A third of B.C.ers won't tip after poor service, especially if server didn't seem busy: poll

A new poll suggests a third of British Columbians wouldn't leave any kind of tip at a sit-down restaurant after poor service from a server who was "clearly not busy."

Last month, Insights West asked respondents across the province what they thought would be an acceptable amount to leave for "below-average" service from an apparently dawdling staffer.

Just over 32 per cent said they'd leave nothing at all, with men being slightly stingier than women.

The proportion rose to 41 per cent among seniors, compared to 24 per cent of those between the ages of 18 and 34.

Mario Canseco, vice president at Insights West, said the generational gap was "noteworthy."

"Baby Boomers are more likely to leave absolutely nothing if the service did not meet their standards, regardless of circumstances," he said in a statement.

None of the respondents said they'd leave any more than 20 per cent for sub-par service.

Better service, bigger tip

On the other hand, two out of five people said they'd shell out more for "exceptional" service, tipping up to 25 per cent.

The tone also changed when it came to poor service in an understaffed establishment — only seven per cent said they wouldn't include a gratuity if the server seemed stretched.

More than half of respondents said the average tip for average service would be somewhere between 10 and 14 per cent.

Nearly 70 per cent said there would be no need to leave tips at all if servers in B.C. had better salaries.

Currently, the minimum wage for liquor servers in B.C. sits at $9.60 per hour. The rate for other professions is $10.85.

The Insights West results were based on an online study conducted from Feb. 13 to 15, 2017, among a representative sample of 805 British Columbian adults.