When the new sales tax was introduced last year in Vancouver, (they call it the HST), everyone who worked at restaurants complained about how the HST will negatively impact the food services industry because it will make eating out less affordable. But based on anecdotal evidence, all my friends who used to eat out before the HST, still eat out today, at the same restaurants, just as frequently. And I haven’t heard about any major restaurant layoffs or anything in BC. Sometimes I think the HST is actually beneficial for restaurant employees.
Imagine you are a waiter/waitress expecting a 15% tip from your table. Before the HST a $100 meal means a $15 tip. But after the new tax was implemented, every restaurant bill just became 7% more expensive for customers, bumping up that same meal mentioned earlier to $107. Which means you get 7% more tips! It’s like an automatic wage increase. (assuming most customers stay consistent with their tipping rate and tip on the after tax amount.) Then again, I’m making a lot of assumptions and not basing anything on scientific studies. Nevertheless, maybe the HST isn’t as bad for restaurants as people thought it would originally be.