Tipping, a little extra that is still just as essential

We can become reluctant to tip now that we feel more pressure to do so by paying everything and anything with a card.

Tipping, a little extra that is still just as essential

We can become reluctant to tip now that we feel more pressure to do so by paying everything and anything with a card. But those whose salary depends on it still need it just as much.

• Read also: Here is the tipping guide 2022

• To read also: The tip option invades the machines

• Read also: Five things to know about tipping in Quebec

“I have the impression that it gives extra motivation to do the extra little attention, to spend the extra minute with the customer,” says Nicolas Bergeron, server and manager at Bistro Tendresse, in Montreal, about tipping.

In this restaurant where everything is vegan, the cooks receive 17.5% of all tips. A way to motivate them too.

"For us it's important, we work very closely with the cooks, we are able to do our job thanks to them," he says.

In more than 12 years in the industry, Nicolas Bergeron observes that cooks receive 4% to 8% of tips, when they receive any at all.

A system that works well

At the end of the week, cooks at Le Tendresse can expect to earn $3 to $4 an hour more. Servers make $11.40 an hour before calculating the tip.

“There would be a way to do without, but the price of the plates would rise drastically. The system works well like that, it's good for us and for the customer,” he believes.

Because being a waiter, "it's still a job that is valued at the height of the tips you receive".

The Bistro Tendresse is open for lunch and dinner, in a classic formula. Which is not the case for everyone.

Important everywhere

The restaurateur Isabelle Picard, she is only open for lunch, which pushes her to better pay her servers, because they work less.

“To have employees who work 3-4 hours a day, I cannot pay them $11.40 an hour. It is important for me to give them a more substantial base salary,” says the owner of Café Eugene in Montreal.

They are paid “at least” $15 an hour, or even more, to which tips are added.

"Of course for them, it's essential, it improves their salary," she believes.

As for the new payment terminals that strongly encourage leaving 18% or 20% tip, you have to be careful, says the restaurateur.

“There is the option “other”, I explain it. They can leave whatever they want. With this option, they can put a percentage or an amount themselves,” she explains.

Pay daily expenses

It's not just in restaurants and bars where it's tradition to tip. This is also the case with the hairdresser, for example, although it is not as codified.

“People still often leave it on the sly, in the drawer or in person,” laughs Debbie de Kochendoerffer, owner of the Debbie Coiffure salon in Montreal.

Of the seven hairdressers and hairdressers in her salon, she estimates that the average customer leaves 15% to 20%.

"A good barber can make $200 to $400 a week, but it always depends on the price of the cut," she says.

At Debbie Coiffure, a women's haircut costs around $100 and half as much for men.

The owner explains that most of her employees manage to pay their daily expenses with tips.

“Wine, food, lunches, cigarettes and that kind of expense,” she says.

But whether at the hairdresser, in a restaurant or elsewhere, you must always remain vigilant when tipping, reminds Gisèle Huard, a friendly retiree from Montreal.

“I always feel that they want us to give more. I don't like it," she said.


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