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Despite bad service, many British Columbians still tip: poll

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Folks believe in leaving a tip despite unsatisfactory service

When picking up take-out, some people don't tip at all, finds new poll

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – When you go out to eat and receive bad service, do you still leave a tip?

That’s the burning question at the centre of a new poll by Insights West which finds the majority of British Columbians do leave a tip even if they leave unsatisfied. That means one-third of people refuse to tip when they think the service wasn’t good enough at a sit-down restaurant.
The poll was done online and also found 41 per cent of people 55-years-old and up won’t leave a tip if they don’t like the service.

“British Columbians are more understanding of below average service when the server is clearly working in an understaffed environment, with just seven per cent saying they would leave no tip,” explains pollster Mario Canseco. “When asked what they would tip for average service in any environment, most British Columbians (53 per cent) would leave 10 per cent to 14 per cent. For good service when the restaurant is busy, half (51 per cent) would opt for a gratuity of 15 per cent to 19 per cent.”

The poll also found people are willing to pony up more money if the service is exceptional when it’s really busy with two-in-five people saying they would tip as much as 25 per cent. “When it comes to food delivery at home or the office, half of British Columbians (51 per cent) would offer a gratuity of 10 per cent to 14 per cent, but six per cent would not tip at all. When picking up food to go, seven-in-10 British Columbians (70 per cent) say they tip nothing,” adds Canseco.

Only 15 per cent of people think servers always deserve a tip — regardless of the service — but 69 per cent feel if wages were higher they wouldn’t have to leave a tip at all.

“There are some noteworthy generational gaps when assessing how and when British Columbians tip,” adds Canseco. “Millennials are more likely to expect more from food servers before deciding how much to tip, while Baby Boomers are more likely to leave absolutely nothing if the service did not meet their standards, regardless of circumstances.”