As the nation yawns awake following a months-long shutdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, restaurants are welcoming diners again. This once fully relaxing experience is now riddled with reminders to be vigilant: Sign-in sheets to allow for contact tracing. Strict rules about wearing face masks indoors. Tables positioned six feet apart.
This is a whole new world — unfamiliar to diners, for sure, but also nearly unrecognizable to restaurant staff who’ve gone from being out of work to being frontline workers. And the tips? Let’s just say they’ve been better.
As the restaurant industry adjusts to this new reality, there may well be an opportunity for fundamental change — and some advocates have put the practice of tipping on the chopping block. What’s so bad about the gratuity system? And what would a world without tipping look like?
Guest: Hassel Aviles, co-founder of Not9to5, a Canadian nonprofit that empowers hospitality workers by connecting them with resources on mental health and substance use.