Wednesday August 20, 2014

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

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To tip or not to tip? That’s the question

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Why don’t we pay these people a fair wage and let the “tip” be relative to the level of service provided and at the discretion of the customer?

It’s a touchy topic – both for customers and servers – but wouldn’t this put an end to the whole debate?

It’s happening in much of Europe and also in Toronto – “tips” at higher end restaurants are either becoming a mandatory amount (about 20 per cent of your bill) or, they are being automatically tacked on to your bill, with or without your consent. Service levels no longer factor in, you will tip regardless and you will tip well. That said, the idea behind the concept is that staff will be so ecstatic with the arrangement that they will give their all each and every day. The topic has now carried through to Saskatchewan where changes may loom on the horizon. Back in a day, weren’t tips generally representative of superior service? If you were happy with your meal and the care your server provided, you tipped accordingly. Now I realize servers of today (not all, but many of them) aren’t paid a high wage. These people depend on gratuity to boost their income. But is it right they can show up to work, (and I’m not saying everyone would do this, but you know there would be some) put in their time without any giving any special effort and still bring home the same tips as the guy who goes that extra mile? I don’t think so.

There are plenty of people who work hard – but in different industries – they too are underpaid yet they can’t rely on tips to pay the bills, no matter how much effort they put forth. In my opinion, people should be paid fairly and wage should be based on performance. If you’re not performing up to par then you shouldn’t be expecting that raise, or any type of tips for that matter – except maybe if they come in the form of advice on how you can pull up your socks. On the flip side, if you’re dedicated, if you excel at what you do, you’re an example to others and you go above and beyond in your role then as far as I’m concerned, you are deserving of the proper pay. Fair is fair.

I do believe in tipping and I do tip, but there’s nothing worse than sitting down to a fancy meal, for which you wind up paying a good dollar for, receiving poor service, and then being expected to fork over a hefty tip. It isn’t just. This isn’t a debate that will be solved overnight. Nothing involving money ever is, but as a paying customer, I expect value for my dollar and why should my hard earned dollar pay the salary of someone who isn’t deserving?


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