D&D London chairman and chief executive Des Gunewardena has written to chancellor Rishi Sunak today urging for tronc to be included in the UK's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
In the letter, Gunewardena said it is "deeply unfair, discriminatory, and sends a clear message to restaurant staff in the UK that they are not valued". He said service charge is a fixed proportion of customer bills, 12.5% in most cases, which typically accounts for 40%-50% of D&D's front of house employee wages.
He added: "I'm sure we in Britain value as much as the Americans and the French do the contribution of restaurants and the hospitality industry to our economy. And we are grateful for the extensive assistance given to date to employees and companies in our industry to enable them to get through this crisis. But the exclusion of service charge from furlough earnings appears to be an unfortunate anomaly that will affect hundreds of thousands of workers in UK restaurants."
The Caterer reported earlier this month that HMRC suggested the 80% of wages the furlough scheme would cover would not include tips, tronc or service charge, which was confirmed in updated guidance published last week. More than 24,000 people signed a petition in retaliation.
D&D owns and operates restaurants in the UK, New York and Paris, with brands including Quaglino's, Bluebird and German Gymnasium, with around 2,000 employees.