The growing arguments about the practice of tipping for service deserve some decent airing. Having experienced the attitude towards tipping in Japan, I admit that I would be happy to see it banned in North America. It is demeaning to the people receiving the gratuity as it is for the person paying for it.
I think most of us in Ontario are caught off guard enough when we forget the 13.5 per cent Harmonized Sales Tax that is being added to our bill. If you want us to add another 15 or 20 per cent to that, you are just being generous with our money. And the very idea of raising tipping to 30 per cent is ridiculous.
The practice of tipping for service was corrupted a long time ago by the practice of pooling them so not only the wait staff shared them but the cooks, maître d’, busboys and dishwashers all came into a portion. Casinos get into the action with the tip boxes at table games that are shared with all casino staff. And why we tip people delivering food or anything else to our home is beyond me?
What this practice tells us is that these people are not paid adequately by their employers and we, the customer, are expected to supplement their income. Why? That seems like a precarious way for these people to live. And it gets them in trouble with the tax people when they skim off too much so as to not pay their full tax load.
What gets me annoyed with the practice is when a company adds a tip automatically. And when annoyed enough, I have been known to demand a company reverse that tip. A good example of this was the other day when the wife and I felt like some Swiss Chalet chicken for supper and we stopped on the way home to pick up dinner. As a hangover from Covid rules, they did not want you to wait inside for your order. They asked us to wait at one of their numbered signs outside. An employee brought us our order. It was when I looked at the detailed copy of the bill later, that I noticed we had been charged $4.49 for a tip for the employee who had brought out the food. That just annoyed me.
Ontario would be very smart to phase out tipping whether the rest of the country did or not. It would be a novelty for North America and a shot in the arm for the province’s tourism, convention and hospitality industry.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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