Tipping is Discouraged at This Vancouver Restaurant Where Staff Earn a Living Wage

There’s a new ritual taking place at a Vancouver restaurant where tipping is no longer expected.

Located in the heart of the West End, Ritual is the newest hotspot to join the culinary scene on Denman Street, focusing on handcrafted, eclectic American food and cocktails.

Ritual’s menu is constantly changing to highlight seasonal produce, which is reflected by their frequently updated chalkboard on display.

But that’s not the only thing that’s unique about this place – Ritual also discourages tipping, a concept owner and chef Nevada Cope noticed gaining popularity in Australian and U.S. restaurants.

Ritual Owner Nevada Cope via CTV News

Ritual Owner Nevada Cope via CTV News

The tips that do come in are donated to A Loving Spoonful, a local organization that provides free meals to people living with AIDS or HIV.

As for the staff  — from servers to dishwashers — they’re all paid a “living wage,” which works out to be $21 an hour with vacation pay and benefits included. We can only image the lineup of applicants trying to get a job here.

“A lot of the time in the kitchen you don’t get paid what you should be getting paid, so it was really important for me to do this,” said Cope. “Everyone is on the same playing field.”

This new model ensures that everyone in the restaurant is treated equally, especially those in roles who make very few tips. It also guarantees servers have more stability in their income and can go home with a reliable paycheque.

“They want a job that’s kind of normal. Like, they know these are their hours, this is what they’re getting paid, and it’s not based on your tips,” says Cope.