Who gets the tip?

edited 9 March 2010 at 4:52PM in Going Out Deals
33 replies 13.9K views
Former_MSE_WendyFormer_MSE_Wendy
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edited 9 March 2010 at 4:52PM in Going Out Deals
[title=http://images2.moneysavingexpert.com/images/dp/wtd_underline.gif]wtd_icon.gif What’s this all about?[/title]
The government has launched a new campaign this week called Who Gets The Tip? It’s hoping to get any business that receives tips from the public to tell their customers (and staff) where the tip goes, if they already don’t.

Businesses are also being encouraged to display their policy on how they distribute tips.

MSE's supporting the campaign as it’s one of our 50 word consumer manifesto ideas, which says: "It must be clear how exactly service charges are distributed to staff, such as whether they go directly to waiters in addition to their wage, or whether they go to the restaurant."

[title=http://images2.moneysavingexpert.com/images/dp/wtd_underline.gif]wtd_icon.gif What can you do?[/title]
If you want to leave a tip but don’t know where your money will go, before you pay just ask ‘Who gets the tip?’ If you're not happy with the answer you can decide whether to leave a tip or not, you could also tell the manager about the Who gets the tip? campaign.

Since October 2009, restaurants have been barred from using tips to make up wages to the minimum wage but we don’t always know, whether we tip by card or cash, exactly whose pocket the money goes into.

Legally, tips left in cash belong to the employee (although their contract may have some terms and conditions on how they’re split), sometimes they go to the person who served you and sometimes shared amongst staff, and tips left by card belong to the business (though most of it usually goes to staff too).

For more info on tipping rules, including what a tronc is, see the Who gets the tip? website.

[title=http://images2.moneysavingexpert.com/images/dp/wtd_underline.gif]wtd_icon.gif What can businesses do?[/title]
If you want to tell your customers where your tips go, the easiest way is to display the details in your restaurant/pubs/cafe/hairdresser/casino. You can also register on the Who gets the tip? map.

There’s more info about the tips Code of Best Practice (developed by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Trade Unions, consumer groups and industry) on the Business Link website.

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Replies

  • edited 9 March 2010 at 10:22PM
    huggermuggerhuggermugger Forumite
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    edited 9 March 2010 at 10:22PM
    Thought I'd put my ten-pennorth in here (in cash of course...)
    Went to a Strada the other night courtesy of the vouchers deal highlighted by MSE... said to the waitress that I expect she wanted a tip in cash. She said that it didn't make a lot of difference as she had to turn the cash into the manager and it came back to her "after they'd taken expenses for the business out of it". What???? She said they didn't any longer use it to make up her wages as they had in the past but that the staff still didn't get the whole amount returned to them.

    So we stuffed the tip into her pocket and told her to keep quiet about it. Didn't get a chance to quiz her further but admit to being very puzzled.

    Next time I'll ask the manager - tho it was so busy I don't think he would have been very receptive!

    PS - it wasn't my local Strada - just in case the Strada police are about...
  • psdiepsdie Forumite
    126 Posts
    Frankly I'm shocked to hear that it isn't already legislated that tips of course must go to the serving/cooking staff, not the restaurant! The price on the menu should cover the restaurant's costs, including paying staff their basic wage - not a single penny should be deducted by the restaurant.

    Personally, when I leave a tip it is strictly based on the quality and punctuality of the cooking, and friendliness and attentiveness of the waiter/waitress. If I have to battle for the attention of my server, or the food arrives cold/badly cooked, I'll leave little/no tip. If the staff have their act together and I have a great experience, I'll leave a full 10%.

    The tip I leave is thus intended as a reward (and incentive) for the staff that deal with me and my meal to do a good job. It is NOT to supplement the restaurant's income. I already make a point of never paying a tip by card (always leaving cash), and was aware that tips are often pooled and then divided between staff (although this does somewhat remove the incentive aspect!).

    However, behaviour such as that described by huggermugger, where restaurants such as Strada confiscate a portion of tips, is disgusting. I will genuinely make a point of no longer leaving a tip in Strada in response. What other chains have a similar policy?!

    Cheers, Ben
  • edited 10 March 2010 at 9:23AM
    boostiiboostii Forumite
    4 Posts
    edited 10 March 2010 at 9:23AM
    I don't really understand tipping and the principle of service not included.

    If I am in a restaurant and they sell me a bottle of wine for £15 which I could have got from a supermarket for £5 or a bowl of soup for £5 that is made from £1.50 worth of vegetables or a cup of coffee for £2 that cost them 7p out of their coffee machine, then surely I have paid adequately for the service element??

    I don't tip tyre fitters or shop workers or anyone else, so why tip specially in a resaurant?

    I felt bad the first few times I stopped tipping but now I never bother and nobody has ever commented on it.
  • I'd like to say that I work for pizza hut and the tips do go to the server who has looked after you for your meal experience!! Waiters and waitresses do work very hard when your having a meal in ANY restuarant and deserve to be rewarded!! even just £2 is enough to make me feel appreciated. :)
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  • I used to work for a hotel chain in the head office. My pay was OK but the hotel staff were on minimum wage with maximum allowed taken out of their pay towards accommodation costs. At the end of the season, I was surprised to be given my share of the tips. It seems they collected all the tips until the end of the season and divided it between all the staff. Therefore anyone who had left before the end of the season got nothing. I really didn't think it was right that I should be getting a share of the tips after all I had nothing to do with the hotel guests but I can't afford to turn away money so thought of it as a performance bonus to ease my conscience. However I was even more shocked to find out the General Manager on well over £50k was also taking her share. I suppose she had to - she was a horrible person and the guests didn't like her so it's the only way she'd get a tip :-)
  • Huggermugger, I was also in Strada with my voucher last week (and actually it *was* your local one) and they had 10% included already on the bill. I guess they have different policies from branch to branch?
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  • I have never ever recieved a tip (and wouldnt even know the policy for tips) even after serving with a smile great big smelly people who want special meals that arent on the menu, fries with no salt, drinks with no ice, desserts brought over in 20 mins, me to sing happy birthday to thier kid etc....And I still manage to treat others the way I'd like to be treated.
    I dont think you should have to give a tip as a payment for attention and the service I expect anyways.
  • adidasadidas Forumite
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    :mad: Now I'm not saying that other jobs are not as demanding. For example, similarly paid jobs like cleaning, customer service and supermarket staff all have to be friendly and polite to others. It is a service industry and very tiring as well might I add. I am not justifying the tipping but it certainly does help those who are in very low paid jobs to keep motivated.

