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Opinion: Indoor dining returns soon - tip like you've never tipped before

Restaurant workers have suffered mightily
If you eat out, make sure to tip heavily. Getty Images

So it looks like restaurants are reopening pretty soon for indoor dining.

Premier John Horgan made it sound like Tuesday, but now it’s perhaps going to be a more phased-in approach.

Whatever the date, it’s happening soon and that’s a huge relief for everyone who owns or works at a restaurant. (It’s also really good news for my belly!)

Now I have a simple request. Go out and eat. It’s safe because restaurants are taking extreme precautions to protect you, from Plexiglas shields to staff masked up.

And when you do go out to eat, do me another favour – tip heavily. Tip like you’ve never tipped before if you can afford it.

These workers have seen their incomes crater for more than a year, with the latest “circuit breaker” doing even more damage. Yes, I know the tipping system sucks and needs to be replaced, but until it does, go way beyond 12% please.

So show them some love when you return to local restaurants. And be patient. Don’t complain. I don’t care if a mistake has been made. Cut them some slack and open your wallets.

Because many restaurants are on the brink.

Restaurants Canada is calling for a sector-specific support package to recover more than 400,000 foodservice jobs — including 45,300 jobs still missing from British Columbia’s restaurant sector.

“Restaurants are key to feeding British Columbia’s recovery and bringing back jobs, but first they need to survive,” said Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Western Canada. “If subsidies are scaled back too soon, they won’t have the working capital they need to transition from survival to revival.”

Many Burnaby restaurants have been scrambling to open up new patio space in order to keep customers coming.

According to the April Labour Force Survey from Statistics Canada, more than two thirds (70.9%) of the 503,000 jobs still missing from the Canadian economy in the wake of COVID-19 are from the foodservice sector.

Factoring in the 80,700 employees who didn’t work any hours last month, there are still 437,500 fewer people working in Canada’s foodservice sector than there were in February 2020. This includes 45,300 restaurant jobs still not recovered in British Columbia — nearly a quarter of the province’s foodservice workforce.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.