Waitress The Waiter Restaurant Coffee Café
Image: © LuckyLife11 via Pixabay

Restaurants may be banned from taking away staff’s tips

The UK government wants to ban restaurants from keeping some of their employees' tips.

What it means: Bella Italia, Cafe Rouge, Ask and Zizzi’s are all well-known high-street restaurants that pocket 8 to 10 percent of the tips their employees receive. Theresa May and her government think this is bang out of order, and say they’re going to introduce a new law to stop them doing so.

Defenders of the restaurants point out that many are having a hard time making money at the moment and need all the extra cash they can get. Restaurant profits are being squeezed by increases in the national minimum wage (currently £7.83 an hour for people over 25, which is 17 percent higher than it was in 2016), increased competition (not only from other restaurants but from takeaway companies like Deliveroo and UberEats), and less customer spending (basically, we’ve all felt poorer since the financial crisis so we don’t eat out as much).

It can be hard to shed many tears for businesses which once made millions of pounds a year. But staff will lose their jobs if poor profits cause restaurants to close, and some of the confiscated tips are being redistributed to kitchen staff and other low-wage employees that customers don’t see and therefore don’t tip.

For many people, however, there’s just something rather icky about companies taking money away from workers who are usually quite far down the income scale: one-quarter of hospitality workers are on minimum wage, and one-quarter of restaurants, bars and pubs employ staff on zero-hour contracts. Zero-hour contracts mean you’re not guaranteed any hours of work, and have been criticised a lot because people on them are constantly at risk of not being given enough work to pay their bills.

Recent articles

Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?