Dr. Mike von Massow poses for a headshot in front of a shelf of potato chips and goldfish at a grocery store.
Dr. Mike von Massow

Ontario Agricultural College food economist Dr. Mike von Massow made national headlines with discussions on changing tipping norms. 

Von Massow told the Toronto Star that societal pressure is causing tipping rates to increase – in some places reaching 30 per cent – but he said the trend could backfire with customers. 

Speaking with CTV News Toronto, von Massow explained the concept of “tip-flation” and noted that “a variety of nudges and hints on the payment machine are sort of pushing and guilting people into tipping more.” 

To CTVNews.ca, von Massow said various social and external factors cause “tip-flation” such as changing social norms and higher tip percentages programmed into payment machines. 

A professor in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics, he researches retail and restaurant food demand, among other topics. For more than 10 years, he has studied tipping with Dr. Bruce McAdams in the School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management at the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics