Tipping is likely here to stay in Ontario — but should it?

With minimum wage increasing on Jan. 1, hospitality prof questions culture of tipping. A special lower minimum wage for alcohol servers will soon be eliminated in Ontario, which has reignited a debate over the tipping culture inside bars, restaurants and nightclubs. The minimum wage for alcohol servers is currently $12.55 per hour, while the general minimum wage is $14.35 per hour. Ontario recently announced, starting Jan. 1, 2022, the wage for alcohol servers will also be $15 per hour, on par with the general minimum wage increase. With that wage model change, tipping could soon become a thing of the past. That’s already the case for restaurant owners like Devinder Chaudhary, who opened Aiana Restaurant Collective in August 2020. “We strongly also felt that perhaps [the tipping model] was not the fair and equitable distribution of … service charge,” said Chaudhary, referencing how some employees in the “back of the house” are not as visible as servers, such as sous-chefs and line cooks.

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