🗳️ ELECTION 2024: THE MSE LEADERS' DEBATE Got a burning question you want us to ask the party leaders ahead of the general election? Submit your suggestions via this form or post them on our dedicated Forum board where you can see and upvote other users' questions. Please note that the Forum's rules on avoiding general political discussion still apply across all boards.

How to ask for optional service charge 12.5% to be taken off?

Options
1234568

Comments

  • Jew
    Jew Posts: 276 Forumite
    edited 11 September 2012 at 4:54PM
    Options
    When did I say your opinion is worth less? I am curious to see. You were the one that attacked my opinion, calling it "ill-informed observations".
    Loanranger wrote: »
    What is your problem, exactly?
    This is an open forum where anyone, Joe Public, anyone, can join in.

    When did I say nobody is allowed to join in? Please quote me. I was just saying: reader beware.

    What he is suggesting goes against policies of most big restaurant chains — where the management keep most of the tips. It would be in the interest of the management to spread lies about this to encourage people to continue tipping.
  • ibizafan_2
    Options
    Perhaps you would like to inform us exactly which restaurant chains do not let waiting staff keep the tips, as I, for one, am curious to know. I work for a well known Whitbread chain where staff keep their tips. My son worked in a restaurant in Leicester Square (another chain) where all staff kept tips. I was in Prezzo last night where all staff keep tips. Your "conspiracy" theory of some posters being secret management "spreading lies" is laughable! To address your complaint about service charges is easy. All restaurants who add a service charge have to display this policy on their website/menu. So, just avoid these if you don't want to ask for it to be removed. Not difficult, is it?
  • Jew
    Jew Posts: 276 Forumite
    Options
    ibizafan wrote: »
    Your "conspiracy" theory of some posters being secret management "spreading lies" is laughable!

    Claiming something is laughable doesn't make it so, especially if you don't back it up.

    It's not a conspiracy theory, everyone should be aware of who the source of information is — no matter if it's on a forum, from a newspaper, or word of mouth. Being skeptical does not hurt, in fact, it helps ascertain truth.

    It's very common in almost every industry to check forums for mentions of your company/brand and respond. It wouldn't be too far of a stretch if these same people whose job it is to do so would be replying to more generic threads.
    ibizafan wrote: »
    Perhaps you would like to inform us exactly which restaurant chains do not let waiting staff keep the tips

    I am working on this, I will let the thread know when it's ready. But here are some articles:



    Guardian: waiters still paid minimum wage out of your service charge, quotes:

    "A change to the law intended to stop restaurants using tips to make up staff's pay to the minimum wage will do nothing to stop employers pocketing all of the tips diners leave."

    ~

    "Waiters working for high-street chain Carluccio's [small portions, very expensive food], for instance, receive £3.75 per hour, plus three-quarters of tips left by customers on debit or credit cards to top their pay up to the minimum wage." <they basically get minimum wage even with tips>

    ~

    "Tragus, which owns 270 restaurants including the Cafe Rouge, Bella Italia and Strada chains, sent a memo to managers telling them to print weekly reports to check the amounts of service charge individuals were collecting to ensure they were not pocketing any of it.

    The manager who passed the memo to Cash told us: "When staff join we tell them not to say to customers that they don't get the service charge, but to say, instead, that it is distributed amongst staff. If a waiter consistently tells customers what happens to the service charge they will be disciplined and eventually sacked."

    He added that the service charge heavily subsidises staff wages - of the £6.50 per hour staff in his restaurant receive, only £2.50 comes from the company, with the rest paid for by gratuities left on debit and credit card. Cash tips go directly to staff. "A medium-size Strada restaurant would take around £2,000 a week in service charges - all our business models are based on collecting this income," he said."

    ~

    "When Cash visited four Bangladeshi restaurants in Brick Lane, east London, waiters told us that all tips - those left on cards and in cash - were kept by the management and that the practice was widespread amongst Brick Lane restaurants. "I feel bad about it, but the owners make the rules," one waiter told us."

