Canadians tipped local businesses more generously during COVID-19 compared to pre-pandemic times, suggests new data released by tech company Square.
On average, Canadians tip 17.9% on in-person purchases, up from 16.6% on average before the pandemic, according to Square.
In an email to Global News, Square spokeswoman Giovana Pinheiro Chichito said that “across the board and through the first quarter of 2022, Square found that Canadians were tipping more generously.”
“It’s great to see all the support North Americans are giving to businesses right now, because we know many businesses have struggled over the past two years,” Chichito said.
Michael MacLennan, product manager for Square Hardware, said it shows the empathy Canadians truly have for each other.
“I think what I was most excited to see was the empathy that people show for other businesses, especially the small and medium-sized businesses that we serve,” MacLennan told Global News on Friday.
As economy recovers, some Toronto restaurants will stop tipping
What makes this tip increase useful, he said, is that it gives businesses more time to find a pattern that works best during a pandemic.
A man bought an NFT for $2.9 million and then put it up for sale for $48 million. The highest bid was less than $280
Omicron XE variant: Here’s what we know about this COVID hybrid strain
“Companies are really looking to combine online, mobile and in-person transactions,” MacLennan said. “Businesses are really looking for ways to quickly adapt to how their buyers want to interact with them, like how to make contactless payments or QR codes.”
“That extra flexibility or generosity really helps (people) start a business and sustain it,” he added.
Businesses are still struggling as the federal government prepares to end pandemic supports
The data also shows that tipping is very consistent across Canada. In Alberta and the Prairies, the tip rate was 18.8%, followed by 18.1% in Ontario. The lowest, 17%, was in British Columbia.
A similar increase has been seen in the United States. According to Square, Americans have always tipped more than Canadians. At present, their average stands at 21.1% for the first three months of 2022, compared to 19.8% before the pandemic.
“I think I would be really excited to see (the generosity) continue,” MacLennan said.
He also hopes that the empathy people have for businesses and workers will continue after the pandemic.
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.