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Langdale Chase to scrap service charges

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Langdale Chase to scrap service charges
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The Langdale Chase hotel in Cumbria is the latest business to scrap service charges in order to reassure diners of the cost of their meal.

Managing director Thomas Noblett said the charge was unfair as it penalises those who spent more in the restaurant, despite receiving the same service.

The initiative is similar to that introduced at the Gallivant hotel in Camber, East Sussex, which dropped service charges and tips in January in favour of a new pay structure which rewarded staff with a performance-based bonus and a share of the company’s profits.

Noblett told The Daily Telegraph that employees at the Langdale Chase were paid the national minimum wage or higher as well as receiving accommodation and food for a small daily cost. He said staff perks were worth about £10,000 a year to each employee.

Noblett added: “The customer has chosen to use our establishment over other establishments – shouldn’t we be giving them the service charge for their loyalty in using their facility, and enticing them to come back?

“My main beef is with the fact that the more you spend, the more you are nailed.

“A plate of expensive ingredients or more expensive bottle of wine involves no more workload or effort from the service personnel as a lesser plate of ingredients or bottle of house.”

In June the 29-bedroom Lake District hotel was put on the market seeking “substantial offers” after Noblett announced his desire to retire after 23 years at the hotel.

He said at the time: “It was a very long and emotional decision that myself and my board of directors came to. We always said we’d go as a group. We’ve decided that we’ve taken it as far as we can and it’s time to move on, and not necessarily to other hotels. I think it’s time to hang up our aprons.”

Langdale Chase on the market for ‘substantial offers’ >>

Langdale Chase to develop £1m staff accommodation >>

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