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MSE News: Options to improve tipping practices laid out on the table – have your say

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Restaurants could be forced to take automatically applied discretional service charges off the menu...
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'Options to improve tipping practices laid out on the table – have your say'
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  • dekaspace
    dekaspace Posts: 5,705 Forumite
    I've been Money Tipped!
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    Can someone explain this to me, I have heard of service charge before but only now and again seen it mentioned and those times have been included in the price i.e a 2 course meal for £9 and receipt lists past of that as service charge.

    If the price was advertised as £9 on menu and service charge discretional then how does that work?
  • mjm3346
    mjm3346 Posts: 47,003 Forumite
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    Restaurants shouldn't be allowed to add any service charges it's just a way of trying to make their prices look cheaper in the menu - bit like a cinema charging £10 for a ticket and then adding a 10% service charge for the seat.
  • torbrex
    torbrex Posts: 71,340 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post Rampant Recycler Hung up my suit!
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    In all my working life (35+yrs) I have never been tipped for doing my job, why should a waiter be any different?

    If the service/food is good, I am likely to return and that way my continued custom will go to help paying the bills which include the staff wages.
    If the service/food is bad, I will tell them so and not return.
  • QuincyBella
    QuincyBella Posts: 234 Forumite
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    I think that as a nation we have really lost our way with tipping and in ideal world I would like to do away with it completely. To start with there is the discrepancy between industries we do tip in and the ones we don't (are we really saying that the bloke who works at the local dump, for example, is less worthy of a tip than a waitress?!). Furthermore, the stories of restaurants using tips to subsidise salaries is just despicable. I can understand that smaller businesses will feel the pinch giving some staff 50p an hour more, but if the stories about places like Zizzi removing staff perks like an included meal are true I think it's time I took my custom elsewhere.

    I also dislike the service charge being presumptuously added to the bill. There have been times when the service I have received has been exemplary and I have wanted to tip the member of staff responsible (note, not their manager, supervisor or the restaurant HR team!) however, I do not appreciate having a service charge whacked on the end of the bill. The cynical person in me thinks that they are simply banking on our "Britishness" and desire to go for the path of least resistance as yes, most people do know they can take the SC off, but many won't want to make a fuss or cause offence. Quite honestly I think more people should as more often than not service seems to be fair to middling and not worthy of more of my hard earned cash!
  • csgohan4
    csgohan4 Posts: 10,599 Forumite
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    Try going to U.S.A, if you don't tip them, it's like the end of the world to them and you became their public enemy number 1. One thing to earn your tip and another to expect it.
    "It is prudent when shopping for something important, not to limit yourself to Pound land/Estate Agents"

    G_M/ Bowlhead99 RIP
  • Grenage
    Grenage Posts: 2,950 Forumite
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    I think that the notion of tipping is insane, but not as mental as discretionary charges you have to request be removed.

    If the staff need tips, they should be paid more - not rely on some tax-avoidance lottery.
  • Tropi
    Tropi Posts: 6 Forumite
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    I am implacably opposed to tipping, for anything at all. No exceptions. The price I see is the price I will pay, not some other person's half baked idea of what more they think it might be worth. The advertised price is THE price, unless of course, it is further negotiated before buying in true MSE fashion..
    I would actually make tipping illegal, because, in essence, it is downright bribery.
    Those who do tip, whether they realize it or not, are actively encouraging employers to pay their staff badly. They are also making life more difficult for other people who do not wish to tip. There is nothing good to be said for it. Nothing at all.
  • Altarf
    Altarf Posts: 2,916 Forumite
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    Tropi wrote: »
    I am implacably opposed to tipping, for anything at all.

    Where tipping is constrained to rewarding someone who has gone above and beyond what it expected, I consider it is reasonable to offer a tip, if you want to.

    The problem is the American culture of tipping irrespective of the level of service is creeping in, but with people forgetting that in the US waiting staff are paid very little and make up the difference with tips.

    In the UK or Europe staff get paid at least a minimum wage, and the same minimum wage that workers doing similar level skill jobs do. Therefore there is no logic in tipping or paying a service charge for an adequately delivered service.

    I strongly object to 'optional' service charges as they are being damned presumptive that the service was so good that a tip should be paid.
  • Hemera
    Hemera Posts: 57 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Anniversary
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    I agree that tipping should be optional, and no service charge should be added to the bill - deciding if and how much to tip is up to the patron, and I wanna see that money going to the people who served me.
    In Italy there is often more than one of these voices on the bill: service, "cover" etc. It's just a way of bringing up the total price.

    Also, since as many people have pointed out waters are always paid at least minimum wage, I normally only tip a couple of quid, nothing more. My partner worked for years as a waiter, and I did so as well but for a short time, so I know how rewarding it can be to receive a little extra, especially for a young person :) . But that's it, a little extra, I'm not doubling their hourly wage.
  • PeterLWilson
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    It's good that these options specify that the tips should be received by the workers though. There have been quite a few instances of restaurants in the news lately for taking the tips and only giving their staff a small percentage of the monies gained.
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