UK Government launches enquiry into restaurant tips

1 min read

Restaurant tips have been big news in the previous months. The revelation that big chains such as Bill’s, Cote and Giraffe keep the 10% service charge with none of it going to the waiting staff, sparked a chain of stories on the ethics and guidelines of tipping.

It’s a subject we have covered on this blog, recently discussing Danny Meyer’s decision to ban tipping in all his NY restaurants and how to run an ethical tronc.

Now the UK government is getting involved, launching an investigation into how restaurant tips are collected as well as current tipping practices.

Restaurant tips inquiry

Restaurants and waiting staff have until 10th November to give their views.

Announcing the investigation, Business Secretary Sajid Javid said:

“When a diner leaves a tip, they rightly expect it to go to staff, in full. I’m concerned about recent reports suggesting some restaurants pocket tips for themselves. That’s just not right. I’ve ordered an immediate investigation to look at the evidence and consider the views of employees, customers and the industry to see how we can deal with the abuse of tipping."

Voluntary code of practice

While there is a voluntary code of practice, which is overseen by industry body the British Hospitality Association, restaurants may choose to ignore its four principles of transparency and adopt various tipping practices.

The inquiry asks questions such as “Are you aware of the voluntary Code of Practice?”, “Do you / does your employer sign up to the Code of Practice?” and “In practice do you / does your employer adhere to the principles in the Code of Practice?” To take part in the inquiry, click here. Closing date is 10th November.