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discretionary service charge

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DAIR, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. cainer

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Jan 9, 2010

    Posts: 12,505

    i was just looking a GR's menu for the maze grill and noticed at the bottom "12.5% gratuity will be added to the bill" :/
  2. Dj_Jestar


    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 28,427

    Location: Back in East London

    I like to make an effort to not pay service charges. I prefer to tip the waiter/waitress with cash in person. Even cash tips aren't guaranteed to go to the person you've tipped. Many restaurants take it from the staff.

    J.D. Wetherspoons (lol? People actually tip in Wetherspoons?!) are the worst. They take all tips from staff, divvy it up between them, then give them "equivalent value gifts" like a case of nearly-out-of-date beer to drink one night after work.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  3. sammo62

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 14, 2009

    Posts: 1,680

    Location: Silicon Valley, USA

    I live in America - it's 15% for below average service and 20% if it's good. My wife gave my parents a look of horror when they tipped 14% the other day.
  4. cainer

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Jan 9, 2010

    Posts: 12,505

    tbh theres no real need to tip here in the UK since the introduction of the minimum wage imo, although some jobs expect it still
  5. Angilion

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Dec 5, 2003

    Posts: 15,859

    Location: Just to the left of my PC

    There's too much misdirection in tipping, which can cover the whole spectrum from a misleading lack to information to outright deception for the purposes of obtaining money.

    It's represented as being a gift from a person to a servant and it's marketed as being necessary for basic good manners. Only the most obnoxious lord of the manor would refuse!

    It's actually an additional payment to the business. Maybe they choose to give it to the person the customer thinks they were giving it to. Maybe they don't. The customer isn't going to know. At least the law was changed in 2009 to ensure that employers could no longer use tips to evade paying minimum wage, which was commonplace enough to be considered normal.

    The reason why a customer is given an option to refuse an extra charge which has already been added to the bill is because doing so means the business doesn't pay tax on it. It doesn't really have anything to do with service. Which is also true of tipping in general.
  6. uvarvu


    Joined: Apr 29, 2004

    Posts: 3,855

    Location: Bath

  7. AtreuS


    Joined: Feb 13, 2004

    Posts: 5,151

    Location: Sealed in my Sarcophagus.

    I will flatly refuse to pay any gratuity thats automatically added to the bill on principal. If i got what i considered good service from the staff that served me i will tip. If it was merely adequate i may also tip if i am feeling generous otherwise i wont.

    Its become expected now just because it is done in america... they have a totally different system when it comes to wages and staff pay etc so its part of the way things are done there.
  8. edscdk


    Joined: Jul 17, 2008

    Posts: 6,578

    I rarely tip serving staff the chef does the hard bit anyway, all the waiter has to I'd is ask me what I want, take my order to the kitchen, then bring me the food once it's cooked... I sometimes feel I should tip the chef

    I tip my hairdresser since she sent to the effort of learning a trade but still get paid bugger all...
  9. Magic_x_uk


    Joined: Oct 11, 2005

    Posts: 5,329

    Location: Derbyshire

    As a chef of many years. As much as I like tips I agree with the OP and many others on here.

    The staff should be doing there job very well anyhow. So a tip as nice as it is, is not really needed. You should always do your job to the best of your ability.

    I expect good service when I go out. I see no reason to tip.

    I also understand when abroad things are different as wages are sometimes lower for waiting on staff and they then rely on there 'tips' as a form of wage.

    I believe it is only the food industry (I am aware beauticians/hairdressers also get tips too) that really gets tips. But you do not tip the cashier at Tesco's do you, just because she scanned your items for you and had a smile on her face.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  10. m4cc45


    Joined: Mar 10, 2003

    Posts: 6,363

    The worst ones I had were in Paris.

    Ordered two beers (which were overpriced) and they wanted to add a 10% service charge on top for him to actually pour the beer into the glass and put it in front of me on the bar (AKA doing his job).

  11. Mad old tory


    Joined: May 25, 2003

    Posts: 9,361

    Location: Limehouse

    Happy to tip in a restaurant if the service is decent and a service charge is quite convenient for me as everything is then included.

