[AUDIO] A restaurant in Québec city accused of racial profiling by a Vancouver

News 26 August, 2017
  • Screenshot Yelp

    Michael Labranche

    Friday, 25 August, 2017 16:28

    Friday, 25 August, 2017 16:28

    Look at this article

    A Vancouverites said to be done to automatically add the tip on his bill, because a restaurant of Quebec believed it was a tourist from asia.

    Melvin Pan spoke of his history, which would have occurred To Older Canadians, with the moderator Minelle Mahtani at Roundhouse Radio, a radio station in Vancouver.

    Here’s what he said.

    “I took advantage of the meal, the food was good, service was good, but when I received my bill, I noticed that there were 15% more for a service fee. Normally, I have no desire to give the tip, but I don’t like that it automatically turns on the invoice.”

    “I questioned the server about it. He told me that in Quebec, you have to give the tip. I would have given him 18-20%. I told myself that it was the same thing for all customers of the restaurant and that it worked this way in Quebec. Then, I went to the bathroom and washing his hands of a white man older arrived. I talked to him about this.”

    In speaking with the man, Melvin Pan has learned that the latter had not had these charges and that he had been able to choose the amount for the tip.

    “It was my first clue that something was wrong, but I went back to my table, I paid the bill and I’m gone. Twenty minutes later, I was going to take an Uber and I have looked on the app Yelp. Someone had posted a photo of his invoice in the comments, and there were no charges that I had. It was the final clue for me. I cancelled my Uber, I called the restaurant and a girl answered me. I said to him : “Hello, I just went to your restaurant, I spent a good time, but I have a question. When people go to your restaurant, they can choose the tip amount, right?” The girl answered me : “yes?” I then asked him why me, I was made to impose. She went to get her manager. When he took to the line, he immediately started to apologize. It was there that he told me that the service charges were for the tourists to asians who come from China, Japan and Korea because, according to him, to give tipping is not common in these countries. He continued by telling me that some of the tourists did not give a tip and it is for this reason that it adds it directly on the invoice.

    “It is rather sickening”

    “I was really surprised. It had never happened to me before. Throughout the meal, I spoke to the server about the menu when he knew my level of English. I don’t have to focus chinese. I don’t understand how he was able to confuse me with a chinese tourist. I was still happy for me to realize that I wasn’t crazy and that something wasn’t right.”

    “Immediately after talking to the manager, he offered me to come back to the restaurant to refund me the tip. I am then returned. I was getting frustrated. We had a lively discussion in a small room. I réexpliquait the situation with tourists in asia. I then said to him : “First, I’m from Vancouver. Secondly, I speak English perfectly. And third, even if I was Chinese, it is not correct to directly include the tip.” Either you do it for everyone, or you don’t do it at all. Do you base not on race. It is rather sickening. […] He apologized, but he never said that the restaurant would stop this practice.”

    A little later, Pan said he met a family of asian to his hotel. In speaking with the father, he realized that a similar situation had happened to him an hour earlier.

    “I didn’t tell him not asked what restaurant he went to, but I am quite certain that it is actually profiler like me. This is not just once, I think it is common. I’m not saying this is everyone, but it happens often.”

    Melvin Pan said that this experience taught him much and that he now knows what other people feel when they experience racism. He indicates that he will keep now eye open for him, but also for others so that situations like the one that he has experienced does not happen again.

    Here’s the full extract.