    I am going to name and shame a branch of BRAZZ restaurant in Cardiff as this internet forum is anonymous who I worked for several years ago. It has now closed down but they still have a branch in Taunton. They used to use service charge to cover breakages and uniform costs. The manager at the time said that we should be grateful because in her day she'd have to pay for her uniform and she'd have the money for breakages deducted directly from her pay (? illegal).

    We were told that if a customer asked to be vague and tell them we didn't know. We were not given much of the service charge and most of it went to Brazz. We could tell this easily from simple maths and we were never told a breakdown of the service charge. It was given as a supplement to our wages which maybe equally about £1/hour more. On another occasion, there was a large party attending the restaurant and tipped some of the waiters/waitresses without paying service charge. The manager came outside and took the pot of tip (more than £100) and said it was the restaurants money and we weren't entitled to it because they hadn't paid service charge.

    Increasing numbers of restaurants do this and I feel it's wrong. I hope the government legislates for this to prevent companies taking more profits. I always ask for my service charge to be deducted from the bill and leave cash instead. I would advise others to do the same. I think most people think that most of it goes to staff but this is NOT the case. I don't generally tip elsewhere unless I'm on holiday or at the hairdressers.

    Yes, you are entitled not to leave a tip but those who choose should have a clear statement of how their money is allocated either to restaurant/staff on their bill (this should be law) and possibly even outlaw such practices. *rant over*
  • fairleeefairleee Forumite
    52 Posts
    I worked at a hotel/resort down south in my student days, Eastwell Manor. I worked in the brasseries restaurant, where we would regularly serve at least 90 covers every lunchtime often with as few as 4 staff. Even though we were understaffed, we worked with a smile and worked darn hard. Any tips that were left had to be paid into the till, and at the end of the month, we would be given a share. However, the share was not just for restaurant staff - every employee of the hotel took a share of our tips, even the ladies in payroll who never even saw a customer. This was a 4* resort, and they were paying their waiting staff a fraction above minimum wage, and they were taking our hard-earned tips and sharing them out among staff who never even saw the customer who gave them. So, we developed an unofficial policy of pocketing the tips. If it was a large tip, you would share it out, if it was a pound or so, you would keep it.

    The whole point about tipping waiting staff (for those who complain about it) is that, unlike with your mechanic, or doctor, or whoever you say you don't tip, waiting is NOT a career. It is hard, antisocial work (as you are working when the rest of the world is enjoying themselves), and unlike your mechanic, you are not on a salary, nor are you on a career ladder. A sous-chef in a kitchen probably makes less per hour than a waiter who receives tips, but one day that sous-chef will be running a kitchen, making far more money than the waiter who will still be on the same pay.

    You don't have to tip much, even a quid or two is enough, but it is a recognition of the fact that you have received a service from someone, and from someone on minimum wage who needs tips in order to make enough money to live on.
  • psdiepsdie Forumite
    126 Posts
    fairleee wrote: »
    I worked at a hotel/resort down south in my student days, Eastwell Manor. [..] Any tips that were left had to be paid into the till, and at the end of the month, we would be given a share. However, the share was not just for restaurant staff - every employee of the hotel took a share of our tips, even the ladies in payroll who never even saw a customer. This was a 4* resort, and they were paying their waiting staff a fraction above minimum wage, and they were taking our hard-earned tips and sharing them out among staff who never even saw the customer who gave them.

    Spot on Fairlee - tipping is only for the staff directly involved in preparing/serving the meal, NOT admin staff etc.
    fairleee wrote: »
    You don't have to tip much, even a quid or two is enough, but it is a recognition of the fact that you have received a service from someone, and from someone on minimum wage who needs tips in order to make enough money to live on.

    Exactly - a tip is to encourage and reward effort in making the meal a pleasant one. It's about attentative service with a smile and putting effort into ensuring the customer enjoys their meal. If the tip doesn't go to the service staff it is intended for, there is no incentive for minimum wage staff to deliver this.

    I absolutely detest itemised "service charges" too and will generally ask for them to be removed, then leave a cash tip at my discretion. Again, demanding a service charge completely defeats the point of tipping. The price on the menu should of course include enough to adequately pay your staff - don't try to top this up with compulsory (sorry """optional"""!) tipping.

    You mention sometimes pocketing the tips Fairlee - personally I'd be delighted if every waiter/waitress in the land did exactly the same and had the weight of law on their side. There is an argument that some of the tip should go to the kitchen staff, which I think is a fair one and the downside to this approach, but still better than some money-grabbing manager putting their grubby fingers in the tip jar. :mad:

    For the record: I've never worked in a restaurant or similar, so this isn't down to a chip on the shoulder - it's just the cumulative irritation of both my tip not going where it's supposed to, and seeing under motivated staff because they have no incentive to do better.
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