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Tipping fatigue increasing as gratuity requests grow: survey

With the rising cost of living in 2023, “tip-flation” is the latest price increase to impact Canadians.

Tipping has long been second nature for Canadians when dining out or getting a haircut, but many residents feel things are getting out of hand.

“Someone handed me a six-pack of beer and was looking for 20 per cent,” said Saint John resident William Goldofski.

“It seems it’s a little more expected in situations where it hasn’t been before, that’s the only thing I’ve noticed. Everybody is looking, sometimes, for a tip.”

An Angus Reid survey from earlier this year found that four in five Canadians believe too many establishments ask for tips. The survey also found Canadians are tipping more than they did just seven years ago, with 21 per cent tipping a minimum of 20 per cent, up from just eight per cent in 2016.

“Twenty per cent,” said Susan and Eric Falkenmayer when asked what they normally tip when dining out. “Unless the service is really good then we go 25 – tip accordingly.”

“I only do 15 per cent,” said J.D. Rosser, unless he is with his wife Connie.

“I believe in tipping our servers,” said Connie Rosser.

“If they do a really good job they get 25, but a minimum of 22.”

Jay Remer, better known as “The Etiquette Guy” to Maritimers, says just because the cost of eating out has increased, doesn’t mean the percentage of the tip has to as well.

“A 15 per cent tip would be considered adequate, not generous but adequate,” said Remer.

“A 10 per cent tip would be cheap, and a 20 per cent tip would be if you had a good experience and you really enjoyed it. The reason you really enjoyed it is because a number of people behind the scenes made it possible, and those people need to be rewarded.”

Remer adds many servers depend on tips to get by. He says if you can’t afford to leave one it’s best to stay home.

“The answer is no, you don’t go out,” said Remer.

“If you can’t afford to tip the staff it’s insulting to them as they depend on tips. Like you wouldn’t walk out on the tax because you just didn’t feel like paying it or you couldn’t afford it.”

Frank James has worked in the service industry for over 20 years. He says while he personally isn’t bothered by whether people tip or not, he knows many people who rely on it.

“If you’ve chosen the service industry as your career based on a percentage of tips adding to your income you wouldn’t want that to go away,” he said.

“Anymore than any other job if one of the benefits was just gone.”

A 2022 survey from Restaurants Canada found Martimers tip an average of 16.3 per cent when dining out, while 35 per cent say they tip more than they did before the pandemic. Top Stories


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