We received a deluge of more than 650 emails in response to our appeal to all on the tips that many customers digest badly. The vast majority of readers favor sharing with cooks, although some feel servers should keep it full.
Tipping is a mark of appreciation for good service, so it should be left to the customer’s discretion.
Sharing with the cooks justified
I work in a restaurant where tips are split and I find that to be well justified.
First, because the service that is offered by a waiter is partly the fruit of the cooks. The speed of the arrival of the plates depends mainly on the efficiency of the kitchen. It is the same case for the beauty of the dishes. These two factors necessarily influence the tip at the end.
Second, tipping cooks helps make the job more attractive. The salary is not always representative of the workload. You can spend whole shifts without a break. The “rushes” can drag on for hours. This little bonus certainly has the potential to attract and retain quality employees in this time of labor shortage.
Ultimately, it is a question of equality. Everyone works very hard in the restaurant business and more equal pay is needed. This improved fairness is a cure for jealousy and tension between cooks and service members. Needless to mention, a tension-free work environment benefits the customer, cook, server, and owner.
In favor of sharing
My son is a chef and his CV is extensive. He therefore practices his art in establishments where the bills are “salty”. The servers therefore earn, with tips, two to three times more than him. Yet customers choose with three criteria: food, atmosphere and service. Since the atmosphere is the owner’s responsibility, customer satisfaction depends on the other two criteria. Waiters and waitresses don’t tip if the food isn’t up to par. It’s time to force them to do it.
Yes, I think it’s another form of social solidarity, a sharing of wealth allowing everyone to live better working conditions that are not always easy. From the waiters to the cooks, and everyone in between, all happier to the customers who will also be happy to benefit from the efforts and work of all.
Yes absolutely, it would help us a lot to have better cooks and encourage the new generation to come into the restaurant business. With this lack of employees in the kitchen, it would be an advantage to attract them. And also, we are the only province in Canada to have this kind of law.
Eric Girard, Olive and Gourmando restaurants, Foxy, Un Po Di Piu
When I tip, it’s for the entire service. If my dish is very average and I waited an hour to receive it, regardless of the attitude of the waiter, I’m not happy. Similarly, if I am happy with my experience, everyone who participated is entitled to a share of the tip.
Faced with pay inequity in serviced catering, a mandatory minimum tip (for example 12%) to be shared between the kitchen and service staff with an additional tip to the service staff at the customer’s discretion could be a possible solution.
I worked for 22 years in the restaurant business and I have been saying since the 1980s that tipping is unfair. It is wrong to believe that tipping ensures better service and that an employer cannot assess the quality of his staff and dismiss those who neglect the clientele. From a fiscal point of view, there are many problems both for the government and for the employees. Revenue agencies will never be able to know the exact income of all those who receive tips (waiter, delivery people, taxi drivers, hairdressers, etc.). For employees, you pay less social charges (RAMQ, unemployment, etc.), but you also receive less, a layoff can be more difficult than for other workers. In addition, our credit records do not reflect the fair borrowing capacity of these employees. The cost of a restaurant meal should include a percentage that would be distributed among employees on an equitable basis.
When I tip the waiter, I consider myself to have had good service. The percentage may vary depending on the quality of his service. So it definitely goes back to the server and not the team.
It is true that the kitchen teams do not earn enough and that it is a tough job. But it is clearly not by taking from Pierre that we give to Jacques. It’s just a plan for the tenants to avoid having to pay their kitchen staff reasonably and to wash their hands of it.
Having had five restaurants myself, the tip should stay with the waiter who offers the cooked dishes to the customers. I say a waiter and not a plate carrier. I arrived in Quebec with a background of diplomas in table service and sommelier. I am 18 years old. I earned royal tips and customers came back to see me regularly. If I had a sixth restaurant, I wouldn’t accept servers splitting their tips. Becoming a waiter is an art.
Do not forget that the salary of employees who tip is much lower and that a tip, in my opinion, should be given according to the quality of the service received!
Before thinking about tip sharing, we should perhaps think about the remuneration of restaurant employees.
Why do the owners of these establishments want to change the tipping rule? They want more profits in their pockets. I am a retired waiter and bartender. I am against tip sharing. Subsidize the bosses? No thanks. Whether they pay the cooks their fair value or close up shop.
I’ve been in the restaurant business for over 40 years and don’t agree with sharing tips with the kitchen. I had a bad experience in a restaurant. We gave 30% of our tips to the butler and the kitchen, but the butler was the owner of the establishment and his wife was the cook. The other members of the kitchen never got a penny from what we gave.
As in France, Italy, Australia…
We should do as in France where the service is added. The waiters have a wage guarantee and we avoid the stingy to scroll.
I come from Italy where I spent two wonderful weeks and I loved their restaurants, firstly because the Italian food is simple and delicious, and secondly because when you look at the menu, the price indicated includes taxes and the tip, so no surprise, whereas in Quebec a $25 meal on the menu will actually cost you nearly $40 with the addition of taxes and the tip of 15, 18, 20% or more calculated from original cost plus tax.
I have just come from a trip to Australia where taxes and tip are included in the bill. Marvellous ! Customer service is perhaps a little less friendly, but just as efficient and employees are paid fairly and equitably. Strongly the same with us!
Nathalie Brunette, Gatineau
Personally, I would eliminate tips. I would much prefer to pay more for my meal at the restaurant on the condition, of course, that the salary of the employees is increased, therefore not dependent on tips. If the service is really bad (which doesn’t happen that often), there is always the possibility of complaining to the manager. Conversely, in the case of exceptional service, there is always the possibility of adopting the way of doing things in Europe, ie leaving an additional amount.
Jean Dufresne, Sherbrooke