Restaurants and Ontario’s Minimum Wage Increase

I’ve had several people ask about my thoughts relative to the increase in the Ontario minimum wage and restaurants.   Here is my stream of consciousness perspective.  I am sure more will occur to me as I think about it more and have the chance to speak with people in the industry, 1 – It will … Continue reading Restaurants and Ontario’s Minimum Wage Increase

Are we hiring the wrong servers?

We've all heard the stories about restaurants hiring attractive young servers and forcing them to wear "sexy" clothes. Research suggests that many factors, including the server's appearance, increase the size of the tip paid at the end of the meal. That makes the server happy but is it good for the restaurant? A new paper … Continue reading Are we hiring the wrong servers?

Is Tipping Contributing to Gender Inequity in Restaurants?

Gender inequity in restaurant management has been in the news again recently. While there has been a lot of hand wringing and finger pointing, there has been much less discussion about what, if anything, we should do about it. It is relatively clear that restaurant management is dominated by men (we have recent survey data … Continue reading Is Tipping Contributing to Gender Inequity in Restaurants?

What are the Lessons from the Earls Beef Imbroglio?

We saw in the news yesterday that Earls Restaurants has announced that they have sourced the beef they want for a portion of their Canadian restaurants from Canadian suppliers. Earls apologized for not working harder to find Canadian product and committed to finding more Canadian product that meets their specifications. They did not say they … Continue reading What are the Lessons from the Earls Beef Imbroglio?

What’s the Beef?

The uproar around the Earl’s beef announcement is not surprising but the invective is been disappointing. I thought I’d reflect on what I see (based on our research and my experience) what the real issues are and how we might move forward. Apologies – it’s a bit of a long one. Is “Humane” a red … Continue reading What’s the Beef?

The Case for a Service Charge

I’ve had frequent discussions on the emerging trend to get rid of tipping.   Many people whose opinion I respect argue that the best approach is to simply raise prices. They cite Danny Meyers and his Union Square Hospitality Group’s announcement that tipping will disappear in their restaurants to be replaced by higher prices. My friend … Continue reading The Case for a Service Charge

Is the new Ontario Tip Law a good thing? Maybe not.

There’s been buzz again about the bill to ban employers from taking a share of tips. While Michael Prue was defeated, the bill has been revived by the Liberal MPP who beat him. There appears to be broad support as it heads off to committee for discussion. The basic premise is the “employers” cannot take … Continue reading Is the new Ontario Tip Law a good thing? Maybe not.

No Tipping? Now What?

The no tipping movement seems to be gaining momentum. We’re hearing multiple stories about restaurant groups (Danny Meyers’ Union Square Hospitality Group) and individual restaurants pledging to move away from tipping.   There are a number of good reasons: The ability to distribute wages more equitably – particularly to pay kitchen staff more and to improve … Continue reading No Tipping? Now What?

$15 Minimum wage could kill tipping

There has been significant discussion about an increase in the minimum wage to $15/hour.  Seattle has implemented a $15/hour minimum and LA, among others, has committed to moving towards it.  Rachel Notley, Alberta's new NDP Premier has committed to this standard in Alberta and there is more and more discussion about it across Canada.  The … Continue reading $15 Minimum wage could kill tipping

Separate tips for separate elements????

Thoughts for Food

A friend and former student of mine (who happens to be a musician sent me the attached photo and asked me for my opinion.  The bill has two separate lines for tips – one for the food and/or drinks and one for the live music.  You can understand why the owner might want to separate the two – it allows them perhaps to pay the musicians less and ask the guests to fund the musicians.  It seems reasonable at first blush but I think there are some inherent problems.  Its clear that musicians add value (at least hopefully) to the experience.  A tipping convention would then have them share in the tips as an appreciation of that contribution.  

My fist concern is that this approach highlights just a single source of additional value. The staff in the kitchen add value to the experience but are not highlighted differently.  Its clear…

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