Dining out on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve is justly expensive because it entails ‘those who serve’ in unsocial hours of labour, for which they should receive an appropriate reward.
We accept this when we book our table but would the premium price of the meal still be acceptable if we were to discover that many front of house and unskilled kitchen staff receive only the standard, minimum hourly rate for their work over these festive occasions?
Those concerned are mostly young people, who do not complain because they are aware that there are many who would be pleased to step into their place.
Restauranteurs will often squeeze in extra tables to cope with demand on the two big days in order to maximise the take.
You may allow that this is just good business and who would disagree? But it means that the kids have to work much harder than usual, often putting up with boisterous, and sometimes abusive customers, all for no extra pay.
To add insult to injury, the management of many establishments in this area, take a minimum of 25 per cent of the tips left by customers, before distribution of the remainder to staff.
My tip: ‘never add a tip to credit/debit card payments. Hand over your 10, or 15 per cent gratuity to the serving staff in cash.
This way, it will go directly into the staff gratuity pot. This will not guarantee that the staff will receive a hundred percent of the fund, but they be aware of the total and any ‘skimming’ will be obvious.
I have no doubt that my letter will stimulate anger from the good guys in the business, but my recent survey indicates that there aren’t many of you.
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