Who Gets Your Tip? Why Not Ask?

By Londonist Last edited 95 months ago
Who Gets Your Tip? Why Not Ask?

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Photo by Roxy London

Your waiter’s service has been as smooth as the cappuccino that rounds off the end of your meal in a restaurant; you dig deep into your pockets and decide to leave a generous tip to show your appreciation - but a different waiter whisks past and snatches the bill. Who gets the tip?!

A campaign launched this week by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, aims to clarify this murky area of restaurant etiquette. Even though plenty of restaurants make a point of adding a service charge to your bill, it’s rarely clear who’ll reap the benefits at the end of the night; will the waitress take it all? Will the chef see a penny? whogetsthetip.com says - just ask!

Each restaurant divides the tip differently, so if you want to know where your money goes, then you have every right to find out. This venture has been supported by Trade Unions and consumer groups, whilst restaurants around the country are signing up online to make it clear ‘who gets the tip’ in their establishment.

Since October 2009, it has been illegal for businesses to use tips as a cheap way to make up the National Minimum Wage - however restaurants are still under no obligation from the Government to publicise their tip policy. The theory goes that if more people ask “who gets the tip?” then more businesses will be upfront about their tipping policy - which means that neither customers, or restaurant staff, are left short changed.

By Lisa Harris

Last Updated 04 March 2010