Latest Videos from CTV Edmonton
“No tipping” at local eateries
Steven Dyer, CTV Edmonton
Published Tuesday, March 7, 2017 11:05PM MST
Last Updated Tuesday, March 7, 2017 11:21PM MST
Some local restaurants in Edmonton have started a “no tipping” policy that has some employees happy, while leaving customers confused.
Café Linnea in Queen Mary Park is attracting attention with its “no tipping” policy, co-owner Garner Beggs says that it just makes sense.
“Our promise to our servers is that we'll be paying them a living wage, if not better,” said Beggs.
“We're the owners, they're making us money to do this job so the risk should be us to pay them for the money, not relying on the good will of strangers to come and make up that difference.”
The policy is what attracted Theodore Fox to the restaurant, he works as a server and says that even when tips are good, relying on them can be tiring.
“Really hard to get a consistent wage right? And tips are also not insurable which is a real pain if you have to go on EI or go on parental leave or anything like that,” said Fox.
Garner Beggs said that the cost of paying higher wages is factored into the prices on the menu, though even after hearing that some customers are still baffled at the idea.
“It's hard to wrap my mind around especially because the service has been great. Part of me wants to leave a tip anyways,” said customer Paula Man.
“But it’s been really good in terms of knowing their being paid a good wage.”
Man also said she thinks Edmontonians would be willing to embrace the idea of higher prices instead of tipping.
“I don’t think the food is overpriced or anything, I think it’s worth what it is. I think a lot of us don’t really take into consideration how much the tip really does impact the end cost anyway, I think you’re paying the same no matter what,” said Man.
A restaurant where you aren’t supposed to tip isn’t an entirely new concept in Canada, an Earls in Calgary toyed with the idea of adding a 16 per cent hospitality charge to the bill automatically and a café in Vancouver eliminated it by raising the employees’ wages.
At Earls the idea was ultimately rejected by customers and in Vancouver the owner said that the cost of the higher wages simply became unmanageable.
Garner Beggs said he got the idea for the “no tipping” model while he was living in Japan where not tipping is the norm.
Tony Phung, the owner of the Chinese and Vietnamese restaurant Grain Rice, says that many countries in Asia have the “no tipping” policy.
“We're in Canada and we're a very diverse country we get a lot of immigrants and even second generations whose parents who come from Asia and they're used to not tipping,” said Phung.
Phung says he operates on a commission model and believes this gives incentives to his employees as well as protection.
“So all our servers actually make a percentage of whatever food they sell in the day. In that way they work hard in being credible in the food they're selling and it encourages them to upsell at the table level.”
Though some customer said they would be ignoring the policy and will still be tipping, saying it’s the Canadian thing to do.
“We're generous here, we say sorry when we're not supposed to and we tip when we're not supposed to,” said Jay Quraishi.
“It’s customary, it’s weird not leaving a tip you know what I mean? We’ll still leave one,” said Cindy Wenzel, a fellow customer.
With files from Nicole Weisberg