NAME AND SHAME. Restaurant service charges



  • loobylou,

    The phrase used by restaurants is this
    Please Note that a 12.5% discretionary service charge will be / has been added to your bill"

    The key word here is "discretionary" It is at their discretion that they ask you to pay it, and it is at YOUR discretion as to whether you do or not. A service charge is just that, supposedly for the service, not a legal part of the bill like the menu prices are.

    Also, i refer you to my earlier post re leaving without paying anything.
    It is illegal to leave having paid nothing. it is, however, entirely legal to leave having paid what you feel the meal is worth. If you think the meal was so shoddy that it's not worth more than McDonalds, then leave a few quid, point is, you have paid something, and the police can't touch you.
    Why you think MaccyD's make you pay before you've eaten!! ;-)

    Talon "Ace" Karrde
    the more i see, the more i know, the more i know, the less i understand
  • atotori
    atotori Posts: 36 Forumite
    As you all can probably tell from my previous postings in this discussion, I am big on giving tips. But I value them mostly for the good feelings they generate for the receiver rather then their ability to augment a lower wage.

    A while ago, like gemsurf2, I considered those who provide a good service but don't work in the types of jobs which traditionally attract money tips, and felt also felt it was unfair that there wasn't an established way to express my thanks to them too. My solution to this situation is to tip these excellent customer service providers with sweets or something similar.

    There are people we see regularly who are always helpful, cheerfull and do their best for us like the post office lady or local dry cleaners; or that bus drivers who always asks how you are, remebers your stop ... even when you don't (and turned a blind eye that time you were 5p shy of the fare). Giving these service angels a cash tip, even occasionally, would be a bit weird because it's just not remotely normal for those kinds of jobs and would just create confusion. But for less than 50p you can give them a kitkat or tube of smarties occasionally which will instantly put a big surprised smile on their face. They squirell the gift away into their pockets and look forward to yummy chocolate on their coffee break. It means more to them than the 50 pence ever would, because you've appreciated their service enough to specifically get a little something just for them. And they don't have to share it with anyone they don't want to ... including the company or taxman ... it's all theirs. If there is more than one person to thank, get them a packet of rolos so they can easily share and have fun fighting over the last one.... I have found this approach to tipping very well received; especially for bus drivers with a crush on you :o)
    Sometimes you wake up grumpy ... but if you're wise, you'll let her sleep in.
  • Why should customers be morally blackmailed into paying extra service charges in restaurants? Why do we tip taxi drivers, hotel porters etc.? The practice plainly diminishes the giver and the receiver. Let the employers pay a proper wage for heaven's sake and stop the practice which only serves to stoke the black economy.
  • Most people who wait on tables are bums who cant get decent jobs.I never tip anyone why should we tip,its forced on us.The restaurants should try paying their staff a decent wage they charge enough for the food!!!!!!!!!Dont tip it just encourages scrounging......
  • for your surmise to be correct....
    why would ANY establishment pay a decent wage to a "bum who can't get a decent job"

    And how, pray, are waiting on tables/managing restaurants/cooking/bar tending not in any way "decent jobs"?

    what do you do for a living? i work in this trade, and neither am i a bum (although my wife says i have a nice one) or do i have trouble getting decent jobs in my chosen career that affords me and my family a very decent family life thankyou.

    In fact, i would go as far as to say, that "most" of the people i know in the business are some of the hardest working, most dedicated, commited, passionate people i know, who put to shame the many people who carry on in jobs they neither care about or are happy doing!
    Talon "Ace" Karrde
    the more i see, the more i know, the more i know, the less i understand
  • The reason it "affords you and your family a very decent family life" is because the food is probably already over priced when it is served and then on top of that you expect a tip for the privelage of serving the food that the customer is paying for.By your premis all people who are just doing their job should get tipped,are you going to tip the person at the checkout next time you are in Tescos or are they not as hard working as you (Honest).. lol... restauranteurs. :T
  • foreverskint
    foreverskint Posts: 1,009 Forumite
    First Post
    I only ever tip if the service I receive is above and beyond what I should reasonably expect, whether in a restaurant, taxi or wherever. In hairdressers, as far as I've noticed, if a tip is given it's quite often meant for the junior who washed your hair or made you a cup of coffee and not the stylist.

    Digressing slightly, the scenario I hate is tipping coach drivers... surely they are already being paid to do the job when you hire the vehicle? (Maybe someone knows whether they too rely on/expect tips as part of their basic income.) I cringe when some soppy soul comes round with an envelope 'for the driver', regardless of how well or pleasantly he's done his job. Not sure how many you can seat on a coach/bus, but if everyone chips in 50p or £1, that's a fairly hefty bonus! :beer:
    sorry to object to your post re the coach drivers but both me and dh were coach drivers. What most people don't realise is that in order to do just a day trip we were oftern on duty for the maximum 16 hours cleaning the coach before and after the trip, fuelling up and often preparing the night before re maps route finding etch. home for the 10 hours between shifts and then all over again the next day. It might surprise you that for all the resposability of carting around 50 odd passengermost companies pay just over and i mean just over the minimum wage for all of this. Most coach drivers work a minimum average of 50+ hours per week just to bring home a decent wage. No I don't agree that one should supplement a persons income, but bear in mind most coach drivers are doing the job because they enjoy it and love to be with the people they are driving around. To be honest when the hat did get passed around it was always those who looked as though they could least afford it would tip. rarely have I ever seen an envelope with lots of money in it. I did my job well and along with my partner never had an accident or caused any one to complain about the level of service they had. if some people wanted to tip then I thanked them kindly and looked upon it purely as a bonus!!
  • Poppy9
    Poppy9 Posts: 18,833 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Most people who wait on tables are bums who cant get decent jobs.I never tip anyone why should we tip,its forced on us.The restaurants should try paying their staff a decent wage they charge enough for the food!!!!!!!!!Dont tip it just encourages scrounging......


    That is a bit harsh and extreme. Ok you don't like tipping and you feel employers should pay a fair wage to avoid this need. Many feel the same. I don't think there is any need to be so offensive about waiting staff though. What is indecent about waiting tables? How is it different to anyother customer service job? Most people are only working to make a living. We have all been blessed with different talents and opportunities. No one should be ashamed of what they do. If you are cleaning public toilets or sweeping the streets you are providing an essential service - no shame in that.
    :) ~Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone.~:)
  • atotori
    atotori Posts: 36 Forumite
    Please don't feel you have to respond to shiller supreme. shiller supreme is obviously intentionally trying to flame (flamer = someone who deliberately posts provoking comments in forums to generate upset and anger).

    Taking the time to challenge and debunk the things flamers say tends to be a waste of energy and detract from the general meaningful honest discussion, because they just delight in retorting with even more disrespectful sweeping comments. Personally I'm just going to ignore shiller supreme's posts.

    I look forward to hearing more people's service experience and how it shaped their 'to tip or not to tip' decision making.
    Sometimes you wake up grumpy ... but if you're wise, you'll let her sleep in.
  • lady_noluck
    lady_noluck Posts: 617 Forumite
    I very rarely tip anyone. Not because I'm mean but because I can't afford to. If I get my haircut I'm made to feel guilty if I don't tip but what they don't realise is it's taken me 3 months to get the money together to get my hair cut in the first place. Restaurants are the same, although this really is a luxury and very rare.
    I would love to tip but I just can't afford it. Then I feel like a tightwad and people look at me like I have 2 heads!
    What do I do?
    My mind not only wanders .......... sometimes it leaves completely
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