1st February Launch for New Official Industry Body to Oversee Best Practice for ‘Tipping’ and ‘Service Charges’ in Hospitality Sector

Industry Kitemark to raise future standards around tipping and eliminate growing confusion around service charges today.

Over the past year, EP and WMT Troncmaster Services have openly debated and discussed the importance for the Industry to have a formal approach to the issue of service charges that do create a transparent and trusted system for both customers and employees. The aim to launch the new body was declared in October and this body will now formally be launched in February after further industry consultation.

There does appear to be a general recognition of the importance of such a kitemark and there is a momentum building behind the concept. Now that the General Election is no longer a distraction, it does seem to be the right time to press ahead – especially as government have openly declared that they wish to legislate on the issue.

The need for a valid, industry-recognised accreditation scheme and associated Kitemark, that provides greater clarity on tipping and ‘vague’ service charges, is becoming ever more relevant as research has revealed a high level of customer scepticism and confusion around what happens to the non-cash tips and services charges that are added onto many restaurant and foodservice bills. 

To date there has been no real clarity on who should receive a share of the tips and service charges paid by customers, leaving it wide open to interpretation and exploitation. Yet 44% of hospitality firms surveyed said they would support and welcome the introduction of an accreditation scheme for businesses to ensure gratuities are distributed fairly to staff.

Research also revealed that 33% of firms share more than 90% of tips and service charges with their staff while only 31% share 100% of the gratuities.

The new body can boast an impressive line-up of confirmed industry board members includes:

  • David Cheeseman, MD Chef Express UK and Momentum
  • Zuleika Fennell, MD, Corbin & King
  • Tim Healy, Co-owner, Jo Allens
  • Mark Selby, MD, Wahaca
  • Jon Dawson, Head of People, Mandarin Oriental
  • Marianna Alfa, MD at Blossom Hospitality
  • James Robson, Founder, Mews of Mayfair
  • Gioele Camarlinghi, European Hotel Managers Association
  • Mike Saul, Head of Hospitality, Barclays
  • Kevin Watson, MD, Amadeus
  • Peter Davies, MD, WMT Troncmaster Services
  • David McHattie, The Devonshire Arms
  • Chris Sheppardson, CEO at EP

Peter Davies, Client Service Partner and Managing Director of WMT Troncmaster Services added: “The wording used by hospitality firms in relation to service charges has always been vague and people interpret this in different ways, which only exacerbates confusion. The announcement of our official body is a positive step forward for the sector in terms of uniting the industry as a whole and working together to agree on what best practice looks like for the future.”

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