Earls in Calgary will start a new idea and that is a flat 16% hospitality fee that would be added to your bill instead of tipping.
We reached out to some local owners to get their thoughts.
Blake Trotter / Owner GM of Browns Socialhouse
I think having a 16% flat fee instead of the option of tipping would have a very negative effect on our business. However if all restaurants were to do this idea then it would be different. With the oil business being down we have seen a huge difference in sales and this tipping concept would not help anyone.
Chad Wahlin / Owner GM of Joe Beeverz and Blu Kitchen and Bar
I guess they can call it whatever they want, gratuity or tax, it's ending up in the same place. I couldn't imagine enforcing an automatic gratuity on all guests in our restaurants, especially in a market like Brandon.
On the other hand, it is keeping Earls in the media in a tough market like Alberta right now…. They are following up to their announcement and retraction of them not using Canadian beef, so they are definitely being talked about. I have heard of other restaurants doing this in large markets before, but not an entire chain. It'll be interesting to see the reaction of the guests.
Darren Burdeniuk / Owner and Partner of The Dock
I don't know. Depends what share of that 16% the servers get. The whole hospitality industry relies on tips. If it decreases the servers take home money they will lose some good servers to the competition. I'd love to hear the rational behind the move to 16%.
You know it depends on how hungry I was lol ….. but I think overall the idea isn't great.
Big parties we would have a fee added regardless (18%) personally as a customer it should be in control of the customer. It is polite to tip but cheap people will tip 10 bucks on a 350 dollar bill. I can see both sides of it but it is a very aggressive move.
We look forward to seeing your response with our online poll