NAME AND SHAME. Restaurant service charges



  • VH
    VH Posts: 501 Forumite
    Thanks Martin, great idea, this exposes some of the crooks running these places.

    Party of 11 of us went out on New Year's Eve. We were left standing in the freezing cold restaurant doorway for 20 minutes while they sorted out our table.

    Service was terrible, staff kept making mistakes, half the dishes on the menu weren't available. Drinks took forever to come out. Our waiter wasn't interested in our table so we had to keep calling other staff to get any service. Then we had to go and ask for the bill 3 times as they couldn't be bothered to bring it out. No wonder we had to wait for the table for so long! We paid the 15% service charge and left in disgust without leaving a tip.

    I have no problem with tipping, but what's wrong with it is that most places just expect it as the norm when it's actually supposed to be left for good service.

    I only ever don't tip when the service is bad or unreasonably slow. I'm amazed by the dirty looks you get from staff who clearly can't do their jobs properly.

    For anyone who is embarrassed not leaving a tip - chances are you won't go back to the place again anyway so don't be worried about not leaving anything.
  • atotori
    atotori Posts: 36 Forumite
    Nobody ever tips in Japan either. Makes things so much easier - and the service is usually excellent! (Kind of ironic that the poster who has a Japanese-sounding name and a geisha image for an avatar is big on tipping!)

    A valid point, well made. However ... the Japanese do have a very rich gift giving and receiving element to social interactions. There were / are many occasions which require gifts to be given or exchanged. The rituals of giving gifts in Japanese history are sublime and intricate.

    I am big on tipping because I am big on gift giving ... and I remember the first tip I ever received and how surprised and happy their act of generosity made me.
    Sometimes you wake up grumpy ... but if you're wise, you'll let her sleep in.
  • Did you know that it is now a legal requirment that all tips are taxed? I am a cook in a restraunt and as it is part of a large establishment our tips are given freely by customers, we do not apply a service charge. All tips are pooled as the background staff are surely equally entitled to their share of the tips but these then go to the wages office are added to our pay and tax deducted. I think this is the unfair part.
  • surfcat
    surfcat Posts: 734 Forumite
    pauline: but surely then you would be getting let off tax when compared to other tax payers? It again comes down to why restaurant staff should get tips and, say, bin men should not?

    Either you are paid inadequately, and the tip forms part of your wage, in which case it should be taxed. Or you are paid adequately, in which case there should be no need to tip for doing your job.
  • pinkfluffybabe
    pinkfluffybabe Posts: 2,985 Forumite
    Name Dropper Academoney Grad First Anniversary First Post
    I think the worst thing about adding a service charge is that you are not being given the choice of whether you want to tip good service or a particularly nice meal.

    I can understand it where there is a party of say ten people and they add it as they will be kept busy all night but where two people are out for a meal requiring very little attention it really gets on my wick.

    In Glasgow it seems to be happening almost everywhere now and sometimes the service isnt very good but yet you feel compelled to pay this charge that has been added to your bill.

    In addition, I think there would be holy hell if all hairdressers started adding tips into the charge for a haircut and so on. A restaurant is there to serve you a meal, why should you pay extra to be served??
    Not buying unnecessary toiletries 2024 13/53 UU, 8 IN
  • jellyhead
    jellyhead Posts: 21,555 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    there's already a price difference between take away food and table service ... it should be enough to cover any extra costs incurred.
    52% tight
  • TEssery
    TEssery Posts: 43 Forumite
    This doesn't just apply to service charges added by the restaurant but also to tips added to a credit card payment. Prompted by Martin's advice, I asked our waitress in Zizzis what would happen if we included her gratuity on our credit card payment and she said the company would take half of it. Frankly I find the whole concept of tipping outdated and rather patronising. Perhaps there's a gap in the market here for a restaurant established on the principle of paying a fair wage to staff and publishing all-inclusive menu prices? I'd certainly eat there!
    TRC :)
  • starlite_2
    starlite_2 Posts: 2,428 Forumite
    i didnt have time to read everything on this very long apologies if youve heard it all before.
    i have worked for many resaurants and it is only since moving to london that i have been paid by the TRONCs system. my problem is, in my old jobs i would have a standard wage of say £6 per hour, and then tips on top- this added to a very decent amount.
    the last place i worked however had a standard rate of £2.35 per hour, with our tronc allocation on top. the way they allocated the pay was very complex and unfair. staff were given a higher rate for 'better performance' yet we were not told on what basis they decided this. also a person working peak shifts where the restaurant makes a lot of money got a far higer rate. annoying as i preferred and often worked afternoon shifts when the restaurant was dead, but i ended up working just as hard as those at the busy times, doing jobs such as sweeping and hosing the front, cleaning windows, creating stacks of napkins, demolishing and cleaning the coffee machines etc, which to be honest is far worse than being swept of your feet serving customers and having fun in a bustling environment. also a couple of people i worked with had children so were forced to work the daytime shifts while they were at school- and were earning sometimes £7 less per hour than otherswe had many amusing, but often irritating conversations on pay day when comparing our hourly rates with others.
    we also pooled our cash tips ( which we recieved a surprising amount of) however these were shared amongst everyone in the place, even the head chef and manager, who told me he was earning 40k plus per year. very unfair really!
    its a difficult thing, you can never know what an individual restaurants policy is, and when we were asked where the service charge goes by customers i could not answer, as we were never told the specifics of the system.
    Membre Of Teh Misspleing Culb
  • Robg_2
    Robg_2 Posts: 38 Forumite
    jellyhead wrote:
    there's already a price difference between take away food and table service ...

    I went into my local Bakers Oven other day and surprised to find about 40p difference between buying food to take away or to eat in. Especially as it's only a v.small shop with no room for a counter let alone anywhere to sit!
  • jellyhead
    jellyhead Posts: 21,555 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    ours doesn't let you eat inside, people sneak their bakers oven or greggs bags into mcd's when the weather's bad lol! the 'three cooks' has different prices for eat in and takeaway, staff don't expect tips. i used to know someone who worked at the bakers oven, they got paid slightly above minimum wage. mcd's charges less for take-away on some items (milkshakes, donuts, most desserts except flurry). the extra they charge you to sip milkshake inside (as opposed to coke, no mark-up on that but it's profitable anyhow) allegedly covers the wages for the lobby hostess who empties the bins, cleans the tables (and puts the rubbish in the bin for the customers who don't do it themselves), mops up spilled drinks, washes highchairs, opens doors etc. she gets paid, customers pay a mark-up for eating food indoors, nobody needs a tip - the employer makes enough money to pay the minimum wage. i don't see why it should be any different in restaurants - do you tip the lobby hostess in mcd's for cleaning your table?
    52% tight
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