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

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  • sethklinger
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    Worked in catering for years. Always best to leave cash as it is more likely to go the the staff. Some restaurant split the service between not only the waiter, but the barman who might serve you at the beginning of the night but not again, however they will look after your drinks for the waiter and some tips can go to the kitchen because there to be fair doing the hardest part of the job. If this is done well it can be good building team moral. If done badly the waiters feel there being ripped off. A lot of many large chains keep the service and only give a small percentage back. I know that one chain it would matter the number of customers or how large their bills the waiter "tronc" never changed, these company basically use tips to pay staff. The tips some time can pay for all the kitchens wages.
    I actully disagree with having service on the bill, back in the day before the 12.5% become the norm, if I worked for my tips I on the whole word earn more. Also I would sell up which would make the bill higher. Customer looked after, more money for the boss and more tips for me. Every one happy. Its in the name, "service" if a waiter / barman looks after you, you (might) tip well if not more, and if you get well trained, happy pro active waiters, customers tend to spend more, come back and tell others. A win win. This is a basic rule of the service industry which seems to have been forgotten.
  • pennypinchUK
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    Always ask the staff if they get the money from the service charge (they're normally keen to tell you as they know you're willing to tip), and always pay tips by cash. If there's a service charge it's not obligatory to pay. I'm less inclined to return to a restaurant that includes service charges as I know it's often a simple rouse from the owner to get more money.
  • anotheruser
    anotheruser Posts: 3,485 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post I've been Money Tipped!
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    We don't live in a country that pays servers half the minimum wage.
    Tip if you want, but that's not the culture of our country so it shouldn't be added or required in any way.

    I pay for the food, which is over priced to pay for servers (and other things).
  • claire5005_2
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    Sam_Rogers wrote: »
    I work in the service industry and you pay for the service so it should go to the person providing it. I happen to be very good at my job and shouldn't have to share it with others who aren't so good. I completely believe that tips should always be optional and my service is the same for tippers and non tippers.



    Could you do your job as well if the behind the screens staff were not good at their job? I think that the waiter is the 'face' of the establishment and tips should be spread between all the staff.
  • wiogs
    wiogs Posts: 2,744 Forumite
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    tain wrote: »
    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...


    There are some restaurants in London where it is compulsory so that should you wish to dine there you are accepting the conditions of the establishment, including their service charge.

    I read an article where a place adds 12.5% to drinks not served at the bar! (was from a few years ago so might have changed)
    The owner of the place said
    "This country (the UK) needs to learn how to tip"

    Then said "That’s the single biggest thing that would improve the service industry, since if the staff were paid better, they would look at it more as a career and then standards would rise.’ "

    So pay them better you tw@t and don't expect their salaries to be made up by tips.
  • gaving7095
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    Check if it's mandatory - if it is & you don't like it, eat elsewhere. Or - of course - speak to the manager, express extreme disappointment on such underhanded, despicable tactics and ask whether he'd rather keep you as a regular customer or continue being a money-grabbing twit.

    If the charge isn't mandatory, don't pay it. If it bothers you (it would me), speak to the manager & ask what's going on.

    Either way, if you DO eat there in the end, leave a cash tip :-)
  • Barbara_Adair
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    Gigglepig wrote: »
    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.
    Surely this is the "tronc" system, where the tips are divided out between ALL staff, including the kitchen staff, instead of just the waiters.
  • Mountain_Man_2
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    It always puzzled me why there should be a compulsory service charge for parties in excess of some number and not for small groups. Surely it's more efficient to have a few large groups than lots of individuals or small groups. :(
  • pinmoney
    pinmoney Posts: 22 Forumite
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    Why don't restaurants set out their policy on how and when they use the "service charge" or how they divvy up the tips in a paragraph at the bottom of their menu so that diners can choose between the service charge, leave a cash tip on the table, or none at all?
  • curlycat_2
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    I have refused to pay the set service charge when the 'hostess' informed us they'd double booked the table and could we have our desert (ordered but not yet received) in the lounge. I gave the waitress a tip as she happened to be very good. It was the establishment I had a problem with.
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