When it comes to poor restaurant service, a good chunk of British Columbians appear to be unforgiving.

According to a new poll by marketing research company Insights West, a third of restaurant goers (32 per cent) in the province will leave no tip when the service is “below average” and their server is “clearly not busy.”

When age was factored in, the survey found the number rose to 41 per cent among British Columbians aged 55 and older. Mario Canseco, the vice president of public affairs at Insights West, said the generational gap was worth noting.

“Millennials are more likely to expect more from food servers before deciding how much to tip, while Baby Boomers are more likely to leave absolutely nothing if the service did not meet their standards, regardless of circumstances,” Canseco said in a press release.

The disparity in tipping preferences between age groups was less stark when it came to gender. The survey revealed that women were slightly less likely to leave no gratuity than their penny-pinching counterparts.

British Columbians were understanding, however, when they recognized that a server was working in an understaffed restaurant. Only seven per cent said they would leave no tip in that scenario.

For average service in any environment, the poll found that most patrons (53 per cent) would provide a tip of between 10 and 14 per cent. If the restaurant was busy and the service was good, half of British Columbians responded that they would leave a tip of 15 per cent to 19 per cent.

When it comes to “exceptional service,” British Columbian restaurant-goers were far more generous according to the survey. In a busy environment, two in five (39 per cent) survey participants said they would leave a whopping 20 per cent to 25 per cent gratuity for the staff.

On the question of whether servers deserve a tip, regardless of the quality of service or environment, only 15 per cent of British Columbians said they did. In fact, 66 per cent of those surveyed said food servers “simply expect” a gratuity these days without working hard to justify it.

The majority of participants did concede, however, that restaurant servers wouldn’t need tips if their salaries were higher. In fact, 71 per cent of British Columbian residents agreed that it’s important to leave gratuities for servers because they don’t earn enough to get by on their base pay alone.

Restaurant servers in British Columbia earn $9.60 per hour compared to the province’s minimum wage of $10.85 per hour.

The results of the Insights West poll were based on a sample size of 805 adult British Columbians who participated in the online survey between Feb. 13 and Feb. 15.