Opinion: ‘Our tips are shrinking.’ Burnaby servers hammered by cheapskates

Chris Campbell

People still seem to have no clue about how much people are suffering financially due to COVID-19.

I still see on social media talking about restaurants, for example, being in “good shape” just because they have reopened.

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Reopening is one thing. Staying alive is another.

Most restaurants are back in business, but the business just isn’t there like it was before the pandemic. I recently stopped by two restaurants during weekday lunch hours – restaurants that pre-pandemic would have packed parking lots.

They were ghost towns, by comparison.

It’s the same at every restaurant or pub I’ve frequented since they’ve reopened. For pubs, even on Canuck game nights, the places I’ve been to were half-empty.

Business is way down.

And servers are suffering.

“Our tips are shrinking,” one server told me. “We work and risk our safety, but the money we take home now isn’t even close to what it was before.”

But it’s not just because business is slower. Nope, cheapskates are also to blame.

Multiple servers I interviewed for this blog, who didn’t want their names used for obvious reasons, told me that they’ve been calculating the tips they’ve received since reopening. The numbers say that even the people who are going out to eat and drink and tipping far less than pre-pandemic numbers.

“One guy said, ‘just be happy you’re working’ as he stiffed me despite good service,” one server told me.

I mean the whole tipping system was broken before the pandemic hit and I’m here to listen to arguments about getting rid of it for something better to compensate staff.

But since tipping is still a thing, it’s shocking that people are cheaping out like this. If anything, people should be tipping even more than they did before the pandemic to recognize the risks servers are taking to ensure you’re fed during this dangerous time.

So give more. Give until it hurts.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.

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