NAME AND SHAME. Restaurant service charges



  • Poppy9
    Poppy9 Posts: 18,833 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I hate tipping. I think people should be paid a decent wage by their employers and should not have to rely on tips. Hairdressers used to rely on tips too but you rarely see this happening now.

    When I go out to eat I expect to pay the prices on the menu. I expect decent service. I don't expect the staff to be paid a pittance. If 12.5% on turnover is what it takes to make decent pay to staff give them all a 12.5% payrise and inflate the menu prices by the same amount. At least you know what you are expected to pay and the staff know what their earnings are.
    :) ~Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone.~:)
  • SidB_2
    SidB_2 Posts: 3,329 Forumite
    If you do what Poppy says the restaurants would need to highlight the fact so that you don't feel obliged to add another 10%. There's fat chance of that happening.
    Every silver lining has a cloud...

    Feb 2009 - Won a pole dancing lesson - Too bad I'm a 45-year old beer gutted male !!
  • this would be more workable if people would be more willing to not pay, or pay what they think the meal/service is worth when the meal/service is bad.
    The big problem is that by proportion, there are few people in the catering/restaurant/hospitality trade who expect to and would enjoy a long term career from it, therefore they are under no inclination to give decent service if the mood doesn't take them. if they get fired, they just go to the next bar/restaurant down the street and get another bar/waiting job.
    Talon "Ace" Karrde
    the more i see, the more i know, the more i know, the less i understand
  • student100
    student100 Posts: 1,059 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Aren't tips (even in cash) technically taxable income? So employers are legally requried to take some of any tip to pay the taxman...?
    student100 hasn't been a student since 2007...
  • beaker141
    beaker141 Posts: 509 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary
    Went there last Saturday...Nice Menu on board outside..No mention of 12 1/2 % Service charge mentioned....

    When Presented with Bill 12 1/2 % added on and waitress asks me if I want to add tip onto credit card slip....I said no...was I being unreasonable..???

    Chaps...All I want to see when I'm thinking of going into a restaurant is what they want me to pay for their grub..I also want the people that work in these places to be paid a fair wage..Oh yes I don't expect my food to be thrown at me or fo them to grovel to me either, just to be pleasant...

    This tipping thing is a nonsense, and exploits the customers and the folk that work in these places.

    Here Here !

    It used to annoy me when we were in a group of say 8 people, you end up leaving a massive tip because some numptie divis the bill up and then rounds up to the nearest note for simplicity - you end up leaving a monster tip.

    People used to suggest we left a tip at Pizza Hut when we were on all you can eat buffet - you serve yourself !?

    I would rather as above, the menu stated the real cost of you eating there and what you see is what you pay - knowing people get paid a realistic amount for working.

    I work in an office environment - always tempted to put a tip box on my desk !
  • boblevin
    boblevin Posts: 49 Forumite
    Perhaps I am naive, but it seems to me that if restaurant owners charge a rate that enables them to pay their staff properly, and the staff always strive to provide good service in return, then the question of tipping becomes purely academic.
  • the biggest problem with this method,

    Usually, to get to the price you pay, 70% is added to the gross cost of the ingredients. ie the "cost" does not include, overheads, wages, Health and saftey compliance, food hygiene compliance etc et al.
    The restaurant business/ catering trade does not make much money on food when you consider the amount of money needed to pay skilled chefs (yes, even a pizza cook has to be reasonably skilled, you would be amazed at how hard it really is on a busy night). However, it DOES make good money on the mark up on alcohol/bottled soft drinks, when you compare the skill needed to open a bottle/pour a drink.

    If, as you say, a restaurant owner or chef priced his food to reflect what he was paying his cooks, believe me, the whole trade would be down the toilet in an instant. It's very noble to say be transparent and price the menu to cover what would be a service charge or to pay the staff a better wage, and then we would come and eat and be happy.

    There are posts around that suggest that paying say £2.99 for your sandwich from boots for lunch is too much. Personally i really believe that if restaurant menus were priced as you suggest (from someone that does know how much that would be) no-one but the uber rich would eat out, unless the quality of the food was rubbish and therefore cheaper.

    I don't condone or agree with the practice of a so called "discretionary" service charge automatically being added so you must take it off, but the meal SHOULD be priced according to the cost of the ingredients, which are easier to maintain at a constant standard. Staff, are not like this.

    If meals were priced as you suggest, and your service was crap, what would you do? complain that the meal was too expensive? There's too many random factors......bad waiter, bad chef, bad manager, bad wash up people (dirty plates/glasses) rubbish atmosphere, wonky table legs...etc etc...OR someone might get great service by a professional, or cooked a great meal by the best chef in the kitchen. But someone might get crap service by the lout who is there on 2 evenings a week to make a quick buck, or get a hair, or piece of string in their food (or a fly in the soup?:-))

    As a customer, i need to be able to make the distinction, above and beyond the cost of the food/drink i ate, drank. If you complain about the above service issues, what does the manager do? What does he take off the bill? the cost of the meal? How would you work out what % of the bill goes on paying the shoddy staff?

    A lot of the information / Advice given on these boards / site in general is about taking companies to task when they get things wrong, or just generally screw us over. By doing as you suggest you would remove the dining customers greatest ally for getting the service they deserve.

    Menu Prices = Food Costs
    that's why it's on the menu and thats why it varies according to ingredient cost
    Service Incentive = Gratuity / Tip

    And yes, ALL tips, whether Cash, Tronc system or any other way, are taxable income. If an establishment chooses to operate a "keep you own tips in cash" and the individuals choose not to declare it, then that is a matter between them, their consience and the nice people at the IR!

    ta muchly
    Talon "Ace" Karrde
    the more i see, the more i know, the more i know, the less i understand
  • Poppy9
    Poppy9 Posts: 18,833 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    RE taxing tips I thought the IR assumed a certain level of tips for all catering service staff and adjusted their tax code.

    Out of curiosity who else do you tip - the ones that spring to mind for me are :

    Taxi drivers
    Hairdressers (not anymore the prices they charge!)
    :) ~Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone.~:)
  • Fatboy_NSS
    Fatboy_NSS Posts: 546 Forumite
    I definitely agree that a service charge is totally unnecessary. As people have posted above, the tips are generally divided among all the staff, including kitchen staff the customer never sees, so under the current system poor service by a waiter would mean everyone looses out which is hardly the best way to ensure quality service. Every other service industry in this country survives without tipping so I don't see why the restaurant industry should be any different, and the suggestion that it would be too difficult to work out profit margins is totally ridiculous. Restauranteurs would simply up their menu prices by 12.5% so they'd keep making as much as they do now, we'd still pay the same, but it would be up front and wouldn't be a hidden extra any more. It's the same as wanting to see VAT inclusive prices in the shops, or seeing the delivery charge on a website, I want to see exactly how much something is going to cost me before I commit to buying it, which at the moment isn't being done in restaurants.
  • gemsurf2
    gemsurf2 Posts: 45 Forumite
    I refuse to tip - people should be doing their jobs to a good standard anyway shouldn't they?
    If it followed that if you are providing the public with a service and received a tip for doing it well, we should all be tipping the dentist, doctor, shop keeper, check-out assistant - it makes no sense.
    Nobody tips me in my job!
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