Pizza Express reverse tip-swiping policy
There's been a lot of anger about the way some big businesses are nicking the tips of their staff, and Pizza Express were one of them.
Well, the food vendors have reversed their dodgy policy and won't be taking a cut from waiting staff's tips, after a backlash from their own customers and some stern words from the unions. See, Pizza Express were taking 8p from every £1 of tips paid for by card, which raked in around £1m a year for the company. Those figures are according to Unite, who were representing the staff.
Of course, other businesses were doing it too, including Cote, as well as Turtle Bay and Las Iguanas. The government are even looking into the practice, and all this pressure has seen Pizza Express ditching the policy.
From 6th October, tips made on card at any Pizza Express branch will now be fully dished out to restaurant staff, with the money being divvied up between waiting staff and the cleaners and kitchen staff. 70% goes to the waiter who was given the tip, and 30% goes to the rest.
Pizza Express themselves, have said that this change is nothing to do with all the bad press they've just been getting, but rather, this is all possible by a new automated system they've got, which they been working on for ages, honest.
The Unite union was happy. "We will turn tonight’s demo at the Baker Street Pizza Express into a short victory celebration – a truly champagne moment – and call on other chains to follow the lead of Giraffe and Pizza Express," said Dave Turnbull, Unite regional officer. If you want to make a 'champagne socialist' joke, now's the time to do it.
So now, Unite are going after Ask Italian, Prezzo, Belgo, Strada, Café Rouge, Bella Italia and Zizzi, who have also been accused of not playing fairly when it comes to their staff's tips.
The Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, has launched an investigation into all this, and the inquiry is going to run until 10th November, to see whether or not the government needs to start throwing their weight around. If they do get involved, then you can imagine that they'll name and shame all those deemed unfair.
Pizza Express' Richard Hodgson, the company’s chief executive, said: "We recognise that our team members are critical to delivering the fantastic customer experience that Pizza Express has built over many years. As a leader in the casual-dining industry, we’re committed to best practice and to ensuring that our people are properly rewarded for the valuable contribution they make to our business."