“It’s actually pretty easy, it’s about money”, Robert Belcham explains when asked what some of the foodservice industry’s biggest issues are today. Robert goes on to discuss his perspective of the pay structure in the industry, illustrating a chain effect of how equal pay leads to better morale, better workplace culture, better employee retention, and ultimately a more successful business. I had the pleasure of discussing this and other common foodservice issues with restaurateur, entrepreneur, Chef, and community voice Robert Belcham. This is just a snapshot of some of the insight Robert communicates on The Mise en Place Podcast, an extension of the Chef’s Table Society.
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?
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?
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?
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?
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
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.
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?
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
While the snow may have stopped us from holding our Women's Panel* event on the 12th of March, we are happy to say it let up and allowed our involvement in the inaugural event, the Digital Restaurant Project, on March 14th. Now with summer jobs in the restaurant industry in the works, it only seems … Continue reading The Digital Restaurant Project