Canadians tipping more generously during COVID-19, new data finds 

Canadians have been tipping local businesses more generously during COVID-19 compared to pre-pandemic times, suggests new data released by technology company Square.

On average, Canadians are tipping 17.9 per cent on face-to-face purchases, up from a 16.6 per cent average pre-pandemic, according to Square.

In an email sent to Global News, Square’s spokesperson, Giovana Pinheiro Chichito said that “across the board and right into the first quarter of 2022, Square found that Canadians have been tipping more generously.”

“It’s great to see all the support that North Americans have been giving businesses right now as we know many businesses have struggled in the past couple of years,” said Chichito.

Michael MacLennan, head of product for Square Hardware said this shows the empathy Canadians truly have for one another.

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“I think the thing I was most excited to see is the empathy people are showing for other businesses, particularly the small and medium-sized businesses that we serve,” MacLennan told Global News Friday.

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What makes this increase in tipping helpful, he said, is that it gives businesses more time to figure out a model that works best during a pandemic.

“Businesses are really figuring out how to blend both online, mobile and in-person transactions,” said MacLennan. “Businesses are really looking for ways to quickly be able to adapt to how their buyers want to interact with them like how to do contactless payments or QR codes.”

“This extra flexibility or generosity really helps (people) start a business and to keep the business going,” he added.

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The data also shows that tipping is very consistent across Canada. In Alberta and the Prairies the tip rate was 18.8 per cent, followed by 18.1 per cent in Ontario. The lowest, 17 per cent, was in British Columbia.

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A similar increase has been seen in the United States. According to Square, Americans have always tipped higher than Canadians. As of now, their average stands at 21.1 per cent for the first three months of 2022, compared to 19.8 per cent pre-pandemic.

“I think I’d be really excited to see (the generosity) continue,” MacLennan said.

He also hopes the empathy people have for businesses and workers continues post-pandemic.

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