Waiting staff no better off under new tipping laws
When you’re eating out in a fancy restaurant (or even a scummy one) how much do you usually tip? And do you have any idea where that tip goes? Because it doesn’t always end up in the pockets of the staff who have served you… and a new law aimed at closing that loophole won’t change a thing.
At the moment, restaurants can pay staff below the £5.73 minimum wage, making up the shortfall from their tips, but under the new law, the full minimum wage must be paid by the restaurant. However, there is nothing to stop all tips from ending up in the greasy palms of the restaurateur and no law forcing them to display their tipping policy, so that the diner has no idea where the tip will end up.
According to the British Hospitality Association, approximately a fifth of the UK's 30,000 restaurants do not pass on tips to waiters. This flies in the face of a YouGov survey from January which showed that 94% of customers wanted gratuities to go straight to staff. 79% of those surveyed thought tipping policies should be clearly displayed .
You can help to stop tips from being diverted away from waiting staff by paying all gratuities in cash and asking restaurant management what their tip policy is. Remember, service charge is usually optional so if you’re not happy, don’t pay anything. Or find out where your waiter lives and drop the money off in person at a later date. No, don’t do that, it would be too weird.
Let us know your tipping tales of woe or otherwise. Maybe you’ve worked in a restaurant and been stiffed by the management when it comes to sharing out the gratuities. Or perhaps you know of a restaurant that lets staff keep 100%. And if you'd like to tip us, cash in a brown envelope would be nice thanks.