Tuesday, July 15, 2008

BRITISH RESTAURANTS RIPPING OFF TIPS

Independent, UK Britain's restaurants are creaming off millions of pounds of customers' tips to boost their profits, an investigation by The Independent has found. A series of legal ploys are being used by major companies including Strada, PizzaExpress and Carluccio's to take a slice of the L4bn a year that diners leave for low-paid staff in tips.

Among the practices, TheIndependent found:

- Carluccio's, Cafe Rouge, Chez Gerard, Strada and Cafe Uno all pay their staff less than the minimum wage and use customers' tips to make up the balance in their employees' pay;

- Pizza Express takes an 8 per cent cut of tips left on a credit card;

- One chain of Asian restaurants, Georgetown, takes 100 per cent of tips;

- Staff at one London eatery receive no basic wage at all.

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