We propose a declaration based on a simple six point questionnaire on the handling of service charge, tips and gratuities to be completed in full by every UK business whose primary activity is the provision of food, drink and/or hospitality. 

1)      Does a mandatory or discretionary service charge, gratuity or similar appear on bills presented in your business? If yes, how much is it and how is it described on the bill and/or menu?

2)      Which staff benefit from the funds collected in this way? Please state all job roles and staff positions within your business which benefit.

3)      Does the company retain, or make deductions against, any of the funds collected in this way? If yes, how much? How are these retentions or deductions described and calculated?

4)      Does the business collect and/or distribute any other tips or gratuities (paid by cash) on behalf of its staff? If yes, describe how these are administrated.

5)      Does the business collect and/or distribute any other tips or gratuities (paid by card) on behalf of its staff? If yes, describe how these are administrated.

6)      Are any other charges, deductions, fees, commissions or similar levied against staff wages by the business?

A printed copy of the declaration must be available to view at each premises alongside documents such as premises licenses and employer’s liability insurance and made available to anyone requesting to view it. It must also be displayed clearly on company websites so that potential customers and employees who care about this issue can make an informed decision as to how they wish to engage with the business.  

The Workshop

For each business to provide the same declaration on tipping we felt it necessary to create a questionnaire which covers all the key points that staff and customers clearly want answered. Not content with relying on our own knowledge and experience, we researched heavily reading every article available on this topic as well as government guidance and consultation documents. Finally we invited industry leaders and influencers to a workshop to discuss our findings before refining this proposal and launching our campaign.

The Tipping Point Campaign Team were joined by restaurateurs, press and trade organisation representatives at Charlotte’s W5 on the 1st of June this year. Alex presented the proposal to create a mandatory Tipping Point Campaign declaration, Peter gave the technical background for the proposal and Ed chaired the debate. The purpose was to test our hypothesis that a declaration would answer the public call for transparency, hear views as to whether such a declaration should be mandatory, establish which questions needed to be answered, and determine the best way to distil the campaign’s message so that it could be easily understood by all target groups – hospitality staff, customers, business owners, press and the government.

The debate was heated, not everybody agreed on everything, and it was a very challenging morning but the input from the room was invaluable and enabled us to shape our final proposal. Thank you to everyone who attended:

Ossie Gray, Trevor Gulliver of St John Group, Erick Kervaon of The Bingham, Nayen Pankhania of Dishoom, Tim Sheehan of Franklins, Lawrence Hartley of Alliance of Independent Restaurants, Tim Healy of Alliance of Independent Restaurants, Kate Nicholls of the Alliance of Licensed Multiple Retailers, Tom Tanner of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, James Stagg of The Caterer, Stefan Chomka of Restaurant Magazine.

Please note: attendance at the workshop does not signify that the individual or any organisation they represent are in agreement with our proposal or imply that they have pledged support to the Tipping Point Campaign.