(photo by Brilynn Ferguson)
By Baneet Braich for CBC
Tipping has been a hot topic, and much debated, over the last few years with some on the side of abolishing it while others fight to keep it in place. Whichever side you fall on, we can all agree that tips are a method of subsidizing restaurant employee wages, from the customer. Most people are taught that somewhere between 15-20% of your bill is the average tipping amount. But, this article from CBC News suggests that will likely change very quickly thanks to COVID.
Shiva Reddy, general manager of Vancouver’s Collective Hospitality, suggests the minimum tip, even on take-out, should be 18% in B.C. She says “People who are working incredibly hard, who are still not making a livable wage. We’re still putting so many, so much of their resources towards making this meal perfect for you.” This sentiment can be felt among a lot of customers as they face the realities the restaurant industry has faced for years. Many people, now actively seeing the challenges of working in the restaurant industry during COVID, are changing their stances on tipping.
Our executive director, Hassel Aviles, weighed in saying:
“The ultimate goal should be to abolish tips and create a more equitable work environment prioritizing fair pay.”
Some restaurants have even started to put it into practice, like Gringo, a taco restaurant in Vancouver, which uses an equal pay system of equal wage and equal tips at the end of each week.
However, most Canadians feel they will likely be expected to increase the amounts they tip.
“The research suggests 48 percent of Canadians feel there is more pressure to give a decent tip since the pandemic,”
the article reports. Some have also seen a switch to automatic tip amounts in card payment terminals.
Finally, the article addresses the topic of take-out tipping. It suggests most people don’t tip if it’s a take-out order. One Vancouver server, Julian Gould, was quoted saying “If we do a night that is 60 percent or 70 percent take-out and we’re not getting tipped off that. You know, that’s the difference of a shift that could potentially help me pay my rent and car insurance, as opposed to not.”
So, regardless of what side of the tip coin you fall on, it’s likely there will be an expectation to increase the amount tipped as restaurants recover. And a reminder that take-out orders are still orders, someone still makes them, packages them, and gets them ready for delivery. They are still working for the restaurant and still deserve appreciation.