Yarm restaurant boss reacts to tip row as Teessiders say ‘good service should be recognised’

Should hospitality workers be able to keep their tips?

That’s the question many Teessiders have given their opinions on a campaign launch by a leading trade union. The TUC are expected to step up their campaigning for hospitality workers to keep their tips, amid expectations that promised action will not be included in next week’s Queen’s Speech.

Ministers have previously said plans will be announced to ensure that staff, including those in restaurants, can keep their tips rather than them being shared out or being cut by management. Teessiders have shared their varied views on the proposal set by the TUC, with many in favor of workers being able to keep their individual tips for their hard work.

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As reported by Hull LiveThe aim of this motion is to prevent employers taking a share of tips and was first put forward by Sajid Javid, back when he was Business Secretary in 2016. There was speculation that the measure would be included in an Employment Bill, but it is not expected to be in the Queen’s Speech on May 10.

After fresh calls for this motion to be put forward, the response on social media was overwhelmingly in favor of workers keeping the tips they earn.

Behnam Azadi commented: “It’s the only chance a lot of hospitality workers get to earn more than minimum wage, it’s a gift for doing more than they were already paid to do. Management shouldn’t be anywhere near tips, owners shouldn’t be either. It’s a chance for good employees to go the extra mile and be rewarded for it.

“The business is rewarded by customers returning time and time again, other staff are rewarded with more secure employment. Everybody wins when waiters keep all their tips and the more the better.”

Kevin McBride added: “Ask the staff who gets the tips, if the tips go to management don’t go back! They’ll soon get the message….”

Sally Park said: “People tip with the expectation that it is going to the people that serve them, it is pretty shocking if they don’t get to keep the whole tip. I didn’t even realize this was a thing.”

Marcella Cluxton commented: “Tips should be shared between the front of house and the kitchen – it’s them who cook the food.”

Speaking on personal experience, Debbie Moore added: “If a person gives good service it should be recognised, I tip my hairdresser and nail technician as well. I remember working in hospitality and tips helped, it’s good to pay it forward now I can. “

Teesside Live spoke to local restaurant manager Marcus Bennett, who is at the helm of regional eateries such as The Bay Horse in Hurworth as well as Yarm’s Muse and Cena Trattoria. He believes all hospitality workers should be entitled to an equal split of the tips, but management should go nowhere near them.

The Bay Horse, Hurworth
Marcus Bennett, who owns The Bay Horse in Hurworth, believes management should not get a share of the tips from staff

He said: “As far as we’re concerned on our own sites – the staff keep all of their tips and the management don’t get a cut, which is how it should be. Money goes straight into a big pot and is distributed between both front and back of house staff as everyone plays their part in the process.

“All restaurants should let their staff have the tips they work for and it’s absolutely not for the owners to take, so I would say yes I am in favor of the TUC’s campaign.”

The TUC said workers will be ‘betrayed’ if employment rights are not enhanced, especially after the mass sacking of P&O workers. Unite union general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Every year this Government promises action to ensure fair tipping – and then does precisely nothing to deliver on that promise. That is why workers are turning to Unite, because we are winning for them, just as we did at Pizza Express.

“A hospitality worker can lose thousands of pounds a year from their earnings when the employer refuses to hand over their tips. In a sector notorious for long hours and low wages, tipping misappropriation is another abuse. If the Government won’t fix it, Unite will.”

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