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

Animal Welfare Certification

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

Thoughts for Food

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?

Read all about it: UGSRP ‘Tipped Out?’ Forum a success!

This past Monday April 29th UGSRP held its ‘Tipped Out?’ forum at George Brown College in Toronto. Speakers at the event included academics, restaurateurs and a member of provincial parliament. The audience of industry members and students was treated to a two-hour passionate discussion about this very controversial subject. Here are some of the highlights. … Continue reading Read all about it: UGSRP ‘Tipped Out?’ Forum a success!

PJ’s Does It Again!

Congratulations to PJ's Restaurant in the Atrium at the University of Guelph for ranking as one of Canada's Greenest Restaurants for the second consecutive time! This past year has been quite eventful for the student-run restaurant as they have also achieved the Level 2 Certification from LEAF!LEAF Reveals its 2nd Annual “Canada’s Greenest Restaurants” List LEAF … Continue reading PJ’s Does It Again!

Chef Michael Smith’s Take on Sustainability

Canadian Chef Michael Smith is a leader in the food world in terms of sustainability. He learned that sustainability and local fresh food was a valuable asset to customers from the beginning of his career, at The Inn at Bay Fortune in Prince Edward Island. When he first started out he began to realize the … Continue reading Chef Michael Smith’s Take on Sustainability