    ~

    "Approximately a fifth of the UK's 30,000 restaurants [chains, they don't include individual restaurants] do not pass on tips to waiters, according to the British Hospitality Association" <I find that the larger chains don't, while smaller ones do>



    Independent: Britain's waiters and waitresses have their say, quotes from waiters/waitresses:

    "At one place, tips were supposedly added up and split at the end of each week and given to us in cash with our wages. Waiting staff got a bigger cut of tips than the kitchen. But it was never clear how the cut was made and whether the boss kept any of the tips – some people said they took 10 per cent."

    ~

    "But at the point I left, they changed it to a "tronc" (pooled) system, where you could keep cash tips, but credit card tips would be distributed according to the number of hours that you worked.

    So let's say you worked Friday night and earned £200 in tips. If you had only worked five hours that week, you would hardly see any of the money. Most of it would go to staff who might have worked 60 hours a week, perhaps on less busy days"

    ~

    "Until recently I worked for a big chain of restaurants in London. They paid the minimum wage, and we could keep cash tips, but they took a proportion of the service charge, which varied from about 60 to 90 per cent."

    "In the end, my managers saw that the service charges sometimes weren't appearing on bills from my tables and asked me what was happening. I told them that the customers didn't want to pay because the restaurant was deducting this huge amount from the charge before they passed any of it on. They said I had tarnished the company's image and they suspended me. "

    ~

    "The tips are shared out according to how many hours you have worked each month, so someone who has worked more hours will get more money."

    ~

    "Recently the restaurant where I work started taking about 65 per cent of the service charge, which everyone thought was pretty steep. But then the weeks went by and it got higher and higher – sometimes almost 90 per cent."

    ~

    "We've also noticed recently that some people have been leaving tips when paying by card. If, for example, the bill is £85, they might pay £90 and I don't think we see any of that. We haven't been told if we do or don't."

    ~

    "I've been working in restaurants for almost 20 years, and while I'm a manager now, I've done practically every job in the industry. Over the years I've worked in places with no service charges, restaurants that operate the "tronc" system, and in places where tips are staggered depending on longevity of service. My main problem with the tipping system is that too often it's used by managers as a slush fund, frequently at the direction of restaurant owners or senior management, to cover mistakes and protect revenue.

    The whole arrangement is sinister. For example, I've known managers to take money from the tips jar to make up the float if it is down, to make up the petty cash or to make up any discrepancies after thefts. In fact, I've even known managers to steal money from the cash register themselves and use the cash tips to hide it.

    It's not just the managers who are at it. I know that a chain of restaurants, which I used to work for, took 40 per cent of the tips for themselves. Across the chain it is not implausible to believe that they have received £250,000 a year in extra revenue from tips that should have gone to the staff.



    Guardian: we have trouble with tipping at home, quotes:

    "As a result, most (and almost all of the larger chains) now keep some or all of the service charge for themselves. Unfortunately, the issue has disappeared from the public eye."

    ~

    "Meanwhile, in the absence of regulation, catering establishments continue to exploit their workforce. Some companies now take up to 40% off credit card tips because by law, anything left by card is the property of the restaurant. Most now charge waiting staff an "administration fee" (of anywhere between 8% and 17%) for distributing their tips to them. "

    ~

    "And if you did try, there's a fair chance you would be disciplined or sacked for doing so – a lot of companies forbid their staff from talking to customers about the delicate issue of the service charge."



    More articles that have the same conclusions/information:
    - Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/protesters-confront-diners-at-london-restaurant-870944.html
    - Orlando Sentinel (US): http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2011-03-14/business/os-law-and-you-tip-sharing-20110313_1_tip-sharing-darden-restaurants-kitchen-staffers
  • ibizafan_2
    Options
    Just tried one of your links. It goes back to 2008! Some of the chains, a few years ago, were paying less than NMW and relying on tips to make up waiting staff wages. This happened to my son in Leicester Square. They also took 10% of credit card tips. Although he left the job several years ago, he recently had a large amount of money re-funded to him because their policy had to change after it had come to general attention. You are totally confusing different issues on tipping policy. Even losing part of his wages etc at the time, he could still make £1000 some weeks in tips so I don't think he was too bothered, although the refund was welcomed. Most complaints about management taking tips apply to independants.
  • Jew
    Jew Posts: 276 Forumite
    Options
    To quote today's BBC article:


    Tipping has always been a tricky subject. Who should get a tip? Waitresses? Taxi drivers? Hairdressers?

