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Just back from a few days in the UK.  Almost everywhere that I went to eat added on an 'optional' 10% service charge.  I've seen this before, usually for larger groups, but this time is was dinners for 2 or 3.  And as for the charge being optional, you first off had to notice that there was a charge (most people don't, apparently), and secondly you had to ask for the charge to be removed.  Most people, me included, wouldn't do that.

We asked one of the waitresses about it.  She told us that most people didn't seem to check the bill or even notice.  Occasionally some customers would be angry about it and take it out on her.  She found it quite embarrassing.  We were told that all the 'optional' additions were totted up and divided up amongst the staff, which they were paid monthly on top of their minimum wage.  It was a way for the various places to pay more than just minimum wage.

So, is it a good idea to support low paid catering workers, or is it a further creep towards full Americanisation where tipping is obligatory and mobsters come for you for anything less than 15%?

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We always leave cash tips & ask for service charges to be removed from our bill. As an ex hotel accounts person that had to 'negotiate' hard to get credit card tips added to the kitchen/waiting staff's wages, I would heartily encourage people to leave cash tips. :)

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It's a bit naughty on the part of the establishments and tipping seems to be of another age. It feels very patronising.

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My son has been on both the good and bad side of this. Most restaurants do share the tips on a monthly basis. There are some though that don’t 

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Not sure about here, but HMRC in the UK taxes waiting staff on an estimated tip income.

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If I do feel like tipping I'll usually give them some food.  When you give cash there's always the worry that they'll just go straight to the off licence, or spend it on drugs.  So just leave a bit of food on the plate is my advice.

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I would be Pissed Off if the Bill Automatically Charged a 10% Service Charge.  

I consider Tips only being Paid as a Gratuity if the Customer  feels like Paying it.

And it is annoying when a Service Worker Insists upon getting Tipped.

I recall once going to a place called The Jolly Tax Payer in Downtown Vancouver and the Waitress was a Sarcastic Rude Obnoxious Bitch.   When I exercised my Right to withhold Tip, she exploded into my Face with Anger.

I just informed her that I did not like her Lecture of Behavior Etiquette and for that, I was withholding Paying any Gratuity.

Never been back to that Establishment since.

 

3X3

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A 10% service charge is low. Cote add 12.5%.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/restaurant-chain-c-te-takes-entire-service-charge-instead-of-giving-it-to-staff-a2918366.html

I'm quite sure they rely on you not checking your bill or good-old British reserve to just not  complain about it because then you would appear tight and mean.

After a birthday breakfast in Cote at Chester (a very nice Eggs Benedict and probably one too many Bloody Marys) I asked for the service charge to be removed, which they duly did, so we then left cash on the table.

Frankly a 12.5% charge is taking the piss. I aim for between 5% and 10% rounding it up. So if a meal for two came to about £63 then I would pay £70 which would still depend on decent scran and level of service.

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17 hours ago, Mr Bear said:

Not sure about here, but HMRC in the UK taxes waiting staff on an estimated tip income.

That's right and they assess a pretty young woman at the same as an old fella which always struck me as wrong. Not every establishment pools the tips. In my early twenties I did a bit of night time bar work as a second job to help pay the mortgage, but when the bastards from the IR came around with this "tip tax" thing I told the boss to shove the job.

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It should be called a "good service" tip and only given then. I always tip for good service and not for poor or crap service. Why should I ?

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Tipping, in my opinion, should be a voluntary act. Tipping should never be compulsory. I am an occasional tipper but when I do tip I make it as large as is reasonably possible. As the poster above suggests "exemplary service" often is the best gauge for when to tip.

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On ‎06‎/‎03‎/‎2018 at 9:33 PM, wrighty said:

So, is it a good idea to support low paid catering workers, or is it a further creep towards full Americanisation where tipping is obligatory and mobsters come for you for anything less than 15%?

I am not sure it is either but rather a way to make prices look less than they really are just like sometimes prices are quoted before VAT

I think they should be banned along with such things as booking fees etc as restaurants are a service industry so that should just be built into the costs they charge for the food and drink. When I see such costs I am always tempted to ask if I can collect my own plates and return them to the kitchen so I don't have to pay for the services

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