Restaurant group D&D London is to scrap its 12.5% service charge at all of its restaurants across the capital.
The company will, with effect from 1 October, stop adding the charge to customers' bills except for group and event bookings, allowing diners to leave as much tip as they see fit. The tips will then be pooled and shared out among staff.
The system comes into force on the same day as new legislation banning restaurants to use service charges and tips to pay minimum wage.
However, it will not apply for groups of eight or more, who will continue to have the charge added to their bill automatically.
Des Gunewardena, chairman and chief executive officer of D&D London, said: "We believe, particularly in the current economic environment, that it is the right thing to do to allow our customers to vary the value of tips in line with how well they feel that they have been looked after in our restaurants.
"This is common practice, for example, in New York and I believe will result in improved service and more satisfied customers."
By Kerstin Kühn
E-mail your comments to Kerstin Kühn here.
If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.caterersearch.com/tabletalk
Looking for a new job? Find your next restaurant job here with Caterersearch.com jobs