Is it reasonable for restaurants to add a discretionary service charge to bills?
No. I think gratuity is earned through the quality of service given; it is not an automatic right. If restaurant employees do not deliver they should not expect it. Restaurants say that any charge they levy is optional, but most customers will not go to the trouble of having it removed and will instead leave unhappy.
Giles Selves food and beverage manager at the Westin Turnberry Resort, Ayrshire
We do not add it in our brasserie, but provided it's made clear that it is discretionary, then yes. But there is so much irregularity in the industry that it's down to the individual operation to make it clear whether it has been added or not.
Julian Ebbutt, general manager, the Lygon Arms, Worcestershire
Service is included in our prices and there's a statement to that effect on the menu. If people do make an additional tip, I point out that service is included, but sometimes people just feel compelled to tip us more! I think it's really naughty when restaurants put it on the bill then leave the credit card slip open.
Claire Bosi, proprietor, Hibiscus, Ludlow, Shropshire