$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????

Clearing My Head

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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Animal Welfare Certification

I posted this earlier on my own blog but I think its worth reading for people interested in restaurants.

Clearing My Head

I was speaking in PEI a couple of weeks ago and someone asked me about animal welfare certification.  The question is an interesting one.  Certification has been important in organics although there are increasingly questions about the value in third party certification if respected brands are claiming organic.  This will be an interesting evolution.  There are a couple of points worth noting that are likely to influence the development in this area:

1 – the importance of brands.  Many food service companies and retailers are making commitments with respect to animal welfare standards.  It is important to them to protect their brands so they have a strong incentive to “certify” and audit that their suppliers are meeting those commitments.  I really wonder if additional third party certification will add value or enforcement to this process.  A&W is making commitments on a number of attributes including animal welfare.  If it is…

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Does Raising Minimum Wage Actually Lower Some Wages?

We’ve heard rumblings of a rise in the minimum wage in Ontario.  There will be considerable debate about the trade-offs between higher wages and jobs.  Its pretty clear there is a relationship but I won’t get into that discussion.  What i do think merits some attention is the policy objective for minimum wages specifically in … Continue reading Does Raising Minimum Wage Actually Lower Some Wages?

Another food fight

I posted this on my own blog and thought it might be interesting for some of our readers here.I read the announcement from A&W last week with interest.  They announced that they would no longer use beef produced with hormones or antibiotics used for uses other than therapeutic treatment (awbetterbeef.ca).  I’ve seen some criticism in … Continue reading Another food fight

Jonathon Bloom Speaking on Food Waste

We're very excited to be presenting Jonathon Bloom, author of American Wasteland, at the University of Guelph on Oct 3, 2013.  Jonathon is a leading authority on food waste and is internationally recognized.  We're lucky to be able to present him on campus.  Please take the time to come and hear what he has to … Continue reading Jonathon Bloom Speaking on Food Waste

Are we scaring students away?

This past semester, two students (Matthew Acevedo and Lindsay Barron) undertook a project to evaluate hospitality student perceptions of their industry as employer.  They surveyed students from across Canada.  Their report is linked. Executive Summary Report Detailed question by question responses for the entire survey are also available. While  overall hospitality students retain a passion … Continue reading Are we scaring students away?

The Tipping Point – Is There a Fair Share?

There has been considerable discussion around the ownership of gratuities left in restaurants.  Recently, two high profile media stories reported servers complaining about having to pay the house a share of their tips.  There is also a Private Member’s Bill in Ontario that would forbid restaurants from taking any share of tips from servers. The … Continue reading The Tipping Point – Is There a Fair Share?