In just three months, a new law in Great Britain will require companies to pass on all tips to their employees in full. “Not with us,” thinks a Chinese restaurant in London and has simply banned its guests from tipping by card payment.

For this purpose, the Ping Pong restaurant chain is introducing a 15 percent “brand fee” – and of course this goes to the company itself. It replaces the previous service fee of 12.5 percent. At least 90 percent of this went to the employees.

The new “brand fee” should cover “franchise fees and all brand-related expenses,” according to a Guardian report on the restaurant chain. Ping Pong said the idea was an alternative to rising prices. However, they don’t want to make a final decision until June and “include constructive feedback.”

Ping Pong is a subsidiary of AJT Dimsum. They in turn would have increased the wages of their employees by 19 percent to at least 12.44 pounds per hour. This corresponds to one British pound above the minimum wage. In this way they want to compensate for the loss of tips. Guests can also give additional tips at any time, but in cash. And unlike in Germany, very few people in Great Britain pay with cash.

Bryan Simpson, from Unite Union, told the Guardian: A pound over the minimum wage instead of tips “is a slap in the face to employees”. The introduction of the “brand fee” is cynical and an obvious example of a restaurant wanting to deprive its employees of tips and circumvent the new laws. “Customers will assume that this 15 percent goes to the employees, but that’s not the case. That’s not sincere.”

More wages instead of tips – that initially means higher taxes or insurance contributions for employees. In the long term, this could at least potentially improve contributions to pension provision.

Ping Pong could be just one of many restaurant chains changing their tipping system before the new laws take effect. The British government hopes the scheme will put up to £200 million more into employees’ wallets. Restaurant owners, on the other hand, are afraid, similar to here in Germany, of rising costs in times of high inflation and visitors’ low willingness to spend.

Quelle: The Guardian