    I used to work as a waiter and the tips made a huge difference as we were only on £4 an hour when MW was about £5.20. Actually tended to clear about £9 an hour most shifts. We only got service charge on tables of 6 or more though but it was an American franchise so tourists used to eat there a lot and tip generously.
  12. h00fzilla


    Joined: Jul 1, 2009

    Posts: 674

    Location: Finsbury Park

    If the service charge is included on a bill, although I don't like the presumptuousness of the restaurant, it is usually less than I was going to tip anyway.
  13. wez130


    Joined: Jan 31, 2004

    Posts: 10,712

    Location: Matakana New Zealand

    Taxi drivers? Valet drivers, hotel porters, take away delivery drivers etc? Quite a lot really.

    I tip when i receive good food and good service, if one or the other is missing then i won't. I believe tips should also be shared between front of house and back of house staff (chefs, kitchen porters etc) because, at the end of the day, it is a team effort, and each section is equally important to your dining experience. By the looks of it, a lot of you would probably disagree, but hey, that's life, i believe good work should be rewarded, if i order a take away and am told to expect it in about an hour, and it turns up early, the driver is courteous towards me, i'll tip him, it's only a quid to me, but it'll help bump his wage up, and he'll remember me and be good to me. After all, minimum wage is crap, everyone could do with a little boost.

    The catering industry is a bloody hard working industry, working unsociable hours, split shifts, lots of pressure to give you your good service and nice food, but it's also one of the most undevalued and underpaid industrys too, most waitresses / younger chefs earn minimum wage and do more work than most of you 9-5 office workers sat in front of a PC screen, often earning double / triple what they do! (even i, as a head chef, only just earn an UK average wage). Granted, they chose their profession - just like i did, and i enjoy cooking for people, and talking to my customers to enquire whether they enjoyed their experience. It's more than just cooking food ;-).
  14. Skillmister


    Joined: Oct 3, 2009

    Posts: 19,024

    Location: Wales

    People in the UK actually tip take away deliveries? :confused: I thought that was just an american thing considering their wages pretty much depend on it.

    Anyway when a takeaway actually gets to me within a reasonable time for once i might consider it
  15. Vonhelmet


    Joined: Jun 28, 2005

    Posts: 48,116

    Location: On the hoods

    We tip if the service is up to it. We have two young kids, so patient and accommodating staff can really help. My wife and girls are also lactose intolerant, so someone who can help with that is much appreciated. We've occasionally had a chef who will make something from scratch without milk and whatnot, and we made sure they got a tip for that.
  16. Jay794


    Joined: Aug 27, 2011

    Posts: 5,187

    Location: Sheffield, UK

    Service charge included? what a con that is, it should be your choice whether you tip or not.

    I went to a newly opened Steak House recently, the food was good, portions a bit small but I just emptied the coppers out of my wallet because I was getting annoyed with the Queens Head being embossed on my arse lol, there was probably only about £2 in charge there and my friends called me tight lol

    As if it matters!? like you all say they get paid anyway.

    But yeah tipping should be the customers choice definitely
  17. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 154,491

    And the issue with the American thing is that its a vicious circle isnt it?

    They get crap pay* so they rely on tips. Everyone tips. So they continue to get crap pay because they... get tips, meaning the business owner just gets the customers to pay his wages for him on top of his prices.

    * They actually don't - there IS a minimum wage in most States for catering staff.
  18. Skillmister


    Joined: Oct 3, 2009

    Posts: 19,024

    Location: Wales

    Probably so yes. I wonder if everyone started refusing the 'service charge' and adding their own tip instead it would start getting removed..
  19. Jay794


    Joined: Aug 27, 2011

    Posts: 5,187

    Location: Sheffield, UK

    Stealing a line from Reservoir Dogs, "Do you tip at McDonalds?"

    I sometimes tip at Restaurants, but rarely,
    I only tip taxi's if it's within £2 of a note, e.g £8 so I give them a £10
    Never tipped a valet, but then I've never had my car valet parked lol
    I tip the delivery guy, but same rule as taxi's applies
  20. DAIR


    Joined: Jul 23, 2009

    Posts: 8,649

    Location: Wales

    The service was fine.... I just wasnt prepared to pay more for a service that was to be expected as standard....