What is a fair price to pay for a simple beverage?
Firstly coffee, tea, wine or beer when eating out should never be considered simple. The skill and time that has gone into every cup is a monumental task when broken down into component parts. Too many people to count are involved in this process.
A recent griping in particular caught my attention when somebody complained that $20 was too much for a breakfast and coffee. It may well be too much if you planned to do it daily, but we should not deprive ourselves of little luxuries like this because we are valuing service and food too lowly.
Servers can get paid less than minimum wage (as tips are considered to make up for it) and pickers get paid the minimum as well. Nobody is debating truck drivers or farmers should be paid less and the chefs that handle your food believe themselves to be very underpaid skilled workers (according to Canada’s immigration policy too). So let’s calm down with the cost complaints.
We hopefully all agree that people should be paid fairly. Currently food prices of independent businesses are unbelievably competitive with the larger chains. Food in revelstoke must be considered great value when compared with other places around the country or the world.
We should expect nothing but the finest when we are parting with our money. Employers have the same values when hiring too. We are now expecting our servers to be skilled knowledgeable workers and too bloody right. But this means they need a pay bump and that is something we all have to agree on. Australia, Europe and Asia are starting to agree with this statement (in the most part) and people are happy to give patronage to these establishments. Yes they pay more, but yes they get more.
Tipping is an antiquated system that angers and confuses (as it should) and I do not even want to consider the debate of percentages. You forget revolutions happened to abolish tipping back in the early 20th century. I feel to get the best service we have to account for it when we cost our food and write our business plans. I would love to see our community embrace its long time service workers that deserve it (and please do not support those that do not).
The new trend in Europe is to bypass the server altogether and have more open kitchens with bartenders peddling nibbles and chefs delivering food, you better believe that you the guest has to pay more for it though.
Unfortunately we need to vote with our wallets and our loyalty to be enjoying wonderful occasions and evenings with people proud to serve them. The owners will need to catch up to the changing times and pay staff soon, or risk this industry becoming frightfully bad in quality.