NAME AND SHAME. Restaurant service charges

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  • Murtle
    Murtle Posts: 4,154 Forumite
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    I'm sorry to disagree but a service charge is for service. It is meant as a tip and if I remember correclty started to come in =/-10 years ago when these things could go on the bill and be paid on a card, previously all tips had to be cash. As a waitress at the time, the service charges were split between the staff (nasty job for manageress at the end of each shift) and added onto our pay. Waitresses previously weren't taxed on tips, although we had slightly lower tax codes apparently to compensate this.

    Tips/service charge should ONLY ever be left if the service deserves it. I hate people who leave a standard £5 tip. Why tip some cretin the same as someone who provides fantastic service.

    If you can't afford to tip - doesn't mean you can't go out - it means you can't tip simple. Not everyone tips, not everyone should have to tip. If you serve me well, I'll tip you well - if you serve me ok, I'll tip you ok - and if you serve me poorly, I'll not tip and maybe complain!! That's how the service industry works.....

    I also disagree on percentage tips!! But this is me - and the reason behind it is, if I happen to decide on an expensive bottle of wine to go with my meal, i don't see the relation to tipping a % of that as opposed to a % of a cheaper bottle of wine...the server still does the same job!!! The tip I give is based on the service they provide.

    After working in the hospitality industry and loving it enough to study it for 4 years....I can say I am very disillusioned by the over whelming poor service this country has to offer - now I don't mean everyone, as I eat out but only return to places with a combination of good food and service!! Good food, poor service - I'll eat elsewhere thanks.....add on a service charge, I won't leave a tip - and more often the added on service charge is less then what I would have tipped

    Rant over phew....breath again
  • Peter-Pan_5
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    I agree with Ivan what a nerve 20% makes you happy that would make me angry.!!

    Where does it all end,tip the bus driver `cause he was on time!!!
    A wise man changes his mind, a fool never will.
    El sabio muda el consejo, el necio no.
  • Murtle
    Murtle Posts: 4,154 Forumite
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    imported_ami - I'm sorry to hear that the tips are split like that, I was lucky in the fact that where I worked, we pooled the tips and then split them a % to the chefs and if the kitchen staff had been good, a % to them too!! Sometimes they were lazy and the waiting staff would be in there washing and prepping to!! However, we had chefs that were on a 'good' salary and so would often say not to worry about the tips, especially if they felt that the tips were low for the shift! :j

    A little concerned about this one; Menu prices reflect the prices of the food, drinks menus the prices of the wine/other drinks. The price you pay does include the % of profit the establishment needs to pay the staff and other bills.
    ...doesn't sound like a good way to decide on costs for ANY business... staff costs are a required cost and should come out of profits...they pay dividends to their shareholders out of the profits!!!! :confused: A coke out of the boxes does not cost £1 as pure drink cost...therefore there are other costs already added into it....

    A lot of American restaurants don't pay their staff, they are paid in the tips the received from the good service the provide to their customers, I'm not sure if this is reflected in the cost of the food though... :eek:

    20% is fine, so long as you provide 20% worth of good service... :D
  • Bossyboots
    Bossyboots Posts: 6,746 Forumite
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    I haven't read every page here but we make it a policy not to eat where the service charge is deemed compulsory.

    I do sometimes feel a bit mean not tipping but I do object to paying extra money for someone who has simply written down an order and then put it on the table. As far as I can recall I have only ever had one meal where the service was exceptional enough to warrant a tip and that time we left a large one.

    We are going out next Saturday to a restaurant where a service charge will be added because there will be more than six of us. We will, as usual, have it removed from the bill and if we feel so inclined leave a cash tip or alter the amount on the slip.

    I have noted some of the comments here about tips going into a pool, including the chef. This has made me think even more about tipping as when we went out for a meal last week I had to send mine back as my "medium" steak was in fact totally uncooked, just seared on the outside. I am guessing that in fact the chef put the wrong steak on my plate, using one he had started cooking for someone else rather than the one that should have been mine. The replacement meal was in fact extremely well cooked but it did tarnish the evening and I would be a bit put out to think the chef benefitted from the small tip we did leave which was really in recognition of the speedy (not by the chef, my husband had almost finished his meal before mine came back) and unquestioning manner in which my meal was changed.
  • reen_3
    reen_3 Posts: 81 Forumite
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    Poppy9 wrote:
    Reen,
    You say a service charge is not a tip it keeps prices down. How does it keep prices down if you say its not optional (well only for tax evasion reasons).

    it keeps them down on the menu. a £10-dish looks better than an £11.25-dish. it's the same way as in the States clothes prices do not include tax. that's added at the till. obviously, if your waitress hit you in the head with a drinks tray, spilled your soup in your lap and then brought you the wrong desert, you have genuine cause for complain and should refuse to pay for that kind of service. fair enough. but people refuse to pay service way too often just because they are cheap. the number of people who order their steak medium-rare and then complain that it's pink on the inside, send it back and then refuse to pay the service (on the entire bill) is rediculous. it's not the waiter's fault that you're too stupid to know what you're ordering. why should he get in trouble over it?

    Poppy9 wrote:
    As with any job you expect it to be executed with grace and good manners. Why should I pay extra for a smile:rolleyes:

    i'd like to think that i go way beyond simply having good manners and smiling. and the way that i know it is that i have people come up to me all of the time saying how wonderful everything has been and 'thank you so much for everything', etc. and then they leave me nothing. so clearly it wasn't bad service. it was ignorance on their part about the difference between a service charge and a tip. yes, i expect people to tip me. why? because my boss also expects this and takes that into account when he sets my wage (and, consequently, the food prices). if he were to raise my wage, the cost of the meal would still go up for the customers. i think it's better to give customers the option of not paying/not tipping for bad service. but this only works if you do tip generously for good service. my husband takes home around 4 times his (well below minimum wage) salary every week, mainly through cash tips and the small fraction of the servie charge that he receives. do you want to pay £30 for a burger, regardless of the service you get?

    Poppy9 wrote:
    Someone giving me 20% on top of my wages for doing my job which I am paid to do would make me happy too:D

    yes, it would. but is your basic salary £2/hour? also, how come no one complains when non-service industry people get anual bonuses? you don't think that's included in the price you pay for their products? it's just better hidden than the 12.5% service charge.

    obviously, i would rather get paid a proper living wage than depend on tips. but it ain't gonna happen any time soon. if you don't tip, your server won't be able to pay his or her rent, buy groceries, etc. that is how the system works. if you don't like it, that's fine. i don't like it either. complain to the manager. but don't screw over the person who provided you with a good service, in advace, without knowing whether or not you'd tip.
  • Bossyboots
    Bossyboots Posts: 6,746 Forumite
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    reen wrote:
    the number of people who order their steak medium-rare and then complain that it's pink on the inside, send it back and then refuse to pay the service (on the entire bill) is rediculous. it's not the waiter's fault that you're too stupid to know what you're ordering. why should he get in trouble over it?
    QUOTE]

    How rude are you? I find that comment offensive. The medium steak I received was so undercooked that when I put a knife into it, blood came pouring out. I am not exaggerating that, it flowed all into my peppercorn sauce, leaving a little red river running through it. Taking a small slice off the meat showed that it had, as I said, been seared on the outside and that was all. I had no problem with tipping the waiting staff who were mortified at the error. I would be concerned though if the chef received part of the tip considering he marred our evening.
  • Poppy9
    Poppy9 Posts: 18,833 Forumite
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    Reen

    You do seem to have an attitude problem. Also if you are paid just £2 per hour contact CAB. There is a minimum wage set by the government. See attached:
    Minimum Wage

    If you had read my post properly you would see that I am a public servant. That is I provide a service. Many public servants earn just £10k pa. There is no bonus payment or PRP. For that they take abusive phone calls from members of the public on a daily basis. Also many of them are front line workers. This means they face voilence frequently. For example HB clerks who have to deal with public callers are refused screens by their bosses because the public don't like them regardless of the danger the staff face. Do they expect tips for doing their job - no.

    Most posters here want honest prices with all the costs included so they can see what they are paying for. If they get lousy service they won't be back again, the restaurant losses customers and closes and all staff are out of a job. Every time people dine out locally they weigh up the cost of a meal with the service they get. If they get lousy service in the cheaper restaurant they won't go there but will pay the extra. Good service is usually the sign of a well run restaurant.
    :) ~Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone.~:)
  • reen_3
    reen_3 Posts: 81 Forumite
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    Poppy9 wrote:
    Reen

    You do seem to have an attitude problem. Also if you are paid just £2 per hour contact CAB. There is a minimum wage set by the government. See attached:
    Minimum Wage

    you are fooling yourself if you think that all restaurant workers get paid at or above the minimum wage. the law doesn't state where the min wage comes from, so if your credit card tips and whatever else gets processed through payroll gets you up to an average of £5.20/hr, then the govt cosideres it ok. by the way, it only has to average to min wage over your pay period. so you can have several bad days with no customers and no tips, when you really are just making £2/hr, and then have a couple good days with generous customers which balances it out. when was the last time you had a 12-hour shift at £2/hr?
    Poppy9 wrote:
    If you had read my post properly you would see that I am a public servant. That is I provide a service. Many public servants earn just £10k pa.

    yeah, and tube drivers make £40k pa for simply opening and closing doors. i'm not here to say that waiters should get paid more than civil servants (though many waiters are better educated and more skilled, but that's another issue). all i'm saying is that there is a system that's been in place for a very long time. by ignoring the various 'traditions', you are hurting people who are not personally responsible for the system.
    Poppy9 wrote:
    Most posters here want honest prices with all the costs included so they can see what they are paying for.

    surely that is an argument for having a separate service charge? if your tablecloth isn't as clean as it should be, you can't say to the manager that you want the tablecloth charge taken off as it's included in the price. but you can do that with service.

    and bossyboots... i don't know why you took my comment so personally if you're not one of the people who doesn't know what he or she is ordering. if your 'medium' steak is dripping with blood, then of course you should send it back. my problem is with people who get their meal as it should be and then complain either because they didn't read the description properly or didn't understand it and couldn't be bothered to ask for a clarification, and then they complain. are you one of those people? if you are, then please don't come to my place of work. if you're not, then why are you so offended?
  • starlite_2
    starlite_2 Posts: 2,428 Forumite
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    the most laughable is the chain of all you can eat chinese buffets in central london where you sit at filthy tables squeezed in next to strangers, collect your own plate, cutlery and food and have to practically scream to order a drink (which may or may not arrive and usually comes at the end of the meal if at all). then they have the cheek to bring over a reciept with big red writing saying 'service not included' and have this pointed out to you at the till...unbelievable!
    Membre Of Teh Misspleing Culb
  • Bossyboots
    Bossyboots Posts: 6,746 Forumite
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    reen wrote:
    and bossyboots... i don't know why you took my comment so personally if you're not one of the people who doesn't know what he or she is ordering. if your 'medium' steak is dripping with blood, then of course you should send it back. my problem is with people who get their meal as it should be and then complain either because they didn't read the description properly or didn't understand it and couldn't be bothered to ask for a clarification, and then they complain. are you one of those people? if you are, then please don't come to my place of work. if you're not, then why are you so offended?

    I take it personally because your remark about people ordering medium steak and then sending it back because it is undercooked came immediately after my post about having done exactly that.

    Even if it wasn't aimed directly at me, you are doing your cause no favours with your attitude.
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