Prof. Michael Van Massow
Prof. Michael Von Massow

The interaction between servers and customers at restaurants is often discussed. But less is known about the interactions among staff within an establishment, particularly the impact of tipping on workers. Prof. Michael Von Massow, Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics, spoke to CBC about how tipping may present challenges for restaurants. He said that servers often do much better financially than we think and, in some cases, far better than kitchen staff and even managers. The parallel compensation model of tipping gives money to servers that is out of the control of managers. It may also harm the “team” atmosphere, as kitchen workers question whether they are being paid enough or as rivalry develops between front of house and back of house staff. Von Massow has worked in restaurant marketing  and operations, and studies restaurant revenue management.