Pizza Express servers earn a bigger share of tips | Pizza Express

Pizza Express servers have recouped a bigger share of their tips after a year-long campaign against a change that gave kitchen staff more.

Restaurant workers have been forced to take action after their share of tips and service charges paid on credit and debit cards was cut from 70% to 50% last year at a time when the Salary was already under pressure from social distancing measures that limited the number of diners.

The shift to cashless payments during the coronavirus pandemic had also pushed staff tips down.

After a campaign by workers backed by the Unite union, from May servers will once again be paid 70% of tips made on credit cards, a change worth around £2,000 extra a year. Kitchen workers will get 30%.

Waiters say they should get a bigger share of tips and service charges because they tend to get a lower hourly wage and fewer guaranteed hours than those in the kitchen and don’t have the option of receiving a bonus .

A member of wait staff, who said it was a struggle to survive on the basic statutory minimum wage they were receiving, said some colleagues had cried with happiness at the expected increase from workers. tips after months of financial struggle.

“The original decision was insane,” the worker said. “The change came so suddenly that reasonably predictable income each month suddenly disappeared. Things had to be put on hold.

Another said the change was a relief as they had already been forced to take extra shifts to make ends meet and their energy bill had just gone up by £100 a month and their council tax bill had also increased.

“It will be a marked improvement,” the worker said.

Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham said: “This decision is long overdue and a welcome change. Pizza Express servers have been fighting this ill-thought-out, unpopular and unfair tipping policy for over a year and have faced massive internal pressure from the company to keep quiet and accept it. .

“This victory sends a clear message throughout the hospitality industry that Unite will challenge and reverse unfair tipping policies.”

Card tips at Pizza Express, and many other restaurants, are managed through a “trunk” in which a committee of staff members decide how they are awarded. However, unions and staff argue that committees can be influenced by restaurants paying the fees of its chef, usually an outside consultant called a trunkmaster.

After the campaign, a majority of the eight committee members, half of whom are kitchen staff, voted to return 70% of tips to servers.

A Pizza Express spokesperson said, “The tipping policy is entirely employee driven.” They said the latest change was made after a “planned review”.

They added: “100% of all tips continue to go to our catering teams and cash tips go directly to the waiter. Pizza Express pays card fees to ensure that 100% of tips go to the restaurant team.

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The change in tipping policy comes as hotel businesses struggle to cope with rising costs due to rising energy and food prices, as well as stiff competition for a pool of skilled workers in decrease caused by Brexit and the pandemic. Chefs are particularly in demand.

The latest tipping controversy at Pizza Express comes six years after the company was forced to roll back a policy of levying an 8% “administration fee” on tips paid by card.

The government has promised to introduce legislation banning restaurants from taking tips from customers and service charges from workers. However, the legislation has yet to be introduced more than five years after the first proposed ban.

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