A family of four dinner in a middle ranged price restaurant in Canada will cost anywhere from $200-$400, to tip 20% would mean an extra charge from $40-$80! That amount of money could be very well put towards schooling, clothing or lunch money.

Tipping in Canada was on the rise

Certain social customs were abandoned in Canada during pandemic-related lockdowns as people spent more time at home with their roommates or immediate relatives.
One of those customs was leaving tips at restaurants after a meal. Dining out became a thing of the pre-pandemic era as a result of restaurant dining rooms being shuttered for months at a time and patios being entirely inaccessible in the winter.
Some Canadians may be curious as to whether the social norms of tipping have changed over the past two to three years now that restaurants all over the country are open for indoor eating once more. For instance, according to data from Restaurants Canada, Canadians were tipping a bigger proportion of their restaurant tabs after restaurants opened its doors. But, Canadians had enough from seeing higher expected tips on debit machines! Many feel intimidated by recommendations of 20-25% on debit units and therefor don’t feel tipping at all.

Expectations and typical tipping in Canada

In restaurants in Canada, the customary tip ranges from 15% to 18% of the total tab, excluding taxes. In most situations, 15% is appropriate. Nonetheless, somebody who frequently holds business meetings there or otherwise wants to develop a positive connection with the establishment might choose to tip more. Moreover, good service may be rewarded with a larger tip. Even if the service is flawed, diners still tip in Canada, but, they may leave a bad restaurant review which will hurt the establishment more in long run. It’s polite to leave a tip, but restaurant workers shouldn’t ever threaten or chastise patrons for failing to leave a sufficient gratuity.

READ MORE: The Restaurant Industry in Canada: Struggling to Stay Afloat

Tipping in Canada

Last but not least, bear in mind that the figures presented in this article are all averages. While you should tip according to the level of service you receive, failing to do so is considered impolite. For tourists and newcomers to Canada; in order to make a smooth transition into Canadian life, be sure to read, observe, and learn about the norms and expectations for gratuity in the Canadian city you visit or live in.

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