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An honest days work for an honest days pay.

Updated: Jul 17, 2023

The hospitality industry has always been a transient business for the most part. I think just about everyone has worked at one point in a restaurant, or something associated. What are the reasons and consequences of this? There are many obvious reasons, and some far reaching. Primary it comes to wage disparity. The majority of front line hospitality workers earn minimum wage. Be it fine dining or quick service restaurants. QSR, I get. As they tend to market towards young people, retired person's and newly arrived Canadian immigrants. However, with there huge corporate profits...they could do more. At the other end of the spectrum, fine dining and hotel's, a similar ideal. At least though, in the higher end scenario there are more tangible benefits. As in, your actually learning a transferable skill. So, let's look at what a living wage means.


A living wage is defined as the minimum income necessary for a worker to meet their basic needs. This is not the same as a subsistence wage, which refers to a biological minimum. Needs are defined to include food, housing, and other essential needs such as clothing. The goal of a living wage is to allow a worker to afford a basic but decent standard of living through employment without government subsidies. Due to the flexible nature of the term "needs", there is not one universally accepted measure of what a living wage is and as such it varies by location and household type A related concept is that of a family wage – one sufficient to not only support oneself, but also to raise a family.

Cost of a basic but decent life for a family.

The living wage differs from the minimum wage in that the latter can fail to meet the requirements for a basic quality of life which leaves the worker to rely on government programs for additional income Living wages have typically only been adopted in municipalities. In economic terms, the living wage is similar to the minimum wage as it is a price floor for labor. It thus differs from the national minimum wage in that it is not set according to a legal threshold. Follow this link for an interesting read, and some ideas for change.


There are many examples of how you can enrich the lives of the people you manage or employ. To be honest and to give due credit, there are a few multinational corporations that employ these practices. Even McDonald's, which I dislike for other reasons has a great formula for success. They may not pay well, but they are an equitable employer, and have an amazing training program. So to wrap up, here are a few things you can do to enrich your employees work experience.

  • Offer education support, bursaries and job enrichment.

  • Create a fair gratuity sharing program. At least 5 percent of sales. A great friend of mine, Chaya, just upped there's to 10 percent!!

  • Listen, encourage and support

  • Be kind

  • Staff recognition awards with a tangible benefit

  • Staff parties, be creative!

  • Staff discounts, encourage your employees to bring family and friends for dinner.

Cheers, and have a great Monday 💖

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