The tipping point: is it time to ditch bonuses in favor of higher wages? | Pro IQRA News

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Halle Quinn makes $14 an hour as a server at Gaia’s Urban Eatery in Charlottetown — 30 cents above the minimum wage. His share of tips, split evenly between servers and kitchen staff, can be $80 on a “good day.”

He keeps the money in a jar at home and dips it in when needed.

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“As a server, I think we trust him a lot.”

But with labor shortages in the hospitality industry, some restaurant owners are calling for a major overhaul of employee wages and a move away from traditional break-even models.

“It’s not a fair system,” said chef Michael Smith, owner of the Inn at Bay Fortune.

“Everybody deserves to be paid fairly, transparently, without being surprised and just dancing around this ridiculous thing we’re doing in North America on the tip. Go to the rest of the world, no clue. It’s fairly, transparently priced. So it goes. Be part of the solution.” .”

“If it was really terrible, we’d still tip,” says Sandy Kerr, who dined in Charlottetown on Thursday. “If it was an emergency, we would tip more.” (Steve Bruce/CBC)

Many customers believe that the tip is only part of the bill.

“If it was really terrible, we’d still tip,” said Sandy Kerr, who was dining in Charlottetown on Thursday.

“If it was an emergency, we would tip more.”

Living allowance

According to a 2020 report by the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives, the living wage for someone living in Charlottetown is estimated at $19.30 an hour.

As the cost of living continues to rise, customers like Guy Laliberte said tipping servers is more important than ever.

“I always go for 20 or 25 percent now.”

Chef Michael Smith says it’s fairer to ditch tips and give workers better wages and benefits. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

Smith thinks the money would be better spent within the cost of the meal.

“Looking has nothing to do with service. It’s only associated with sexism, misogyny, racism, never service.”

Delivery is not related to service. It is only associated with sexism, misogyny, racism, never service.– Chef Michael Smith

That’s partly why his institution has a policy of immersion. Instead, it charges more for food and passes the extra money on to workers through higher wages and benefits.

The industry association, Restaurants Canada, said Smith’s approach is becoming somewhat more common across the country.

That’s still rare, says Richard Alexander, the association’s vice-president of Atlantic Canada.

“It’s hard to get people to change their behavior in your traditional table service restaurants. And customers are used to having the option to determine the value of a tip. So some other restaurateurs may not be as open to it.”

Gaia’s owner, for one, doesn’t want to shy away from tipping.

The industry association, Restaurants Canada, said Smith’s approach is a bit more common across the country but still rare. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

Charbel Jreij said she appreciates rewarding employees for good service and worries that high menu prices will drive customers away.

“You’re forcing the customer to pay more because you want to compensate your employees more. You didn’t give me a choice as a customer. We’re not in Japan. I honestly can’t see that happening.”

Quinn said he would support the dipping policy as long as he could keep putting the same amount of money in his jar.

“If I knew I was going to get paid that much, and I had the comfort of knowing that, I think I would go for it.”

On the beach10:40 a.mCultural questions: to tip or not to tip?

Should you tip and how much should you tip? It’s an evergreen question on which Canadians are still divided. We discuss the changing food culture with Jackie Avery, co-owner of Vancouver restaurant The Burrow.


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