Ensure tips go to service staff this ChristmasRestaurant tips don't always go to staff, says GFG

10 December 2008

Dinner plates in a restaurant

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Make sure your restaurant tip actually rewards staff for good service this Christmas rather than topping up their pay to the legal minimum, says .

The government has launched proposals to make tips fairer for service staff in the UK by banning employers from using tips or service charges to make up the minimum wage for employees, but a decision on these plans won't be made until early 2009.

Diners are being encouraged to check where tips are going during the festive period by the best selling Good Food Guide, which can be bought online from the .

Good Food Guide tips for leaving a gratuity

The Good Food Guide urges customers to take the following steps this Christmas:

  • Don't be afraid to ask where your tip is going - if you are at all unsure, pay the tip in cash to your waiter or waitress.
  • If staff do not get a share of the service charge, ask for it to be removed from the bill and pay the actual charge in cash to the waiter.

Conversely, if you've received poor service, reduce or remove service charges added to your bill and tell the restaurant why you have done so.

Tipping the right amount

When Which?, publisher of The Good Food Guide, surveyed more than 1,000 members of the public about their tipping habits earlier this year, 70% said they usually tipped around 10%.

Elizabeth Carter, consultant editor, The Good Food Guide, said: 'Good service should be rewarded, but the customer should decide where their money goes, not the management. Think about carrying extra cash when going to a restaurant this festive period and give hardworking staff a real Christmas box.'

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