THE minimum wage debate has revived a campaign by a restaurateur in the House of Lords to standardise restaurant charges.
Lord Bradford, owner of London's Porters restaurant, said: "Customers need to know what their meals will cost before they sit down and staff need to know what their pay will be."
He said staff in London who received cash tips could be better paid than the restaurant owners themselves. "The problem is there is no uniformity," he said.
There was a danger that if tips were included in the minimum wage, restaurants might not pay staff anything at all. They would be expected to rely on gratuities alone.
"This proposal complicates an already complicated situation," he said.
Lord Bradford has campaigned for 20 years to standardise restaurant charging. In 1995 he unsuccessfully introduced a private member's bill to abolish service charges.