A restaurateur on Vancouver Island recently announced that he would be opening the first no tip restaurant in British Columbia, and it seems as though everyone and their mother has an opinion about this no tip concept. Including me. And guess what? This is my blog, so here’s my two cents on what you should know.
1. The food and drink prices at a no tip restaurant will be higher than at a restaurant where a tip is expected. Why don’t people understand this? Unfortunately, the people that seem the most excited about not having to tip the waitress are the same people who lambaste her when pints of beer go up $.35 at their local. I’m sure they’ll totally be willing to pay and extra 15-20% for their burger and fries so they can avoid that generous 8% tip. Just kidding. They totally won’t be.
2. The service won’t be as good. Have you ever wondered why the service at Zambri’s (or a fine-dining restaurant in your area) is generally better than the service at the Old Spaghetti Factory? It’s because the servers at the fancier restaurant make more money. They’re more invested. They know their guests will treat them right if they treat them right first. In a no tip restaurant this isn’t an option. The servers at the new restaurant in Parksville will make $11/hour or (hopefully) $15/hour after profit sharing. Do you know what other servers make $11-$15 an hour? Servers in family chain restaurants and divey pubs. Servers that are used to and capable of giving quality service are used to making $20-$30 an hour, and I’ll wager a bet that they won’t be willing to take the pay cut.
3. There is a hike likelihood that the next restaurant you go to will not be a no tip restaurant. So don’t be a jerk and complain to the server that you have to tip her. It’s awkward and you look like a fool. Just because you don’t like the dominant tip-expected system doesn’t mean you exist outside of it. Your server will still have to tip out 5% of your bill to the kitchen and support staff, even if you leave her nothing. Don’t be that guy that makes her pay to serve you. That guy is the worst.