Looking Forward Never Forgetting Where I Came From

Click for Free Preview

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Canadians Reputation as Bad Tippers Lives On and Christmas Season is Changing

Just a couple of days ago an excellent blog by teleburst so you want to be a waiter found this article from this guy in Owen Sound Ontario about 100kms from where I live stating the fact he doesn't believe in tipping at all , and that if waiters have to rely on tips to eke out a living they should do something else rather than wait on tables.

Having worked outside of Canada I have experienced the lousy Canadian tipper and know first hand how bad we are abroad. Give me an American to serve any day of the week before one of my own. Not to say we are all bad tippers but this guy from Owen Sound takes it to the extreme. But the fact one person wrote this article makes me wonder how insensitive we are becoming.

Just the last couple of days I will give you an example of where I work which is not fine dining but still is an above average steakhouse. This time of year you don't want to do a party at our place as their is no auto grat added on. In Canada with no auto grat you are playing with fire.

The other day a guy had a table of 10 ladies at lunch and the bill came to over $400. They all paid separately and left $10 tip altogether. He lost money after tip out.

Last night I had a $248 bill for 4 people and they left $10. A couple ordered two Sirloin Oscars and I upsold one of them to a bigger size steak and when they got their bill questioned me on why the two had a different price. Well idiot , what did you think you were getting the bigger steak for the same price? Or what about upselling people to bottled water and getting the reply , why is there something wrong with your tap water? Or how about mentioning the feature and the price and having the guy who is looking away the total time doing an eyeball roll and whistling out of his mouth saying , $28.95 jesus..... then complaining he didn't get enough french fries so I got him a bit extra for nothing and then promptly leaving me a next to nothing tip afterwards. The list goes on and on. People doing parties and making next to nothing.

Thank heavens we do make a higher minimum wage but some nights it is hardly enough. In the States I just want to say that I think even if you had a higher minimum wage than the small amount you make now you would still get the great tips. Here though if we were to make your hourly wage the Canadians would still not tip anywhere close to what the Americans do because we up North are cheap. There I said it!

The only way you can make extraordinary income here is if you work with minimal staff and do corporate banquets where the auto grat is added on or work in a restaurant that caters to the white collar crowd. That essentially means fine dining. Something I used to do but got out of cause working where I am now fits in with some other responsibilities like seeing my kids once in a while. How long I can work serving these morons is another thing though.

Now a note about Christmas season. A waiter friend who has been in the business for forty years said something the other day and it is making sense. Because of the plural society in which we live presently it is now Happy Holiday rather than Merry Christmas because many people do not celebrate Christmas. Therefore a lot of the Xmas staff dinner out now is replaced with a bonus and that is it. The city I work in now has over 50% inhabitants who were not born in Canada.

Another thing is the drinking by law. Now you only have to have .5 parts per million ( or is it 1000) in your blood of alcohol instead of .8 so what a lot of employers are doing now is doing lunches instead of dinners to avoid the police who do not do road checks during the day. They are also making employees sign a waiver to say they are not libel should after the staff dinner someone should have drank too much and gotten in an accident showing their blood alcohol level too high. Therefore not much drinking is taking place.

So a lot of people are eating at home now which may be a trend moving forward.

Well anyway back to the tip situation and the difference between Canadians and Americans is the Canadian is very cautious in nature while the American is more outgoing and it shows in their generosity. I am not saying we here up North are terrible people but I think here we show too much worry about what may happen tomorrow. We are fearful more cause we have been screwed more I think. Without getting political which I am anyway we have no leaders in this country , no innovation going on , no green climate policy , we are rocked by billion dollar misuse of public money scandals every few months , etc etc...Now it is just in our psyche. So we tip less.

Okay that is enough for now. Sorry for blabbing on and on and on and on.......


Anonymous said...

Do you ever go back and proofread your posts? Your grammar us atrocious and you sound like an otherwise very uneducated individual. I MIGHT be interested in reading your blog if I could actually understand what you've written. No wonder you're still a waiter at your age.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Anonymous..thanks for that! And you? Aren't you a waiter too? By the way if you have problems with any of my post just let me know what you do not understand. I will be happy to translate for you.lol

BB said...

Well, bah humbug! I for one haven't had trouble reading your posts.. and think your blog is very interesting.

I think you're on to good points about why there may be less business this holiday season. But I think the bottom line is that there is less money to spend.

Waitersfriend said...

That is such a weak comment from someone who cannot even put his name to it. He should check his own spelling first of all and then worry about 'educating' all of us stupid waiters, who have no other option in life!!

A good post waiter ex, keep up the great work!

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

BB....thank you for the feedback. Was kinda wondering how I suddenly just fell off a cliff. I try to keep the blog interesting and thought provoking. Less money to spend is definitely the biggest reason for sure.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Waitersfriend...thank you and really I do proof read it. Maybe add a comma or start a new sentence if I find myself rambling on. Anyway have a great day today and I will try to make the blog interesting for most.

Bernadette said...

I just started reading your blog the other week...with no problem understanding, and find it rather interesting.

My husband is a bartender (in the states) and there is definitely less money being spent this year...significantly less. They also just enforced a smoking ban in our state and that's had an impact on business as well. People still go out to eat but don't linger after dinner to smoke and have a drink or two.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Bernadette....welcome and thank you for your comment and also joining the list of followers to the blog. The no smoking law will have some effect for sure as it had here but after a while people will just step out for a smoke which can be annoying during service. As a server though don't miss replacing dirty ashtrays. Money is tight everywhere as I am noticing from others when I talk of it.

Anonymous said...

I think you bring up an excellent point about the cheapness of canadians in regards to tipping. I am a canadian living in the US and we have a horrible reputation for being lousy tippers. I tip at least 15 percent and usually 20 percent for good service. Even while living in Canada I did that. Its kind of disgusting to know that there are some that know that people are making less than half of minimum wage as a server but still do not tip enough to compensate for their hard work. Quite being so cheap or just don't come down here. Your giving every other Canadian a bad rap as well. ( yes my grammar is bad)

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Anonymous...it's true but then again compared to other countries excluding the US we probably rate right up there.

Dave said...

Just to be clear, in the United States waitstaff makes a LOWER, not higher, minimum wage. I do not understand why Canadians who visit here are such terrible tippers, as there is no language barrier and I must assume they have at least a rudimentary understanding of the fact that this is how your server makes money. Let's face facts: if you are tipping your server poorly, you are essentially not paying them money you owe them for services rendered. You are stealing from them. It just happens to be done through a cultural/legal loophole that allows you to get away with it. You would not walk into a store and pay $25 for a $200 pair of shoes an then walk out the door. This is morally no different than screwing over your server because you are bein cheap. If you harbor a belief that restaurants should pay differently, that is fine, but they don't and you are well aware of this before you walk in the door. These people's lives are as real as your own. Their rent is as real as your own. Their car payments, medical bills, food, etc. are every bit as real as your own. Imagine your next paycheck being 25% of what you were expecting, and you will understand how your serve feels.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Dave...welcome and thanks for the comment. By the way it's not me you should be explaining that to. I agree. Thanks for weighing in.