Opinion: When you eat out in Burnaby, you better tip like crazy

Chris Campbell

Here’s a confession I’m not proud to admit.

I used to be a bad tipper. Like, really bad. Like the cheapest of the cheap.

Servers were lucky if I even tipped 10%. If I spotted even the slightest error in a restaurant or bar, or was unhappy with the service in any way, I would not tip at all.

It didn’t take much.

But, I was in my 20s, so young and foolish. I was heavily influenced by a few cheap family members and took those lessons to the extreme, I’m sorry to say.

 Then I met my ex-wife, who owned a restaurant and a catering company and she was appalled. She set me straight about why tips were important and why they were so well-deserved.

Decades later, I’m what you would call an over-tipper – meaning I take the most generous of suggestions about tippping and then add another 10%. I’ve been trying to make up for all of those cheap years in my 20s.

Now, I’ve taken that policy and ratcheted it up another notch as Burnaby restaurants reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

I’ve had a few sit-down meals since June 1 and have been impressed by both the food and the quality of service. Servers have been going above and beyond with the service, even though I don’t really expect them too.

I wouldn’t blame servers if they were grumpy about being laid off due to a pandemic or distracted as they worried about making up the lost revenue.

Instead, the servers I’ve come across have been focused and energized. And they really take sanitizing everything seriously.

So, now they are working even harder than before. They’ve gone from wiping down tables to sterilizing them. They also have to wear masks and work to ensure customers don’t sit to close to other diners (Imagine spending an entire shift in a hot restaurant while wearing a mask). They also have to manage increased takeout orders, which requires another level of intensity.

So, yeah, I’ve decided to tip the most I ever have in my entire life. You should too.

If you still have your job, then dig deep into you wallets and give something extra. Servers and the kitchen staff took a big hit from layoffs. Restaurants also have reduced tables to maintain physical distancing so servers will see reduced tips even when a restaurant is “busy” because it can’t be as busy as it used to be.

So even though they are back to work, they aren’t making the same amount as they did before the pandemic.

So, as I said, dig deep. Be polite. Cut out the boring chit-chat. And eat well.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.


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