Mobile payments company Square analyzed the transactions made on their system in five Canadian cities — Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Montreal and Ottawa — averaging out both the frequency of tips made and their value.
Vancouverites were found to tip 62 per cent of the time, with an average tip of 13.4 per cent of the bill, far behind Canada's most generous tipsters in Ottawa, who tipped 76.6 per cent of time with an average tip of 15.6 per cent.
Some Vancouver business owners showed little surprise when told about the results.
"I think people really do believe that is the standard — that it's 10 per cent gratuity," said Christy Denton, owner of Cranberries Spa in Vancouver.
She says clients often ask her how much they should tip.
"I will tell them it's really 15 to 20 per cent."
Ian Tostenson, head of the BC Restaurant and Food Association agrees.
"I think you should tip anywhere from 15-20 per cent if you have good service and if you don't have good service I don't think you should tip anything," he said. "That's when you need to go to the business owner and say, 'My experience wasn't great'."
Montreal tops Toronto
Back at the more generous end of the tipping spectrum, Toronto's tips were slightly bigger than Montreal's (at 14.5 per cent and 14.4 per cent respectively), but Montrealers tip on average 70.4 percent, while Torontonians leave a tip only 65.5 per cent of the time.
Calgarians proved the most miserly of the bunch according to Square, tipping just 59.4 per cent of the time, with an average tip of 13.3 per cent.
The data was gathered from transactions made using Square's mobile payment technology, and covered retail services that give a tip option to customers, including restaurants, taxis, spas, hairdressers and bars. It also included those offering personal services such as private fitness instruction and massage services.
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