Restaurants investigated over tipping abuse

30 August 2015, 12:13 | Updated: 30 August 2015, 12:26

Government to investigate after some restaurants accused of withholding tips

Business Secretary Sajid Javid has begun an investigation, after some restaurants were found to be adding 12.5% to bills, but not giving it to staff.

Mr Javid said: "When a diner leaves a tip, they rightly expect it to go to staff. In full. I’m concerned about recent reports, suggesting some restaurants pocket tips for themselves. That’s just not right."

The inquiry will consider whether there should be a cap on the proportion of tips restaurants can withhold from staff for administrative costs and, if so, what this level should be.

Research from 2009 found one in five restaurants did not pass tips to their staff, yet the vast majority of customers said they wanted waiting staff to receive tips left for them. More than three quarters wanted to see the restaurant’s tipping policy clearly displayed.

There is a voluntary code of practice which is overseen by industry body the British Hospitality Association, but restaurants may currently choose to ignore it and adopt their own tipping practices.