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Restaurant tips: What servers want you to know (Marketplace)


>>Tip-out tactics on
your Marketplace. [ ♪♪ ]>>So, ready to go
into restaurants?>>I’m ready.
>>All right.>>We’re going out
for dinner under cover.>>Recording.
>>Recording.>>Heading into some of your
favourite chains to see what servers will dish out but
where your money’s really going.>>Who’s rights?>>Worker’s rights!>>Our story begins with
the rage over minimum wage. The fight being
heard across Canada. Since Ontario
raised the minimum wage, some companies are cutting paid
breaks and reducing benefits.>>I’m here today because of the
gross treatment of these workers are getting in the wake of a
long overdue wage increase.>>Now dozens of servers are
telling us about another tactic called the tip-out.>>I’ll get the
jerk chicken, please. You know, most restaurants
have a tip-out policy, a common practice where servers
share not a portion of their tips but a percentage
of everything they sell. But as the minimum
wage has been hiked, some employers are
hiking the tip-out, too, taking money from the
servers and giving it to the other staff.>>It’s really not fair.>>Grace Ford works at a
family dining chain in Alberta.>>Walk me through this. You make minimum wage.>>Yes, I do. It’s 13.60 right now.>>What do people
in the kitchen make?>>From what I know, there’s
$15 an hour to $32 an hour.>>So why do you have to give
some of your money to them if they’re making more of an
hourly wage than you are?>>They want to make more money
as we begin to make more money but since, you know, times are
hard and my boss cannot afford to pay them more money, he’s
going to take more money out of my total sales and food for the
day instead of giving them a higher wage.>>That sounds to me like you’re
subsidizing your employer.>>Yeah, it does feel like it.>>Grace forks over 4% of all
the food she sells but that’s about to increase to 5%. Just in the past week, how
much have you tipped out?>>I’ve tipped out $413.62.>>So even if she
doesn’t get tipped, she’s still on the hook to
pay that percentage to the restaurant.>>I am a little frustrated. There’s days where I work 12
hours and I still, you know, I give out $80 that I’ve
worked all day for.>>Money Grace is saving
to go to nursing school.>>Hard-earned money that I
have sweat and almost cried over through the past week working
for that just kind of disappears into thin air.>>She’s not alone but she’s
one of the few people willing to go public. So to find out how
widespread this is, we’re checking out
some popular chains. First up, a Kelsey’s
location in Ontario. We’re protecting the identity
of servers who could lose their jobs for speaking up.>>Same story at Sunset Grill. And when we head into Moxie’s.>>It’s like a
wild west out there.>>Deena Ladd has been
fighting for worker’s rights for over two decades.>>No restaurant owner should
be using tips to compensate for the minimum wage.>>She says the
tip-out tactic is unfair.>>If they are trying to recruit
that money to pay other people or to cover other costs, then
that needs to get challenged and we need to make sure
that people know about it.>>Because it’s happening
almost everywhere we visit. [ ♪♪ ]>>At Eastside Mario’s.>>And at The Keg. [ ♪♪ ]>>Seven of Canada’s most
popular restaurant chains have increased their tip-outs
since the minimum wage hike. What it looks like is that
employers are giving a raise to people in the kitchen but the
employer isn’t paying for it, the servers are paying for it?>>If I was a restaurant owner,
I’d be sitting down with my staff and I would be creating a
fair tip pool that is not taking it out on servers and that is
ensuring that everybody feels that it’s a fair process. [ ♪♪ ]>>That’s what
Ivan Gedz has done. As a restaurant owner, he
knows the business is tough, money tight but he doesn’t want
to take it out on his workers. You increase your minimum
wage here up to 16 bucks without increasing the tip-outs. Why did you do it that way?>>Because we felt that some
of the models that we’re seeing elsewhere is a little bit of
robbing Peter to pay Paul. When we make decisions here,
our– my staff know exactly how much money I make. When we make strategic
decisions they’re involved in that process.>>Some of the restaurants
are doubling their tip-outs. What do you think of that?>>Am I allowed to swear onCBC?>>You can try, sure.>>I think they’re full of shit.>>Now why do you say that?>>It’s not fair. It’s, uh– being implemented
in that manner, it’s being pushed
down their throats, it’s not being done
with consultation. You know, from a purely
capitalist perspective, it’s just poor business. It makes no sense.>>The chains we visit won’t
tell us why they’re tip-outs have increased, but they do
say their policies are fair and transparent and tip-outs are a
way to recognize the efforts of the entire team.>>Who’s rights?>>Worker’s rights!>>But these protestors
aren’t buying that message.>>I feel that it’s just another
tactic design to negatively impact those workers.>>I see it as
wage theft really. I mean, these workers, you know,
they don’t make very much, they’re already struggling to
make ends meet and, you know, with that tip-out percentage
going up, it’s just taking more money out of workers’ pockets.>>What do you think about the
tip-out policy at these major restaurant chains? Join the conversation
on Facebook and Twitter. [ ♪♪ ]>>You know,
there’s a — a major, major issue that I
think has to be addressed. [ ♪♪ ]>>Asha: Exposing
telecom sales tactics.>>I’m not getting
what they’re promising.>>We were guaranteed a price. I don’t want to hear the excuse.>>Asha: Find out how not
to get duped at the door. [ ♪♪ ]

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