Should we do away with tipping? Poll finds many Canadians growing tired

If you’re tired of tipping, you’re not alone.

A new Angus Reid Institute survey finds “tip-flation” is increasingly becoming an issue for people across the country, with a majority of respondents — 62 per cent — saying they’re being asked to tip more at places like restaurants these days.

The pollster says in 2016, 43 per cent of Canadians surveyed said they left a tip of less than 15 per cent when they were dining out last.

Now, nearly half as many people reported doing the same. More recently, 21 per cent of respondents said they had left a top of 20 per cent or more — more than double the number of people who said they did the same in 2016.

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The Angus Reid Institute says it’s also found that “tip creep” is becoming more prevalent. That’s when a business that didn’t ask for a tip before has started to add that prompt to things like an Interac machine.

“Tip creep” was most reported by British Columbians, at 74 per cent, while B.C. was also the province with the highest rate of “tip-flation,” at 73 per cent, the pollster says. On the flip side, Atlantic Canadians were the least likely to report they were being prompted for an increased tip, at 42 per cent.

Nationally, the institute says 83 per cent of Canadians feel too many places are asking for a tip, while 13 per cent haven’t noticed an improvement in customer service as a result.

Fifty-nine per cent of survey respondents told the Angus Reid Institute they’d prefer a “service included” model, which is based on higher wages and means you wouldn’t have to leave a dedicated tip.

And it’s not just customers who have reported a preference for such a model. The pollster says 58 per cent of people who previously worked a job that received tips were as likely to prefer the “service included” model.

Meanwhile, many have said they feel the current system makes way for employers to underpay staff.

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