Tipping: Companies get their arms twisted

The fashion for tipping is even more widespread than I could have imagined when I wrote my first text on this sensitive subject, which generates as much discussion as it does anger.

Posted at 7:30am

“Even my mechanic entered the tip on his payment terminal. During an oil change last week, I was surprised to find that I now also had to go through the “15, 18 or 20%” tip phase. It has no end,” Jean-Pierre wrote to me, apparently upset.

Chloe went through the same thing when it came time to pay a plumber.

“He gives me an Interac terminal to pay the bill for the first day of work. A decent $2800. The famous Tipping Trio was featured. I was horrified! Of course, I refused to tip a worker for whom I was being charged $100 an hour. This is indecency! “You still have to have the front.

Pierre regrets that tipping is also offered to customers at a flower shop in the Ahuntsic neighborhood of Montreal.

Many of you want this often incoherent spread to stop. Will we ever have to tip at McDonald’s, the Rona Garden Center, and the grocery store that serves take-out food there too? Why not follow the example of other countries where tipping is included in the price?

These are very valid questions that affect our portfolio as well as our values. Hence the discussions on this topic. But nobody has answers. One thing is for sure, the labor shortage is causing all sorts of unexpected phenomena, including the multiplication of customer requests for tips.

Give in to employee pressure

The president and co-founder of Mamie Clafoutis bakeries, Nicolas Delourmel, can attest to this very well. He was persecuted by his employees for a year, he told me. “I wasn’t for it and I kept my end. But I was under too much pressure from the staff. I had no choice but to set this up lately. Otherwise we would lose ours Employee. »


PHOTO SUPPLIED BY NICOLAS DELOURMEL

Mamie Clafoutis Bakery President and Co-Founder Nicolas Delourmel notes that the notion of tipping is now distorted in Quebec.

According to the entrepreneur, “it’s not right” that tipping is becoming commonplace, especially at a time when retail prices are skyrocketing. He therefore wanted the “zero tip” option to be displayed on the payment terminals as clearly as the “% and $” options. “I really wanted the customers to see the zero, otherwise they feel cheap! Because it’s pressure. »

This compromise has kept staff happy while also providing an option for customers who are out of change. In fact, some had contacted headquarters to express their desire to be able to tip electronically.

But this establishment in the nine branches of Mamie Clafoutis has not only made people happy.

A commotion ensued that Nicolas Delourmel had not counted on.

In the beginning, clerks by the age of 14 or 15 were making almost twice as much as bakers who have 30 years of experience and get up at midnight. It created another problem. It was hectic.

Nicolas Delourmel, President and co-founder of the Mamie Clafoutis Bakery

The staff doing the service have therefore agreed to give 30% of the tip to the team that makes the croissants and the breads.

Also in St-Hubert, during the pandemic, management finally accepted that take-out and drive-thru workers receive tips to facilitate hiring and employee retention.


PHOTO FRANÇOIS ROY, LA PRESSE ARCHIVE

Richard Scofield, President and CEO of Rôtisseries St-Hubert

“We have no choice, otherwise people will work elsewhere,” says President and CEO Richard Scofield, specifying that the internal policy is “8%-10%-12% and no advertising.” These employees “usually” pass on their tips to the kitchen team, which also makes the kitchen job more attractive. On the other hand, those who serve at the tables do not share.

The problem is that the Labor Standards Act prohibits employers from requiring the sharing of tips. The attractiveness of jobs behind the stove also depends on the people who provide the service. The Association Restoration Québec hopes to modernize the law.

What status and salary?

Many of you have asked me how much all these employees who now have access to tips are making. Are they really tipping staff? If you knew that the decision to put 15% on the bill would be easier, you wrote to me.

Evidence provided that the employees at the cash desks are – with a few exceptions – not tip employees.

Since 1ah As of May 1st, the minimum wage in Quebec is $14.25 and $11.40 for employees who receive tips. However, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to rent at these prices, which are the minimum allowed and not the standard, restaurateurs say. In short, the employees who serve you generally make more than $14.25 an hour.

This does not mean, as some believe, that the tips they receive are not taxable. All Quebecers are required to report tips received, including cash, to the tax authorities.

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