One third of Canadians think food servers deserve a tip in all circumstances even if service was bad.
Vancouver, BC [December 30, 2022] – The performance of servers and the busyness of restaurants play a role in the gratuities that Canadians are willing to provide to food servers, a new Research Co. poll has found.
The online survey of a representative national sample asked Canadians what they think is an acceptable tip for service at a sit-down restaurant in nine different circumstances.
About a third of Canadians would leave a gratuity in the range of 15%-to-19% if they receive exceptional service in a restaurant that is not busy (37%), busy (34%) or exceptionally busy (32%).
Some Canadians are willing to offer a tip of 20% or higher if they receive exceptional service at a restaurant that is busy (34%) or exceptionally busy (36%).
The results are similar when Canadians are asked to ponder good (but not exceptional) service. Gratuities are in the range of 15%-to-19% if the restaurant is not busy (34%), busy (41%) or exceptionally busy (37%).
Fewer Canadians would consider a tip of 20% or higher for good service at a venue that is busy (19%) or exceptionally busy (25%).
When it comes to average service in any environment, about two-in-five Canadians (41%) would leave a gratuity in the 10%-to-14% range, while 28% would move into the 15%-to-19% range.
More than a third of Canadians (36%) would leave a tip in the 10%-to-14% range for below average service when the server is clearly working in an understaffed environment.
Finally, just over three-in-ten Canadians (31%) say they would not leave a gratuity at all if they receive below average service at a sit-down restaurant when their server is clearly not busy.
“Two-in-five Canadians aged 55 and over (40%) would walk away from a sit-down restaurant without leaving a tip if they perceive that their server was idle and aloof,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The proportions are lower among Canadians aged 35-to-54 (29%) and aged 18-to-34 (24%).”
Just over one-in-ten Canadians (11%) think it is acceptable to forego a tip for food delivery to their homes or offices. Two-in-five Canadians (40%) think the acceptable gratuity range in this circumstance is 10%-to-14%.
A majority of Canadians (54%) do not think a tip is necessary when they pick up food to go.
More than half of Canadians (53%) say they never tip when they visit a snack restaurant where they take their food to go, and more than two-in-five also never leave a gratuity when they visit a cafeteria-style restaurant (49%), a restaurant where they order to go and pick the food up themselves (48%) or a coffee shop (43%).
A third of Canadians (33%) think food servers deserve a tip in all circumstances even if service was bad—a proportion that rises to 41% among those aged 18-to-34.
Two thirds of Canadians (67%) believe food servers nowadays simply expect a tip, but don’t work hard to earn it.
About seven-in-ten Canadians agree on two other statements: “Food servers cannot get by on their salaries alone—it is important to tip them” (70%) and “If the salaries of food servers were better, there would be no need to tip servers” (69%).
Methodology: Results are based on an online study conducted on December 10 to December 12, 2022, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.
For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.778.929.0490 [e] email@example.com