    Should it be 10% or 12.5%? And is a tip only given for excellent service, or does adequately good service deserve one too?

    Many restaurants now include the service as a matter of course - and typically at 12.5%. It's still optional, so the customer can ask not to pay, but many would find that too embarrassing.

    Internet forums are full of the disgruntled.

    "It creates lazy table staff who do not care about the service that they give, because they know that their tips are 'safe'," writes one annoyed punter on Yelp.co.uk.

    "This is a growing blight. And if it isn't bad enough, restaurants that include service often add a voluntary tip box on the receipt - to make us pay more", adds another on moneysavingexpert.com.
  • ibizafan_2
    Options
    I don't think we're getting anywhere here. I posted to confirm that staff in most chain restaurants get the tips they are given. We don't have a service charge, although I wish we did for tables over 6. I suggest you avoid the places that impose a service charge. There's plenty of them. Job done! I'm sure that my son was grateful that most people are happy to tip. He managed to save up the deposit to buy a property in London by working in a chain restaurant, although it drove him mad by the end of two years! That's why there's usually a big turnover of staff. It's a means to an end, and a very lucrative one!
  • Jew
    Jew Posts: 276 Forumite
    Options
    ibizafan wrote: »
    I don't think we're getting anywhere here. I posted to confirm that staff in most chain restaurants get the tips they are given. We don't have a service charge, although I wish we did for tables over 6.

    1. Look at my original query. That's what the BBC article relates to mostly.

    2. I replied to your claim about the staff getting service charge with evidence that this is not the case.
  • Guifre
    Guifre Posts: 23 Forumite
    Options
    Hi

    I thought I would check back and see if anything interesting had been posted on this thread recently.

    Oh dear.

    Sadly, it seems that anyone with an opinion differing from that of the OP is accused of being a spy, and that all evidence that supports any of the OP's hypotheses is lauded but anyone with any evidence to the contrary has their posts dissected piece by piece.

    These are the same reasons for which I stopped posting on this thread, as it's fairly anomalous among MSE as a whole - mostly people respect the opinions of others and most members are friendly and courteous. Newbies tend to be given the most slack (by most users).

    Of course, the OP has the right to defend him/herself and insist that his/her posts are in fact balanced/courteous/friendly/respectful/the last word in objective fact/unchallengeable/based on omniscient insight/ furnished by a personal hotline to every restaurant in the UK.

    I'll just stay out of it shall I.

    Enjoy.
  • Jew
    Jew Posts: 276 Forumite
    edited 11 September 2012 at 4:59PM
    Options
    Guifre wrote: »
    Sadly, it seems that anyone with an opinion differing from that of the OP is accused of being a spy, and that all evidence that supports any of the OP's hypotheses is lauded but anyone with any evidence to the contrary has their posts dissected piece by piece.

    Firstly, I don't know what your problem is with my way of responding, but I won't change it for you. I think it's a very logical and straight-forward means of replying. If anything, I do it also for your benefit, so you know what I'm replying to.

    Secondly, thus far, the only two opinions that I've been openly skeptical about are from 2 users with very few posts that wondered onto this thread. There's been plenty of users that have expressed different opinions.


    Thirdly, if you consider a forum post as "evidence" (especially from a new member) then I'm not surprised you don't like my detailed approach to replying. Point-by-point replies are pretty standard in science and organized discussions where evidence is analyzed.
    These are the same reasons for which I stopped posting on this thread, as it's fairly anomalous among MSE as a whole - mostly people respect the opinions of others and most members are friendly and courteous. Newbies tend to be given the most slack (by most users).

    I give newbies a lot of slack.

    But, as anyone should when they see something on the internet, TV, or a book, I question the source of the information, motives, and so on. It's pretty basic really.

