Tipping point – As protests over restaurants’ tips policies grow, here’s which chains tax staff for tips

Which restaurants tax their staff for tips left by card?

Tipping culture in Britain is a bit of a grey area. Should you only tip for outstanding service, or should you always leave a tip for the person serving you?

In the US, tipping is a vital source of income for some employees, who will otherwise not earn a decent wage.

But in Britain, tipping is still often seen as an optional reward. However, a scandal is brewing as it has emerged that when tips are paid by card, employees at some restaurants are not then given 100% of the money, with companies creaming off up to 10% to “cover administration costs”.

This has angered employees, and is also frustrating for customers.

Pizza Express is the restaurant currently squirming in the spotlight over operating such a policy. Staff may keep 100% of tips left for them in cash, but if customers choose to leave a tip by card payment, the restaurant takes 8% for “administrative costs”.

Unite has organised a series of demonstrations outside Pizza Express branches.

The company issued a statement which said: “We choose to operate a ‘tronc’ system, which is used by many in the industry. One of the big benefits of this system is that tips made by electronic card payment and discretionary service charges are paid without the deduction of national insurance contributions.

“Therefore, our restaurant teams are charged an administrative fee of just 8%, compared to national insurance contributions of 12.8%, which they would otherwise be required to pay.

The Independent has examined which high street chain restaurants operate similar policies, and which don’t.

Here are which restaurants tax their employees for tips, and by how much:

Ask Italian: 8%

Café Rouge: 10%

Bella Italia: 10%

Belugo: 10%

Prezzo: 10%

Strada: 10%

Giraffe: 10%

Zizzi: 8%

Wagamama: None

Carluccios: None

Source: Independent

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