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

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  • iansoady
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    I always decline and leave a cash tip. Mind you, you never actually know where it's gone when you leave.....

    I do agree with the posts about tipping being a bad practice and we should follow what happens in France and elsewhere where the most you leave is a couple of euros - and that only for exceptional service. Because the staff are paid properly. But here they're not and I refuse to swell the proprietor's profits.

    At least we're better than the USA where 20% is expected and abuse follows if you don't give it.....
  • tenuissent
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    My daughter-in-law works in a restaurant, and the policy is that all the dining room tips are shared out equally with the kitchen staff, which seems fair to me. She started off in the kitchen for a few months but a month ago was ask to do the waitressing. She is so good at this, cheerful and helpful and quick, that the tip rate has shot up, and the kitchen staff are delighted. So is this fair, or should she get the increase? She doesn't think so.
  • Lifes_Grand_Plan
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    As everyone above said, decline to pay the service charge, I hate these being forced on you (under the guise of being "optional", especially since you can't then tip at a level appropriate to the service received. I would then leave a cash tip for the server.

    I was once in a restaurant and asked if the service charge went to the staff and was told "no, it doesn't" so I then asked them to remove it and I would leave a cash tip instead. I wish I hadn't bothered as the server obviously didn't have a clue what I was doing and was shocked by it thinking I was criticising their serving and that no-one had ever not paid the service charge before.
    A big believer in karma, you get what you give :A

    If you find my posts useful, "pay it forward" and help someone else out, that's how places like MSE can be so successful.
  • WillBanyard
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    This is supposed to be money SAVING expert dot com, so never leave a tip or pay a service charge! There are no systems set up to tip other menial workers and the reason it's not automatically added to bills and then partially taken by the restaurant owner is that people feel awkward in declining to pay it.


    Anyone about to moan, I'll reinforce the point others have made about restaurants and bars being quite alone in their tipping customs and add that we MSEers are quite happy to haggle amazing deals on other products which by default equate to low wages for the staff of that company (I'm thinking bills, mobiles, clothing... pretty much everything that we want a "good deal" on).
  • happyinflorida
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    This is what I would do - ask to see the owner and complain about the fact that not only is the tight fisted owner charging MORE THAN THE USUAL 10% but has the cheek to keep it.

    I would state that I was 100% against that and until the service charge is stopped I would not ever eat at their place again.

    See what they've got to say, if it's a case of "I don't care, I'm only in it for the money" tell them goodbye and enjoy my loss of custom.

    I would def do this as I feel very strongly about owners that do this, I hate them big time.
  • Cookie1986
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    I find services charges rude and sneeky and never pay if it is automatically added onto my bill. I am happy to pay a tip if the service is good but I would expect service to be included at a restaurant. If they have not included ‘service’ in their price then it is their fault for pricing incorrectly and not my manners.
  • wiogs
    wiogs Posts: 2,744 Forumite
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    This is what I would do - ask to see the owner and complain about the fact that not only is the tight fisted owner charging MORE THAN THE USUAL 10% but has the cheek to keep it.

    I would state that I was 100% against that and until the service charge is stopped I would not ever eat at their place again.

    See what they've got to say, if it's a case of "I don't care, I'm only in it for the money" tell them goodbye and enjoy my loss of custom.

    I would def do this as I feel very strongly about owners that do this, I hate them big time.

    Is a service charge "usual" at 10%? I have seen more at 12.5%.

    If you like the place no need to boycott it, just do not pay the service charge (assuming of course that it is not obligatory)
  • ashgaroth
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    I completely agree. I have never agreed with tipping and don't do it. I don't tip someone serving me in a shop so why should someone serving me a meal expect it ?? Good service should come as part of the job and if it doesn't then maybe they should rethink their career. Low wages are a whole different discussion, but I think some restaurants pay low wages expecting the money to be made up through tips which is unfair on the staff and the customers.


    Asking for extra money, over and above the cost of the service, is akin to begging.

    Most of teh people that I know that work in the service industry earn more money that I do, so why should I tip them? I am not saying that I don't, as I do - when it is deserving.

    Waiters/waitresses get a tip after good service, on the provision that a service charge has not been added to the bill. If it had I would demand that it was taken off, pay the bill, leave - without leaving a tip - and never eat there again.

    Hairdressers/barbers always give a tip to the hairdresser and also to the person that washes your hair - if one is happy with the result.

    Never tip a taxi driver as their machines are already set to £2.50 of more when you step in the cab.

    Never tip a public worker, such as a dustman or postman as they earn a packet anyway.
  • tain
    tain Posts: 711 Forumite
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    What's all this about compulsory service charges? I was under the impression that there was never a compulsory charge, it could always removed if you requested it.

    Is this not the case? I also naively presumed that any service charge on my bill meant it went to the serving staff. It seems I'll be querying this a lot more now...
  • tain
    tain Posts: 711 Forumite
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    Also to answer the OP's question - I'd actually write on the bill 'service charge removed and waiting staff tipped directly instead'.
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