Ryan Donovan

Episode 5: Ryan Donovan on Tipping and the Ethics of Generosity by Glen Jameson

Ryan Donovan co-owns Richmond Station, one of Canada's top restaurants. Armed with a philosophy degree, a devotion to whole animal butchery, and a detailed knowledge of the hospitality sector, Ryan speaks about the hospitality workplace and the challenges of running a restaurant when you can't control who gets paid what - particularly when it comes to tipping.

I was a server and I benefited from the hospitality status quo that we discuss. A younger me felt strongly about tipping. But with the Pulitzer winning work by Kathleen Kingsbury and others, along with the simple problem that many restaurants experience of trying to staff a kitchen, there are some gaping holes in that argument. And that change may be afoot.

While I was editing this episode, I got to thinking: Welcome to the Food Court has an unusual format. It's a one-on-one conversation that results in a deliberately long-form discussion, to examine issues in a deep-dive manner. Conversations about food law issues are often reductionist in nature, whereas the subject matter is typically expansive and immersive once that conversation has begun - even WTTFC, at roughly an hour per episode, has to put up boundaries. But at least it allows for something that is more fleshed out and I think episodes like this one benefit from that greatly. Let me know on twitter what you like or dislike. I'm at @gsjameson.

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