Should I refuse to pay service charge and leave cash tips?

in MoneySaving mums
67 replies 23.6K views
I regularly eat at a local restaurant, which always adds a 12.5% service charge to the bill. Service is good so I haven't minded paying it. However, I recently discovered that about 80% of that money doesn't even go to the staff who serve me, the restaurant keeps it. How can I get around this? Should I refuse to pay the service charge from now on and give cash tips to the waiter/waitresses?

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  • GigglepigGigglepig Forumite
    1.3K Posts
    Sounds like a good idea to decline the sneaky service charge - provided that it is not mandatory - and leave cash, if the staff is allowed to keep all the cash?

    That being said I personally think it is more fair that tips are divided between all the staff not just the waiters/waitresses.
  • ALI1973ALI1973 Forumite
    288 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    If it is a compulsory/mandatory service charge (you are told before ordering or it is written on the menu) then unless the service is poor you have to pay.

    If not and it is a suggested service charge, then yes I would ask for it to be removed and I would tip as I felt appropriate.
  • prowlaprowla Forumite
    12.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    I wouldn't pay it.
  • scotsbobscotsbob Forumite
    4.6K Posts
    I avoid paying that kind of charge and leave a tip for the waitress, it's up to her if she keeps it or shares it.
  • bozo007bozo007 Forumite
    26 Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker Name Dropper
    Decline the service charge, leave the tip in cash.
  • harz99harz99 Forumite
    3.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Home Insurance Hacker!
    If it's a mandatory service charge, stop eating there!

    Here in the UK we really don't want to become another US with expected tips and automatic charges, all of which just depress wages and line owners pockets.
  • I always request that the service charge is removed and always choose if and how much I pay as a tip. If I ate somewhere and they added a mandatory tip I would never eat there again and voice my displeasure upon leaving.
    I personally hate the idea of having to tip for somebody who is possible on a low wage. If they want to earn more they should get a better job, if they need qualification to do what they want they should go and do it, otherwise put up and shut up. I feel I should be paid more in my job but I certainly wouldn't request tips from anybody.
    Sometimes I feel guilted into leaving something but I rarely carry any cash at all, maybe a pound or something but if anything goes wrong with the meal I don't mind leaving nothing.
    I'm really put off going anywhere where the tip system is in full force such as America and just hate the idea of it full stop.
  • I complained to the manager and never went there again.

    he was informed of this.
  • Puzzle.ManiaPuzzle.Mania Forumite
    43 Posts
    Ninth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    A lot of people who serve the public are on low wages, but they don't get tips!
  • 19lottie8219lottie82 Forumite
    6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    A lot of people who serve the public are on low wages, but they don't get tips!

    I think you're missing the point here. The thread is not about "should I tip?". It's about service charges not going to staff.
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