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You've Got to be Kidding...

The Tip of the Iceberg


Jonathan van Bilsen

June 15, 2022

The Tip of the Iceberg

Tipping after a meal has long been a standard in this country, as well as in the US, but perhaps it is finally becoming a thing of the past.

Many of you are aware, especially those who have travelled to the land down under, tipping in Australia and New Zealand is unheard of. In Europe, gratuities and taxes are included in the price of the meal, and it appears the same trend is taking shape in North America, at least Ontario.

Several restaurants in the Ottawa area, as well as a few in Toronto, are paying their staff a comparable wage – in and around $23 an hour. They have raised the price of meals accordingly, but tipping is no longer expected, required or accepted. 

Kitchen staff are ecstatic about the concept, as they never realized very much from tipping. Most of the gratuity went to the wait staff. Patrons, already faced with post-pandemic hikes in meal prices, are pleased at the prospect.

When you think about the concept, you have to appreciate its origin. The word tips is actually an acronym, stemming back to days of old when knights were bold, and so forth. People would enter an Inn, and to make sure they were well looked after, a token amount of money was given to the server, To Insure Prompt Service – TIPS.

Very few other professions have the ability to increase their income by tips, and I agree that restaurant staff should be paid the same rate as other professions. I never understood why they needed a separate wage level to everyone else.

Perhaps the lead these restaurants are taking will catch on. The days of leaving 15 cents at the Kresge counter are long gone, and now 20% gratuity is becoming the norm. 

Something to think about!

Jonathan van Bilsen is a television host, award winning photographer, published author, columnist and keynote speaker. Watch his show, ‘Jonathan van Bilsen’s photosNtravel’, on RogersTV, the Standard Website or YouTube.

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