Make tips

News 11 July, 2017
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    Evelyne Couturier

    Tuesday, 11 July, 2017 10:05

    Tuesday, 11 July, 2017 10:19

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    Do you know where are the tips? Originally, it was a small amount of money that we gave to the servers when arriving at the restaurant in the hope that it gives us a good place and a good service. Thus, the “to drink” was addressed to us : we were paid to drink and not to offer a drink in exchange for excellent service. In English, the word ” tip “would be the acronym of” to insure promptness “. While the practice began in England in the Seventeenth century, it was widespread at the option of the travel of those who have adopted it. Since then, the ways of doing things have evolved. In Europe, tipping is rare, whereas here, it is mandatory. And it is no longer ” buy “a service, but rather the” reward “. But, is this just to much?

    One of the problems of tipping in restaurants is that it is given to a single person, but for the whole experience. The burger was dry? The sun was beating down too strong on the terrace? The soup was too salty? The children of the next table were rowdy? If this is the case, there is a risk of giving less so that the fault does not come from the service. And if, on the contrary, the plates are well presented and the content, delicious, the sub-chief will not receive a bonus for his good work, however, directly related to the tip that will be given. In more and more restaurants, it tries to compensate by distributing the gratuities to all the staff in the dining room, but still rarely in the kitchen. However, this is not the entire staff who receives a lower wage because of tips and who to declare.

    In effect, the minimum wage is often different if the employment is a tip or not. In Quebec, if the attendant to the cashier of a fast food restaurant receives a salary of at least the $ 11.25 an hour, the waitress in the restaurant side will not be paid as 9,45 per hour, the lowest salary in Canada (but it could be worse : in the United States, the minimum wage for tipped federal is only 2,13 $.) But be careful! When she files her income tax return, it will be necessary to consider all of her tips in her income (which may substantially increase its hourly wage). Revenu Québec considers that 8% of the sales are the minimum that should be provided, otherwise the employer has to compensate. It must then complete a statement for each pay period. The process is complex, but is also designed so that employers feel comfortable to under-pay their employees. They can keep the price of food is ” low ” since it will be for the client to complete the salary. This lack of accountability translates into the outsourcing of living wage directly to customers. Difficult in such a context to say that the tip is optional, or even entirely at the discretion of the customer.

    But the very fact of receiving gratuities force there the waiters and waitresses to be the best? Already, such thinking is simplistic. Is it that teachers do their work only in the hope of receiving a cup at the end of the year? Is the service at the hardware store would be much better if we slipped a $ 5 note in the hands of the person who helps us to choose the best table on the patio for our back yard? The work in restaurant is very demanding. He runs upright, with dexterity, usually with a smile, asks a good memory, and it requires knowing how to adapt to each table. In addition, customers will often give up the right to be rude, or coarse, a practice sometimes difficult to denounce, when it is hoped a tip at the end of the evening. Studies were made to determine what kind of service received the most money from the customers. To the surprise of many, the tip depends much more on the customer service. Indeed, everyone has its habits and has a tendency to keep them. Thus, if a server wants to make the most money, it should aim for the amount of tables, and not the quality of the service (though a minimum is required!). It happens, of course, exceptions, but they are rare (and not always of a nature to change a life, or even an evening).

    Another way to do it, most just, would be to simply abolish the tip and provide real living wages to people who work in restaurants. This can be done in several ways : by increasing the price of food and drinks, by adding a percentage of “administrative fee” to the invoice, or even creating a “fee table” fixed.

    The challenge is however to make the process transparent because the clients are accustomed to a certain way of doing things. On the one hand, giving a tip is a reflex difficult to lose, and in the other we have a tendency to judge the affordability of the menus, ignoring taxes or gratuity. When the latter is included, it should be clear that a comparison is possible. In addition, the waitresses and servers may also be reluctant to the idea of changing the way of work, since the distribution of the equivalent of tips to the team as a whole may mean a reduction in salary for some.

    One thing is certain, that a true change can occur, this will have to be done beyond the individual will of the owners of the restaurant to ensure fairness for the workers of the restoration. They have the right to decent conditions of work, whether they work in a neighbourhood restaurant or a 5 star. And although they are ” servers “, that doesn’t make them ” servants “.