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Canadians tip more during pandemic: N.S. poll explores tipping habits


Halifax – Across provinces, Nova Scotia has the largest number of people who began to practise leaving tips when picking up take-out orders because of the pandemic, according to a poll by Halifax-based Narrative Research. In other findings, people aged 18-34 are more likely to leave a tip than those aged 35-54.

Among Canadians who pick up take-out orders, six-in-10 Atlantic Canadians typically leave tips.

When asked how the pandemic has affected their take-out tipping behaviour, the majority said they have always left tips (58 per cent). Interestingly, 30 per cent of respondents reported they too have always left tips but have increased the amount of their tip since the pandemic began.

COVID-19 has also influenced 13 per cent of Atlantic Canadians, who hadn’t tipped on take-out orders before, to start leaving tips. Overall, 42 per cent have either increased their tipping or started to leave tips on take-out orders.

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Across provinces, Nova Scotia has the largest number of people who began to practice leaving tips when picking up take-out orders because of the pandemic (17 per cent), in comparison to those in Newfoundland and Labrador, who are the least likely to have begun leaving tips on take-out (seven per cent). The proportion of Newfoundlanders who leave tips on take-out orders is also lower (49 per cent) than the Atlantic regional average (58 per cent).

There are notable differences in leaving tips on take-out food orders across age groups as well. People aged 18-34 are more likely to leave a tip while those aged 35-54 are not as likely. However, those between the ages of 35 and 54 include the highest number of individuals who have increased the amount of tip they leave on take-out orders (38 per cent).

When taking a closer look on the effect of household income, contrary to what one would expect, those whose income is less than $50K are more likely to leave a tip on take-out orders (63 per cent) compared with individuals whose income is $50 to $100K (56 per cent) and individuals whose income is more than $100K (57 per cent). However, since the start of the pandemic, more Atlantic Canadians in the $50-$100K and $100K+ income brackets have increased the amount of their take-out order tips in comparison to those with an income of less than $50K.

This survey was conducted from Jan. 11 to 16, with 1,140 Atlantic Canadians from Narrative Research’s online panel, East Coast Voice.