Is it time for restaurant tips to stop being added to bills ?

With eating out becoming more and more expensive, is it not time restaurants stop automatically adding tips, ranging from 10 to 15% now. 

For me it can be awkward to not pay the amount, but it put me off eating out with the recent price rises. So we eat out less and restaurants suffer more.

In Japan they don’t tip at all and the service is excellent. In America they want 20% and Service can be awful. 

So I think a bill should just have a suggested service amount and not include it anymore.

what do you think? 
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Comments

  • NBLondon
    NBLondon Posts: 5,526 Forumite
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    It needs to be stated up front on the menu.

    If the menu says "X% Service Charge" then you have the option of not eating there.  If it says "Optional X% Service Charge" then you challenge it if you think the service was inadequate.  (I realise that some people won't feel confident about this).

    It should not be added to the bill without prior notification.  It should also be clear on the bill what is the food/drink and what is the service charge. I have seen some places just present a total because not every customer will notice or check.

    Just be honest about it...  £X for the supply of food/drink and £Y for the person(s) to take your order, give advice, bring the food etc.

    And to forestall the argument about wait staff being badly paid - I get that.  I want the restaurant to be honest about it.  If the service is good - I'll pay a fair price for it.   If I think an individual has been exceptionally good then I'll choose to reward that individual.

    I have on a few occasions asked for the optional service charge to be removed because of multiple issues but then tipped a specific server in cash because they weren't the problem but tried their best to fix it.  (I realise that some people won't feel confident about this).
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  • lisyloo
    lisyloo Posts: 29,609 Forumite
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    I personally like having it on there.
    Im confident in asking about having it removed if necessary (hardly ever).
    but agree it should be clear whether it’s included or not.

  • Ath_Wat
    Ath_Wat Posts: 1,504 Forumite
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    Would you be happy if all restaurants ban tipping, increase prices by 10% and increase wages of staff accordingly?  Somewhere like Japan, where there is not tipping, it is because the tip is essentially included in the price.  In the USA, where tipping is expected, menu prices are much cheaper because they don't have to cover waiting staff wages.
  • Ath_Wat said:
    Would you be happy if all restaurants ban tipping, increase prices by 10% and increase wages of staff accordingly?  Somewhere like Japan, where there is not tipping, it is because the tip is essentially included in the price.  In the USA, where tipping is expected, menu prices are much cheaper because they don't have to cover waiting staff wages.
    Yes, I'd be happy with that because it would allow me to make like-for-like comparisons of restaurants based on price, for example, without me having to try and factor in unknown costs related to mandatory or optional tips, service charges and the like.
  • Ath_Wat
    Ath_Wat Posts: 1,504 Forumite
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    Ath_Wat said:
    Would you be happy if all restaurants ban tipping, increase prices by 10% and increase wages of staff accordingly?  Somewhere like Japan, where there is not tipping, it is because the tip is essentially included in the price.  In the USA, where tipping is expected, menu prices are much cheaper because they don't have to cover waiting staff wages.
    Yes, I'd be happy with that because it would allow me to make like-for-like comparisons of restaurants based on price, for example, without me having to try and factor in unknown costs related to mandatory or optional tips, service charges and the like.
    I'd be happy with that as well; just wondering whether the OP would, or whether what they really want is just cheaper meals.  because in that case there are better things to make reductions on than the wages of poorly paid staff.
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 14,861 Forumite
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    Ath_Wat said:
    Would you be happy if all restaurants ban tipping, increase prices by 10% and increase wages of staff accordingly?  
    I'd prefer that.

    The staff deserve fair wages, not at the whom of the customer, who may withhold tip for reasons not in the control of the waiting staff.

    I can't think of anywhere else that the price is not complete in a comparable way.  Just imagine the Supermarket if you paid and then had to leave a tip for the check out staff.
  • Ath_Wat
    Ath_Wat Posts: 1,504 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper
    Ath_Wat said:
    Would you be happy if all restaurants ban tipping, increase prices by 10% and increase wages of staff accordingly?  
    I'd prefer that.

    The staff deserve fair wages, not at the whom of the customer, who may withhold tip for reasons not in the control of the waiting staff.

    I can't think of anywhere else that the price is not complete in a comparable way.  Just imagine the Supermarket if you paid and then had to leave a tip for the check out staff.
    I completely agree, it would be by far the better system, but I wanted to know whether the OP would prefer that.

    It must be galling for waiting staff that on a particularly busy night when they and the kitchen staff are overworked, they don't even get paid as much as usual because someone thinks he had to wait too long for his chips, but you need to look no further than this thread for people who seem to value their ability to not pay the people who are performing a service for them if for some reason it doesn't come up to their exacting standards
  • Voyager2002
    Voyager2002 Posts: 15,275 Forumite
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    With eating out becoming more and more expensive, is it not time restaurants stop automatically adding tips, ranging from 10 to 15% now. 

    For me it can be awkward to not pay the amount, but it put me off eating out with the recent price rises. So we eat out less and restaurants suffer more.

    In Japan they don’t tip at all and the service is excellent. In America they want 20% and Service can be awful. 

    So I think a bill should just have a suggested service amount and not include it anymore.

    what do you think? 

    Remember that a service charge is NOT a restaurant "automatically adding tips". This charge goes to the owner, to cover the cost of recruiting and managing waiting staff. Essentially this is the Ryanair strategy of appearing to be cheap by advertising a price that does not include essential components of the service being provided.
  • IvanOpinion
    IvanOpinion Posts: 22,176 Forumite
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    I stopped tipping the day they introduced the minimum wage. That is what many in the service industry asked for and they got it, so why is there a need to 'double-down' on service charges. Of course if someone is willing to tip me for doing my job then I may rethink.
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