With the start of fall, patio season is officially coming to an end. To commemorate another great summer of enjoying pitchers of sangria and appetizers out under the stars, we have to acknowledge the people who make it all possible, our servers.
Restaurant servers are some of the hardest workers - they're on their feet all day, sometimes even in high heels, interacting with the public no matter how annoying or rude they are, and literally juggling heavy plates of food.
Despite their hard work, most servers in restaurants across Canada only earn minimum wage, sometimes even less. While this is done intentionally to balance out the tips they earn as well, it does still seem a little low.
None the less, some provinces are better for servers than others. In fact, only three provinces have a "server wage" that is below minimum wage while others have minimum wages that actually sound liveable. Here's how much servers are making from highest to lowest across the country.
The best province to work in if you're a server is most definitely Alberta. Besides not having a separate wage for servers or for young people, the standard minimum wage in the province is $15/hour, making it currently the highest minimum wage in the country.
2. Northwest Territories
Surprisingly, coming in second place isn't one of the major cities, but the Northwest Territories where servers also earn the same minimum wage as everyone else. Up north servers are taking home $13.46/hour and that's before tips!
Rounding out the top three is Nunavut. Like its northern neighbour, this province doesn't have a separate wage for servers and so they earn the minimum wage of $13/hour up there.
While Ontario has a relatively good minimum wage of $14/hour, this is one of three Canadian provinces with a separate wage for servers. The wage for liquor servers in Ontario is only $12.20/hour, placing it almost $3 below minimum wage.
5. Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island falls right in the middle of the list. While they don't have a separate server wage, their general minimum wage is only $11.55/hour making it not terrible, but not the best either.
Unlike the other Territories, the Yukon is on the lower end of these rankings. Even though they also don't have a separate wage for servers, their minimum wage is much lower than their northern counterparts at $11.32/hour.
It seems the $11 dollar mark is a popular wage for servers with four different provinces having wages at or around $11 for servers. Manitoba comes out just ahead of the rest with a minimum wage of $11.15/hour.
8. New Brunswick
New Brunswick also doesn't have a separate server wage but joins the list of Canadian provinces who's minimum wage is at $11/hour.
Newfoundland also joins the list of $11 wages. In fact, just like New Brunswick the minimum wage, which is what servers earn, is at exactly $11/hour. So officially when it comes to servers wages the two maritime provinces are tied.
Saskatchewan is the final province hovering around $11 for minimum wage but they fall just below the mark. While there is just one wage for everyone, it is slightly lower at $10.96/hour.
11. Nova Scotia
While other Atlantic provinces boast minimum wages of at least $11, Nova Scotia falls short of the mark with their minimum and server wage being only $10.85/hour. What's even worse is within your first 3 months of entering the workforce force, you only earn $10.35/hour for being an "inexperienced worker."
12. British Columbia
The second province in Canada with a separate wage for servers is British Columbia, where they only $10.10/hour while the general minimum wage is at $11.35. This lower wage places BC way at the bottom of this list, but the government hopes to raise the wages there above $15/hour by 2021.
Coming in dead last of all the provinces in Canada is Quebec. Here servers also make a different amount than the minimum and it's much lower than not only the general minimum wage but every other province. Servers in Quebec earn only $9.80/hour, making it the worst server wage in the entire country.
While it may seem unfair that some provinces have lower server wages for tipped employees, it is a calculated based on the average tips a server can expect to earn, which can vary from province to province. In cases like Ontario, it's still higher than other minimum wages. On top of that, it's a million times better than the US, where in some states the minimum wage for tipped workers is only $2.13/hour.
Source: Restaurants Canada