B.C. restaurant reignites gratuity debate with 'no-tip' policy

Who deserves a tip and how much should one give has long been debated by restaurant consumers.

Sask. manager, customers believe there are challenges to a 'no-tip' system

A new B.C. restaurant is going with a 'no tip' system for their staff. (Toby Talbot/Associated Press)


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A restaurant in British Columbia is causing a big debate about tipping.

Who deserves a tip and how much one should give has long been debated by restaurant customers. But this particular B.C. restaurant, Smoke and Water, is going with a 'no tip' system for their staff.
Instead, servers will make more than the average wage per hour, plus they will be a part of a profit-sharing program at the end of each month.

Some of the prices may be slightly more expensive than other restaurants. However, the owner of Smoke and Water expects consumers will still pay less by eliminating gratuity costs.

That news has some restaurateurs in Saskatchewan talking, including Mark Bologna, who is a manager at Leopold's Tavern in Regina.

"It might be a good niche for that business," Bologna said. "But with the entire industry being on a gratuity based system, it definitely would cause some challenges."

Gary Horse, a customer in Regina, said he's not sure about a 'no-tip' system.

"What if your service is better than normal?" Horse asked. "How could you tip that way?"

Bologna said there could also be an impact on your dining experience.

"You might risk quality of service 'cause there's no incentive for the server to put on that smile or go that extra mile," Bologna said.

The minimum wage in Saskatchewan will increase to $10.20 per hour in October.


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