Real-life MMD: Should I ask to keep my tips?

Former_MSE_Debs Former MSE Posts: 890 Forumite
edited 25 June 2013 at 4:21PM in MoneySaving polls
Money Moral Dilemma: Should I ask to keep my tips?

At the pub I work in, we're told not to keep our tips. Instead, they all go in a jar, not to be shared out among the staff, but to pay for a Christmas lunch for several under-privileged families. I'm happy to contribute to this, but feel I should have the option to support the scheme, as the tips I get are a reward for the good service I provide. Should I say something or am I being selfish?
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  • thebaroness
    thebaroness Forumite Posts: 126 Forumite
    If those are the rules regarding tips, you should abide by them. It's not worth getting into trouble with your employers. The bigger issue for me would be whether the customers who leave you these tips are aware. It's not fair that customers tip based on the service you provide when you don't benefit.
  • Cookiepops
    Cookiepops Forumite Posts: 369
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    I think you should say something. At the end of the day it is the customers money and its their discretion whether they leave a tip for but if they think their money is going to the staff for good service and is being used for something else, then they should be made aware. Maybe there should be a jar for charitable donations and then a tip jar too so that the customers can decide where they want their money to go.
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  • michaelsutherland
    michaelsutherland Forumite Posts: 68 Forumite
    I used to work in a restaurant where tips were pooled but (and I know I am blowing my own trumpet here) the rest of the staff were pretty poor at their job. One table of regulars used to make of point of always sitting in my section and leaving the tip on the table, telling me to take it and not pool it - they said that until I started to work there they didn't leave a tip at all (it was a cheap carvery lunch and only round the corner from their house). My opinion was that it is upto the customer what happens to the tip not the management. I always ask if tips are pooled or not, and if they and the rest of the staff have been poor I tell the waiter that the tip is for them only.
  • Lagoon
    Lagoon Forumite Posts: 934 Forumite
    As a customer, when I give a tip, I want it to go to the person that's served me. I'll put the money down regardless if I feel that I've received good service, but I don't like thinking that my money is there just to fund the business when I've already paid for my food. I intend for it to show my appreciation for good customer service, and I think that personal tips motivate people to provide that service. It's rare I think every member if staff is deserving, and I won't give a tip unless I'm genuinely happy with how I've been treated.

    I don't intend for that tip to be charity money, but I'd rather this than a pooled fund for all staff. I'd just prefer places to be open about where the tips go.

    On occasion I've also made a point of giving tips to kitchen staff, but as this is usually EXTRA money out of my pocket rather than a situation where I split my usual tip, I ensure that I ask exactly who the money goes to before I send it back, and always send it with a server rather than a manager in the hope that it reaches the right person. If I'd usually tip a server 10% of the total meal cost, and then decide to tip someone in the kitchen as well, the last thing I want is to be giving a 20% contribution to the manager, or to staff that have stood around and made no effort.
  • katecheshire
    katecheshire Forumite Posts: 229
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    I wonder how HMRC would view this - do they assume that people in service industries where tips are commonplace are getting income in the form of tips?
    Apart from that, customers think they are giving a tip for good service but no staff are actually getting tips - that seems unfair. Do the recipients of the lunch realise that it is not the company's generosity but the staff's sacrifice providing their treat? It all seems a bit misleading.
    Perhaps the staff should talk to the management and maybe come up with a fundraising idea a couple of times a year to raise the funds in a more transparent way. That sort of thing is good publicity in local media. Everybody wins!
  • scotsbob
    scotsbob Forumite Posts: 4,632 Forumite
    Say something. Supporting a charity should be optional not compulsory.
  • LOUY_2
    LOUY_2 Forumite Posts: 57 Forumite
    I think tips are to show the customers appreciation for the service from the staff. If the staff do not receive the tips, this can mean there is no real incentive for staff to provide an excellent service. The Management should be aware of this fact.

    But giving the staff reward to support charity is a nice touch. I think Management should match the tip collection and double the amount given to charity. Having a good initiative to support a good cause is great and everyone should give, not just from the staff.
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  • kerri_dfw
    kerri_dfw Forumite Posts: 4,556
    1,000 Posts Combo Breaker Debt-free and Proud!
    The management obviously feel the staff are paid adequately, therefore feel it appropriate to give the tips to a worthy cause. Personally I don't have a problem with this, I was recently reading an article that said in some parts of NYC they were phasing out tips and increasing the wages of staff to be more appropriate, therefore tips were an insult. If you don't like the fact the management do this then find another job. I wouldn't have a problem with it if it were me.
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  • luciandan
    luciandan Forumite Posts: 16 Forumite
    I always find tips are such a minefield. Are they really just for the service, or are they for good service and good food and, if the latter, should they be pooled anyway among all the staff? Personally, I’d sooner do away with tips and include everything in the price of the meal.

    Pooling tips for charity is an interesting choice – it says something about the culture that management wants to foster among staff and perhaps even among customers (as we can’t assume from the post that customers don’t know where the tips go). If you don’t like it, you should certainly check what the feeling is among all the other waiting staff who give up their tips in the same way that you do. If they agree, then suggest a compromise. If they don’t, you may be better off working in another restaurant with a tipping policy that you agree with.
  • Voyager2002
    Voyager2002 Forumite Posts: 15,122
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Discuss it with the other staff in the first instance: it would not be fair if your tips were treated differently from all the others, but maybe the whole policy is wrong.
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