    For example, someone writing like an expert with little to no reputation and other posts brings up red flags. Sorry, but that's Evidence 101. Doesn't mean it's true, but it's a red flag, and that's exactly what I stated each time — reader beware.
    Of course, the OP has the right to defend him/herself and insist that his/her posts are in fact balanced/courteous/friendly/respectful/the last word in objective fact/unchallengeable/based on omniscient insight/ furnished by a personal hotline to every restaurant in the UK.

    Try not to be so passive aggressive and don't take things so personally.

    If you're a real genuine person, then why are you getting so defensive when I questioned it?

    futurama-fry-meme-generator-not-sure-if-real-or-just-a-clever-bot-594bef.jpg
    I'll just stay out of it shall I.

    Enjoy.

    Replying like you did and trying to insult me isn't really staying out of it... ;)
  • Guifre
    Guifre Posts: 23 Forumite
    Options
    I'm sort of glad that you took the bait. Secretly of course.

    Thirdly, if you consider a forum post as "evidence" (especially from a new member) then I'm not surprised you don't like my detailed approach to replying. Point-by-point replies are pretty standard in science and organized discussions where evidence is analyzed.

    I think many people would agree that treating the posts of others as well-intentioned contributions (albeit subjective - by definition), is closer to forum etiquette than what you yourself describe as a technique suited to 'science and organized discussions where evidence is analyzed'.

    I give newbies a lot of slack.

    Except me. Oh, and Ibizafan. Who coincidentally both happen to have a dramatically different view to tipping than yours. And who can both contradict your previous grossly over-generalised statement:

    I eat out really often — in all sorts of restaurants, and I've asked in pretty much all the major chains: large parts (if not all) of the tip go to the restaurant and higher paid staff members.

    I've worked in three of the largest in the UK, and I've double-checked with a friend from one more of the top chains. Ibizafan can add another of the large chains (unless it's one of the same ones I've worked in). The chains I have worked in count for in excess of 1000 restaurants across 3 brands, all very well known. So either you are exaggerating, or you are saying that we are liars. I suspect the former.

    For example, someone writing like an expert with little to no reputation and other posts brings up red flags. Sorry, but that's Evidence 101. Doesn't mean it's true, but it's a red flag, and that's exactly what I stated each time — reader beware.

    If you're a real genuine person, then why are you getting so defensive when I questioned it?

    Another case of chiming in after only having no/few posts.

    How did you find this topic?


    Having read a great many of your posts on this thread, a major tactic of yours seems to be to attempt to strengthen your argument by questioning the right of others to have an opinion at all, by suggesting that they are imposters. Or perhaps you are suggesting that there's some 'length of service requirement' for having an opinion on tipping in restaurants.

    Try not to be so passive aggressive and don't take things so personally.

    a) you don't know what passive-aggressive means; but you make me chuckle when you use it;
    b) see the bit about 'imposters' - that is personal.

    Accusations of 'passive-aggression' and 'taking things personally' are part of your attempt to discredit opinions different to yours, similar to your 'imposter' tactic.

    And one final thing - most of what you quote from outside sources is based on quotes from individuals and some speculative estimates (nothing wrong with that). Opinions such as mine and those of Ibizafan are based on industry experience (nothing wrong with that). Yours for the most part are based on what information you have derived when eating out (nothing wrong with that either).

    However you promote your anecdotal/limited evidence to a status above the anecdotal/limited evidence of other posters. In effect you mistake your own opinions for fact, and mistake our opinions for mischief, or nonsense.

    I suppose that's more or less 'what my problem is'. But like you say, and like you said at great length to Idiophreak previously, you're not going to change for anybody. And why the hell should you?

    I look forward to having my opinions dissected and ridiculed, or perhaps totally ignored in some kind of brilliantly ironic double-bluff. Actually, I don't think you will be able to resist picking some quantity of holes in my post.

    Either way, have a great evening.
This discussion has been closed.
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 8 Election 2024: The MSE Leaders' Debate
  • 343.8K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250.3K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 450K Spending & Discounts
  • 236K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 609.2K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173.4K Life & Family
  • 248.6K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards