Mississauga restaurant sparks debate after making controversial post about tipping on Instagram


Published June 19, 2020 at 6:40 pm


A Mississauga restaurant has ignited some debate–and some pushback–after encouraging less-generous tippers to “stay home.”

Ombretta Cucina + Vino, a popular Italian restaurant in Port Credit, recently took to Instagram to call out diners it considers to be stingy.

“With bars and restaurants about to reopen, if you don’t know how to tip please stay home and save the 50% capacity for the ones that do.” 

The reaction to the confrontational post was varied, with some admonishing the establishment for asking for something it shouldn’t feel entitled to and others criticizing diners for pinching their pennies at a time when restaurants and their staff members are struggling.

“Tips should not be expected. Many people in the service industry do not get tips nor should they for doing what is on their job description,” a poster asked in the comments. 

“What makes [the] food industry different? Maybe if you paid your employees a decent wage they could survive. The onus should not be on the customer to act as part of your payroll. You should take your post down so you don’t create more bad PR for your restaurant.”

Other posters said the post, well-intentioned though it might be, came off poorly.

“Why not just build in gratuities if this is an issue? This post is in poor taste,” another poster wrote. 

One poster questioned whether the restaurant’s account was hacked.

“Did their account get hacked? That would explain how negative and unprofessional this post is,” the Instagram user wrote. 

While many people were offended by the post, others said the restaurant–which is the first brick and mortar establishment of acclaimed chefs Frank Mazzonetto and Anthony Maniccia, who are well-known for their popular Frankie Fettuccine Food Truck–was just standing up for hard-hit workers. 

“Whoever is hating on this establishment just don’t bother coming, these guys treated me like gold every-time I go there, great food and great service!” one poster wrote. 

“I 100% agree with the establishment there are a lot of variables that tie into a tip, be mindful that’s somebodies lively hood, good on the owners to speak up on this! I’ll be there soon guys I’ll buy you guys a drink and we can all laugh about it together.”

Others said it’s important for restaurants to look out for staff members who rely on tips. 

“I understand exactly what your saying. I think people here with the negative comments are just negative people who look for the worst in everything. Your simply looking out for your staff who have always earned the tips from my experience,” one post reads. 

“Like you said in times like this where the food service industry has been forced to stay home for 2 months they need respectful customers who for a lack of better words aren’t ‘cheap.’ If money is tight right now then don’t go out to eat, stay home.”

The restaurant responded to critics and supporters in the comments.

“Hi All, thanks for all the input. As one of the chef-owners, I just want my staff to do well in these trying times,” an operator wrote. 

“No offence or malice was intended. Some think the post was strongly worded and that’s ok, just want to deliver impactfully. These situations create opportunities to learn and grow.”

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