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Canada’s tipping culture is flawed and there’s no clear fix in sight: experts [Video]

From oil changes to take-out food, the “tip nudge” has quickly become a “well-established societal norm” in Canada, according to food economist Mike von Massow.

Card payment machines have made it simple for businesses to prompt a gratuity option, even in industries where tipping previously wasn’t part of the cost or conversation. And data from Canadian trade associations show the average percentage tip for restaurant dining has gone up since the pandemic began. 

Von Massow, who’s also a professor at the University of Guelph, says the expectation for Canadians to increase the amount of their gratuities is getting out of control, and has become a hot-button issue across the country.

“I went to my local craft brewery the other day, just to the bottle shop, to pick up a couple of cans of my favorites,” von Massow said. “When I was paying there, literally someone grabbed beer out of the fridge and gave it to me …

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