London restaurateur launches tipping and service charge petition

01 June 2016 by
London restaurateur launches tipping and service charge petition

A London restaurateur has launched a petition to unite the industry under proposals for a transparent approach to the handling of tips and service charges.

Charlotte's Group founder Alex Wrethman has called on the industry to speak with one clear voice to the government, so that both politicians and the public fully understand the realities of tipping practices.

He is concerned by the lack of response to the business secretary Sajid Javid's review of tips, service charges and troncs, which could result in the hospitality industry "sleepwalking into bad legislation".

Wrethman has launched an online petition calling on the government to require restaurant operators to submit a questionnaire on how service charges and tips are handled in their operation, in a bid to avoid potentially damaging government policy changes.

He said: "The data from which a course of action will be chosen is thin on the ground and made up of a collection of disparate opinions to reflect on rather than any clear proposals. I am concerned that this will lead to ill informed decisions, causing lasting damage to our much-loved hospitality industry.

"I have seized the initiative and put together a strong campaign team to support me in driving the #TippingPointCampaign forward."

The questionnaire will be developed by the campaign leaders to answer questions around the allocation of tips. Wrethman said it could be submitted to HMRC or Trading Standards and posted on an operator's website so that they can be transparent about how tips are handled.

He will meet John Glen MP, parliamentary private secretary to the business secretary Sajid Javid, this month to discuss progress of the campaign and to ensure the final proposal will appeal to government.

Wrethman added: "This is all about offering transparency and exposing the facts so that the public can choose which businesses they support based on their view of whether the practices within that business are ethical.

"We also advocate that businesses should, each year, demonstrate compliance with their policy as stated in their questionnaire or face ‘outing' and, potentially fines or penalties."

US restaurant group reverses no-tipping policy >>
Tips, service charges and troncs: what the government proposals mean for hospitality >>
Government's short consultation period for tips and service charge leaves operators outraged >>

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