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August 07, 2021

What would happen if we all stopped tipping?

The last time we talked about tipping, most viewed the practice as a necessary evil that protects downtrodden workers from their gouging employers. Not that Canadian workers are as badly off as some.

In the US, a server may make only $2-$3 hourly ($2.13 is the federal minimum hourly wage for tipped workers) whereas in Canada the minimum wage for servers is around $9, depending on where you live.

But, let's face it, nobody would work in a bar or a restaurant for that kind of money alone, although they gladly do so elsewhere. 

In no place other than America are people paid $1 as a standard "thanks" for delicately removing the top off of a glass bottle or pulling a pint, explains one ex-bartender.

The problem: The more we tip, the less servers are paid. The less they're paid, the more we are pressured to tip. The solution: Companies should be forced to pay employees reasonable wages. How do we get there? By tipping less, although that's going to be tough on workers in the short term.

But now is the time to fight back, argues The Chuck Foxtrot Page.

"Tipping is supposed to be the prerogative of the paying patron. It was meant to give you, the patron, two means of veto power: One, the satisfaction of rewarding the server with something they don’t have to forward to their bosses, and; two, a veto in case the meal or the service is objectionable. Mandatory tipping takes both of those rights away from you."

What do you think? Would you join an anti-tipping movement? Or have you done so already?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money




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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...