To tip or not to tip? This question has raised a lot of attention in the past year as many restaurateurs in Canada have considered to ban voluntary tipping and raise overall menu pricing to compensate.
For restaurateur, John Chetti, tipping has played an important role in the success of his popular string of family-style pizzerias, Queen Margherita Pizza. Recently, he weighed in on the hot tipping debate at the Restaurants Canada Show.
The tipping debate panel lead by TV & Radio Host, Pay Chen, consisted of industry leaders who stripped down the pros and cons of voluntary tipping versus service-inclusive pricing policies; Corey Mintz of The Toronto Star, Bruce McAdams of Food & Tourism Management at Guelph School of Hospitality, Jamie Drummond of Good Food Revolution, Hemant Bhagwani of Indian Street Food Co. & John Chetti of Queen Margherita Pizza.
Although many restaurants are coming forward being against tipping, Chetti believes that cash has always ruled for servers, not to mention customers too.
According to John Chetti, here are the 5 key points of why restaurants can’t afford not to tip:
1. When restaurants decide to eliminate tipping and factor gratuity into food costs, it’s the customer that ultimately suffers. Whether their meal deserved a gold star or was merely mediocre, diners are left with a large bill regardless of the food quality or service experienced. Diners also may still feel prone to tip on top of their highly priced meal in fear of looking impolite.
2. Restaurant tipping is deeply ingrained in the Canadian diner’s lifestyle. Tipping gives them the power to say how well the service was that evening. At 20 percent gratuity being the commonly accepted rate, restaurants know to follow-up on service standards for any bills that received less than 15 percent.
3. For servers who earn the majority of their salary in tips, many of these people can afford to spend some extra cash on eating out. By eliminating tips, the restaurant economy will lose one of their best customers, servers.
4. Most often servers are expected to pool a percentage of their tips at the end of each shift to be divided amongst the restaurant staff that can include the kitchen crew, bar and hostess team. This pooling of tips creates a family-style atmosphere where everyone gets a piece of the pie. Without tips, this chain is broken and there is a possibility of hostility amongst the team.
5. Because restaurant owners can control the cash flow of increased menu pricing, they would end up taking the factored in tips that aren’t meant for them, but for the staff that has earned it.
Learn more about John
John Chetti’s journey as a restaurateur all started in 2009 when he founded the authentic Italian pizzeria, Queen Margherita Pizza. A year later he opened the doors to his first space in Leslieville. Since then, his family-friendly place sprouted their Dundas and Baby Point spots with a fourth location in the works. It didn’t take long before the pizzeria was quoted by Toronto Life as one of the Top 10 Best Restaurants in the city. And for 7 years in a row, the pizza joint has been labeled by the well-known restaurant critic, Joanne Kates, as one of the 100 Best Restaurants in Toronto. In order for a restaurant to be successful, John lives by the rule of staying focused on one thing, and doing it really well.
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