'If service is included why isn’t it in the bill?' blog discussion

edited 8 February 2010 at 11:37AM in Martin's Blogs & Appearances & MoneySavingExpert in the News
39 replies 4.4K views


  • jmcluskyjmclusky Forumite
    14 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    I'd like a half way change. I'd like routine service to be included in the bill at all times so that there is never any obligation to pay. For ordinary good service you'd leave nothing.

    You'd still be able to tip for exceptional service, where the waiting staff had gone above and beyond.
  • Gosh,
    I hate it when they put service charge on the bill.
    I have no option but to pay it, the whole amount!.
    Cause I normally use card to pay.


    I would normally leave tips anyway, especially when the people there are nice.
    But, when they are not nice, then you are forced to leave a "big tip".. argh!

    Would be very happy if there is a regulation not to include tips on the bill.
    It should be voluntary anyway, it's a tip, isnt it?
  • The one thing that is currently annoying me are these Chinese or Indian resteraunts where it is an all you can eat buffet, and you go up and help yourself. Apart from bringing a drink the waiting staff just clear the tables, you choose what you want, and yet there always seems to be a 12.5% service charge.
  • A.JonesA.Jones Forumite
    508 Posts
    I think keep it optional. Recently, I've become quite fluid with tipping. If the service is really good, I happily give 20% plus. But if the service is very poor, I won't tip at all, although I do bear in mind whether it's the waiter/waitress at fault or the kitchen (often, the kitchen is slow and the front-line staff end up suffering).

    So if the kitchen staff are slow, how do you tip just the waiter/waitress and not the kitchen staff? Most places tips are pooled.
    What I do disagree with though is the tipping of certain professions who already earn plenty. For example, although I'll tip a restaurant, I don't like tipping taxi drivers, as I think their fares are already very high.

    And I think many restaurant prices are already high enough. Just as waiting staff in an expensive restaurant can be paid low wages, so can a taxi driver. A taxi fare is not pure profit for the driver, just as the money paid for a meal is nto pure profit for the waiting staff.
  • Martin,

    When you say you were in France, I didn't happen to see you in the ski resort of Morzine last week did I? I thought it was you but didn't want to disturb your holiday.

  • My way of thinking is that "service" should be included in the cost of the meal - why should you pay extra for your meal to be brought to your table from the kitchen?

    What happens if you don't pay for service? Do you have to fetch it yourself? Do your own washing up afterwards? Might as well cook it myself too - I could do that in the comfort of my own home for a lot less money. ;)

    I tend not to tip, because the waiter/ress is already getting paid to take orders and bring the food to the table (remember that they must be paid at least the minimum wage and that tips are no longer allowed to be counted as "pay").

    If the service has been exceptional, i.e. they've done something above and beyond their normal job, then of course I will leave a tip.

    Taking this concept to the extreme, should we start tipping staff in the supermarket for bringing goods from the warehouse and putting them on the shelves for us?

    As for the tip, looking both ways before crossing the road is generally a good tip... :p
  • JoodleJoodle Forumite
    16 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    "The one thing that is currently annoying me are these Chinese or Indian resteraunts where it is an all you can eat buffet, and you go up and help yourself. Apart from bringing a drink the waiting staff just clear the tables, you choose what you want, and yet there always seems to be a 12.5% service charge. "

    This really annoys me too. Recently I was in a chinese all-you-can-eat buffet place in North West London, the staff had been really rude to us and not at all helpful, so I told them we wouldn't be paying the service charge that appeared on the bill. They told me I had to, I pointed out that actually service charges are optional, and I was told - get this - if I didn't want to pay service, I had to tell them in advance! If I said in advance that I wasn't going to tip, was I going to get an even worse service?!

    Tipping should be completely optional - and not the norm. I don't tip in hairdressers, taxi cabs, regular shops, trains etc, no-one has yet said why Waiters/waitresses or bar staff should be tipped?

    As for big groups, the reason that historically service was included, was because the chances of getting service out of a big group is that much lower because of the opportunity to free-ride: no-one knows if it was you or the other person that didn't put the extra tip in, and if you don't someone else can always do it. However, now that tipping isn't part of "pay" and is effectively a bonus, there should be no more need for it.

  • I never tip, unless the service has been really above and beyond what you'd expect (or unless I can't be bothered faffing around with change in a taxi). I really don't understand why a waitress should get a tip just for doing her job, when the majority of other professions, some with worse pay and conditions than waiting on tables, don't get tips. I simply don't get it.
  • The best thing to do is ask where the tip goes. There is no consistency even across chain restaurants. Often it's left up to the server, some are generous and tip the barmen and table clearer (busser) but often it never goes back to the kitchen!


    Must save time as well as money!
  • You'd object if your supermarket added a service charge to the bill so why should restaurants be any different? I know people say 'waiting staff are poorly paid, they rely on tips'. That may be true, but they're poorly paid because restaurant owners know that they can rely on their customers to subsidise their wage bill in the form of tips. Think about that the next time you see the owner of your local restaurant in his flashy new Merc...
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