PICK A SIDE: Should people be tipping their servers more during the pandemic?


Published September 4, 2020 at 5:26 pm


The restaurant business has been hit incredibly hard by the pandemic.

Initially, when a pandemic was officially declared, the Province forced the closure of all non-essential businesses. While restaurants were permitted to offer takeout and delivery options, they were prohibited to offer dine-in options.

Some restaurants were able to continue operating under these conditions, though many had to do so with reduced staff.

However, many restaurants were not able to survive and were forced to close permanently.

According to an April report from Restaurants Canada, 10 per cent of restaurants in Canada were forced to close their doors permanently.

Additionally, restaurateurs who have been able to stay afloat believe it could take upwards of a year before their business returns to profitability.

Further, some restaurant owners have been forced to pivot their business model and begin offering additional services such as selling meal kits—something 20 per cent have done and intend to continue to do moving forward.

An August report from Restaurant Canada suggests the food-service industry is projected to lose between $21.7 billion and $44.8 billion in annual sales this year, according to Restaurants Canada.

However, while it’s been a bleak four months for the food-service industry, the Province decision to enter into Stage 3 has allowed more businesses to reopen and increase the services they offer.

As such, restaurants are now permitted to offer a full array of services—they can still offer takeout and delivery options, and they can once again offer dine-in options as well.

But, although people have been permitted to go out and enjoy a meal at a restaurant again, many are still leery of doing so.

Because of this, some have suggested those who do choose to go out to a restaurant during these uncertain times aught to be tipping more than usual.

Some also feel those who can’t afford to tip shouldn’t be eating out in the first place.

However, others believe during these times servers shouldn’t expect a larger-than-normal tip as everyone is struggling financially.

Some believe tipping shouldn’t be a part of the restaurant experience, as those who are serving customers are paid to be there already.

Moreover, encouraging people to refrain from dining at restaurants right now can further exacerbate the struggle many are facing.

So, Mississauga, what do you think?

Should people be tipping more right now?

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