Restaurants banning tipping and transitioning to “gratuity included” pricing is not a new concept. While such arrangements rarely last, from time-to-time news breaks of avant-garde restaurateurs who attempt to throw off the tipping yoke, and launch eateries where management (and not patrons) have control over staff compensation leading (in theory) to a more equitable workplace. The thought process is that gratuities left to wait staff, even in establishments that engage in some form of tip pooling, are rarely distributed “fairly” to the important people who work in the kitchen, clear the tables, and take the reservations. The solution? Mark-up menu prices by 20% and pay all staff a living wage.
The minimum wage in British Columbia is set out in the Regulation of the Employment Standards Act. Since May 1, 2011 there has been a separate minimum wage for employees who serve liquor in British Columbia. The general minimum wage is currently $10.25 per hour, whereas the minimum wage for those who serve liquor is $9.00 per hour.