By Nahid M and Christina H
Here’s a Tip
By Nahid Mawji and Christina Halkias
Hi, thanks for listening to our podcast episode, Here’s a Tip! My names Nahid and I’m Christina
Have you ever wondered who makes more in tips?
Men or women?
Why does it matter? Who cares!?
Well, let me tell you about my experience.
So, we went out for dinner over the weekend.
And we had such great service!
We didn’t want to leave
Our waitress was great!
She was attentive and caring.
I wondered how much she made that night
Yeah, we left her at least 30%
Imagine if all her tables that night did that!
She’d be able to take a night off (hahaha)
Well maybe I should get into the business!
Well it might be a little hard because 75% of women work in the service industry (Service Canada, 2015)
So do you think I wouldn’t make tips?
Or I’d be bad at the job?
No, I’ve had male servers and they were great!
I’ve also had other female servers, and it was horrible
Like I said, you think I’ll be horrible! (hahaha)
its just that UniteHere! (2016) Canada has helped a lot of women
There a union made to help community members in the hospitality industry.
Their history traces back over one hundred years in North America and they boast a diverse, majority female membership.
They represent 50,000 workers across Canada and more than 250,000 workers throughout the United States in the hospitality, gaming, food service, manufacturing, laundry, airport, hotels and etc.
Do you think they would help me?
Most definitely, their there for everyone who’s interested!
Awesome! It just seems like every time I go out to eat, a woman serves me
I know what you mean. They probably make amazing money.
Their uniforms are revealing. They flirt. They always give me jack ups.
Oh so now your flirting with these women!
Hahaha im just saying… women servers show more emotion…. And skin
Do I need to come with you when you go out? Make sure you don’t look at them!
I read on CBC (2016) that women aren’t allowed to dress provocatively anymore.
Its really sad how some women HAVE TO wear uniforms like that.
In fact, its gotten to the point that its normal now.
Talk to Shahrukh. He works as a bartender with women. He has been in the business for over 5 years now. And he has worked in both fine dining and family dining. He knows his stuff!
Its part of their job to flirt and dress a certain way.
Where does he work?
Oh, he works at the Ab, at York University.
Does he even like working there?
Yeah he loves it!
He’s really friendly, he’s a people person.
Did he tell you how much he makes in tips? I know it’s a personal question.
Yeah he said normally 100-150 a night. But the women make like 200.
Wow! That’s a lot. Did he say there were more women or men who work there?
Yeah, he said more women do work there.
It’s a female dominate location on campus.
I don’t think I like the idea of you going there…
Ok, I have one last question.
You’ve known Shah for a while, so be honest.
Do you think women make more than him (in tips)?
Promise you wont tell him?
The women make more.
He actually told me that his boss said, “chicks make more money, they sell more beer”.
Wow, that’s so sexist.
Maybe he should talk to a union, like UniteHere!
I thought they only helped women in hospitality?
No, no it’s a union for everyone!
They advocate for safety and equality for all
UniteHere! Is an example as to what a union working with this particular industry does. They do not discriminate, their goal is to establish a safe and equal workplace for everyone, young and old, men and women.
Your telling me that women DO MAKE MORE THAN MEN!?
Well, it depends.
I read that men don’t make as much in tips as women because they focus more on their turn over rate.
Read a blog (http://raindovethemodel.blogspot.ca/2015/01/bartending-battle-of-sexes-do-men-or.html) where a male server decided to do an experiment!
What was it about?
First he went to work as himself- a male.
As a male he had small tips ($1, $2 on a $15 bill)
But he had a high turnover.
What do you mean by turnover? (the pastry hahahaha)
Turn over is how fast people come in and out of a restaurant.
The more people who come in and out, the more number of tips.
For the rest of the experiment, he went to work dressed as a female.
He wanted to compare tips between males and females.
Ok, I see where is going!
Yeah, so as a woman,
There were larger tips ($4-$5 on $15 bill)
But people stayed at the bar… they wouldn’t leave.
Ah, so no turnover!
So when it comes down to it… it depends on the night
Yeah generally speaking however, women make more!
Want to know something neat?
So because women are seen as hospitable… and mothers… and so on.
They are stereotyped into the role of service and bartending
What do you mean? Are you saying women belong in the restaurant business?
Certainly, some people would say that women are designed for the hospitality business.
Most service jobs like restaurants, hire women.
Their positions are extensions of their home roles. (Hall, 1993)
“A true waitress is a woman with a strong mothering sense” (Hall, 1993)
That would explain why UniteHere! is mostly comprised of women!
Hahaha I think so! Do you know anything else about them?
Well, they do a lot of work for the service industry like hotels.
In 2010, they launched a program at the Fairmont Hotel.
It was a literacy program for their employees (Unite!Here, 2016)
They also help with lock-outs, strikes and job negotiations.
Wow! They provide a lot as a union.
They were also two separate unions before they merged together.
So Unite is one union and Here is another one?
