A new industry body set up to monitor and accredit best practice for tipping and service charges will be launched next week.
The body, which will be named at its launch event at the Restaurant Show on Wednesday (2 October 2019), was set up in response to a growing need for clarity on tipping and ‘vague' service charges.
The new industry-recognised accreditation scheme and associated Kitemark aims to eliminate customer confusion around what happens to non-cash tips and services charges that are added to many restaurant bills through operator adherence to a set of agreed standards and principles.
Hospitality businesses that apply for accreditation will be assessed against these principles, which include: paying service charges to staff in addition to salaries or basic pay; rewarding all members of staff who contribute to the customer experience; and using no more than 5% of the tips and service charge collected for tronc administration costs.
EP Business in Hospitality and WMT Troncmaster Services, which together are leading the campaign, today confirmed the names of the business leaders from across the sector who will sit on the board of the new body (listed below).
Peter Davies, client service partner and managing director of WMT Troncmaster Services, said: "The wording used by hospitality firms in relation to service charges has always been vague and people interpret this in different ways, which only exacerbates confusion. The announcement of our official body is a positive step forward for the sector in terms of uniting the industry as a whole and working together to agree on what best practice looks like for the future."
Chris Sheppardson, CEO at EP Business in Hospitality, added: "Our board is made up of a great number of industry leading professionals, all with a wealth of knowledge in the sector and a deep understanding of the issues at stake. We are looking forward to taking this forward and to working together to demystify much of the confusion surrounding gratuities."
Research by EP, conducted in January 2019, found that the most common form of gratuity is cash tips (25%) followed by card payments (21%), discretionary service charges on some bills (19%) and a discretionary service charge on all bills (16%).
In respect of the hospitality industry, separate research carried out by EP revealed that 33% of firms share more than 90% of tips and service charges with their staff while only 31% share 100% of the gratuities.
The board: David Cheeseman, managing director, Chef Express UK and Momentum Zuleika Fennell, managing director, Corbin & King Tim Healy, co-owner, JoeAllen Mark Selby, managing director, Wahaca Jon Dawson, head of people, Mandarin Oriental Marianna Alfa, managing director at Blossom Hospitality James Robson, founder, Mews of Mayfair Gioele Camarlinghi, European Hotel Managers Association Mike Saul, head of hospitality, Barclays Kevin Watson, managing director, Amadeus Peter Davies, managing director, WMT Troncmaster Services David McHattie, the Devonshire Arms Chris Sheppardson, chief executive at EP
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