TGI Fridays has announced the appointment of a 12-persontronc committee to determine how tips are distributed across the restaurant group, in a move it says has been "warmly received".
Earlier this year, Unite members, amounting to less than 0.5% of TGI Fridays staff, walked out in a series of strikes after an independent troncmaster
introduced changes that saw 40% of tips made via card payments given to kitchen staff.
The new committee has now decided that 35% of tips made by card will go to kitchen and door staff, with front of house staff keeping the remaining 65%. All cash tips will continue to be kept solely by the team member to whom they are given, with the change coming into force from February 2019.
Jacqui Mcmanus, culture and people development director at TGI Fridays UK, told The Caterer: "The reason we have introduced the tronc committee is because we felt that overall, after consultation with a wide cross-section of our team, it was a fairer way of deciding how tips are shared.
"The original introduction of the splitting of card tips was actually received warmly by the vast majority of team members, but we did receive feedback that it would be more democratic if, in future, decisions were made by a committee."
Mcmanus explained that the team "now have a greater and clearer understanding of how the decisions are reached," adding that all segments of the group's team are represented with committee members tasked with consulting widely.
She explained: "One of their key roles is to gather feedback and share a summary of the views of their department and those they represent with the wider committee. Every single TGI Fridays family member has the ability to have their voice heard and state their wishes for the tronc split. Their representatives then use this information to guide the committee to a conclusion, ensuring all voices are considered."
Committee members will also research how others implement tronc systems and feed back information they believe could be useful.
Mcmanus highlighted that the latest development feeds into TGI Fridays' wider inclusive culture, which sees every member of the team give the opportunity to progress and gain qualifications as well as being invited to take part in the more than 85 events run by the business each year.
She stressed the importance of a transparent system and said she welcomed prime minister Theresa May's announcement of legislation banning restaurants from making deductions from tips.
She said: "TGI Fridays has always allowed team members to keep 100% of tips, whether received on card or cash. We have never taken any kind of cut or charged any sort of admin fee. Quite simply because we wouldn't feel comfortable doing so. While there is a small cost to process this, we are happy to absorb this cost as a company. As a company that has always done 'the right thing' in this regard, we welcome official legislation that requires other companies to do the same."
See next week's issue (9 Nov) for The Caterer's investigation into May's proposed legislation.