Yup! Unite was for needle trades, industrial and textile trades
Here, was for hotel and restaurant employees.
So when they merged together it was for all hospitality industries?
Yes they became UniteHere! Hahaha.
To simplify, they focused on diversity and providing a standard of living throughout Canada.
Phenomenal! So what does this mean for restaurant employees?
Well they care about safety and that’s really important especially for the women working.
Tony Elenis (2016) the president and CEO of Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association said they are “committed to lead an action plan of initiatives aimed to stop sexual violence and harassment in Ontario’s hospitality industry. Harassment is present in every industry and the hospitality industry is not immune to it. We will work with our partners, key stakeholders and industry employers to create awareness and through training provide the necessary tools to ensure a safer workplace, respectful for all.”
Recently the government of Ontario said they would allocate 1.7 million to help train employee in the hospitality business about sexual harassment in the workplace.
I have a friend, AnnMarie whose worked at Jacks for about 2 years now, she works in cocktail and the dining room. She was telling me one night about the harassment she endures at work and how embarrassed she is by it.
Oh no, what happened?
As a woman, a lot of the male customers are inappropriate with her and she dislikes how revealing the uniform is. She said its like inviting unnecessary, unwanted attention.
Has anyone actually done something or said something to her?
She was telling me that generally people comment on her body and she has to flirt about it a lot.
I don’t think that’s something she should have to do to make a living…
It’s really sad that that’s how she makes her money.
It’s out of her control.
She told me when she was hired, she overheard the manager say that she’s attractive and would ‘fit in’ at Jacks.
So, because she’s hot, she got the job? What about her actual experience, her personality, who she is as a person!?
Welcome to the world of hospitality!
This is a place where sexism and gender roles distinct in society.
Yeah, it’s a good thing people in restaurants have somewhere to go like a union or association.
You know, it feels like there are so many stereotypes here.
Yeah, like men are always in the kitchens at restaurants
Meanwhile, those guys in the kitchen are making fun of the waitresses about them “invading male turf’, yet isn’t the stereotype that women should be in the kitchen. (Hall, 1993)
That’s a little sexiest, but I see your point.
It’s totally unfair for women, we never win.
Anyways, we decided to test the idea of women making more money than men.
And... what were the results
Well out of the 10 people we asked to fill out the survey, 7 said they see more females in restaurants over males.
Yeah, so it doesn’t mean they make more money.
But on average, the respondents said they’d tip their waitress better than their waiter.
Oh, it’s just because they flirt, dress provocatively, and there overly friendly.
The problem here, is that women have an unfair advantage.
Women have certain attributes that men don’t.
Of course both men and women have different attributes, it doesn’t mean that they work harder than one another.
In fact, according to Statistics Canada Ontario’s wage gap ranges from 12% to 31.5% and is most pronounced for women in minority groups (Toronto Star, 2015).
I even read an article by Tracey MacCharles (Toronto Star, 2015) who’s the minister responsible for women’s issues in Canada saying, “While women participate in all parts of the workforce, there are still barriers that prevent women from achieving their economic potential”.
Well that’s probably because of the stereotypes that society puts on women.
I read in the Toronto Star (2015) that the labour minister Kevin Flynn was starting a committee based around the gender wage gap, he also said, “We need to close the gender wage gap and eliminate inequity for women in the workforce. It is the right thing to do”.
Its interesting to see how tipping in a restaurant is a fragment of the bigger issue. Sexism and inequality is unfortunately what creates our societal norms.
Yes, we started out by talking about who makes more in tips; men or women. But looking at this in a broader perspective, we see that the stereotypical sexism in society expands further beyond the restaurant industry.
We live in a society, were men and women should be treated equally but this is not the case. Whether it be wage gaps or harassment in the workplace, it is inevitable that men and women will never be equal.
Here’s a Tip… Next time you go out to eat, think about who is serving you!
Thanks for listening!
"Bartenders and Servers to Receive Sexual Violence and Harassment Intervention Training."
News.ontario.ca. N.p., 7 Sept. 2016. Web. 22 Nov. 2016.
"Campaigns." UNITE HERE Canada. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2016.
"Community and Social Service Workers." Government of Canada, Service Canada, Quebec,
Programs Agreements and Partnership, Regional Directorate. N.p., 30 Oct. 2015. Web. 5 Oct. 2016.
Hall, Elaine J. "Smiling, Deferring, and Flirting Doing Gender by Giving “Good Service”."
Work and occupations 20.4 (1993): 452-471.
Monsebraaten, Richard J. BrennanLaurie. "Ontario Government Vows Action on Gender Wage
Gap | Toronto Star." Thestar.com. N.p., 08 Oct. 2015. Web. 22 Nov. 2016.
Unknown. "BARTENDING BATTLE OF THE SEXES: Do MEN or WOMEN Get Better
Tips?" On Being a Women. Blogger, 10 Jan. 2015. Web. 20 Oct. 2016.