As a waitress, I work tirelessly for tips – it’s what keeps me out of poverty | Poppy Noor

January 3, 2017

Many in my profession cannot make ends meet with our wages alone. We rely on people’s good grace – so missing out on service charge feels like daylight robbery

I was recently paying my bill at a restaurant and doing the awkward “was-there-service-included?” routine when the waiter interjected: “We don’t get any of that. In fact, that service charge makes it worse because it means people don’t ever tip us.” I gave the waiter the £10 I had in my pocket and vowed never to go back.

That day I was a customer, but on other days I am a waitress. The £10 tip I gave was more than a third of what I get paid for a standard four-hour shift. It is about 5% of the £212 set menu at Le Gavroche, Michel Roux Jr’s Michelin-starred restaurant that last week admitted to pocketing 100% of service charge as revenue.

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Related: Michel Roux Jr to scrap service charge and increase menu prices

Related: Michel Roux Jr, here’s a recipe for tipping | Deborah Orr

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