No-Tipping Policies

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Here are a few tips about sources, subject headings, and strategies that you may want to start with. Note that these tips are just a start: think broadly about the sort of information you need and about who might have that information (government/association/academic/news/etc.).

Articles in journals, magazines, and newspapers

A. Try searching in Business Source Complete using various combinations of such terms as:

Tips & tipping (Gratuities) Restaurant employees Minimum Wage
Wages -- Restaurants Restaurants --customer service FOOD service employees
Hospitality industry Employee retention Employee motivation
Job satisfaction Salaries, wages etc. Consumer behavior
Start with this rough exploratory search in Business Source Complete.
  • Don't focus just on scholarly articles. Business Source also covers such industry magazines as Nation's Restaurant News and Restaurant Hospitality that may have useful news articles on this topic.
  • Don't just focus on the word "tips" or "tipping." Think more broadly about the end goals: How can a restaurant attract and retain employees? What can a restaurant (and customers) do to ensure a consistently high level of customer service?

B. Also search for articles on tipping, consumer behavior and employee motivation in...

C. Don't focus on just recent articles! Older ones may have some useful perspectives, plus you can often check to see who has cited those articles since they were published... a useful trick to use older research to find related newer research!

D. For more of a Canadian perspective, try CBCA Complete and look for articles using the same terms (as keywords rather than subjects) that you used in Business Source Complete. Also try Canadian Newsstream for Canadian newspaper articles. For international news, try Factiva

  • Here's a rough exploratory search in Canadian Newsstream to get you started. Although news articles aren't the results of peer-reviewed research, they might help you identify key researchers & studies, examples from real firms, as well as relevant issues that you'll need to explore further in your research.


A. A good book can give you a broad overview of the topic and introduce you to some key issues and researchers. Start by searching the SFU Library catalogue using some of the same terms you tried in your Business Source Complete searches. Here's another rough exploratory search to get you started.

Other resources

A. Try generating a report for restaurants in the Government of Canada's Financial Performance Data Tool for a sense of the average revenue and expenses (including labour) for Canadian restaurants.

B. Industry associations often have articles and reports on issues that affect the entire industry. See, for example, Restaurants Canada for information on the changing legal environment around tipping in different provinces. Or try the (US) National Restaurant Association -- that's where I found this official response to this Economic Policy Institute study on tipped wages in the US.

C. The reference to the Economic Policy institute above got me thinking about the value of think tanks for this sort of topic. Try this search engine that covers hundreds of think tanks. (My exploratory results.)

D. The term "living wage" may come up in your research. Look here for an overview of this concept, and here to learn about the City of Vancouver's actions on this topic. And look here for details on other living wage initiatives throughout BC.

  • And if you really want to explore the Living Wage concept further, check out this guide from a BUS 360W class that researched that topic recently.

E. CBC's Marketplace show included a segment a year or two ago on how some Ontario restaurants were altering the Tip-Out formulas for their staff, allegedly in response to Ontario's planned minimum wage hike. I'm not sure it will have any useful facts for your case research, but you might learn more about the intricacies of how tips are collected and shared in restaurants, as well as about how tips fit into the overall compensation of restaurant workers.

F. The following post is non-academic, but I see that they link to many studies and news stories. Follow those clues!

<No further suggestions yet - but keep checking. Also, don't forget that this is your wiki: you are welcome to add any tips here whenever you'd like. --- MB>