Pizza Express tipping controversy sparks discussion around legislation
Pizza Express has made it possible to divide tips via debit or credit card between wait staff and kitchen staff. This raises the possibility of UK Government legislation regarding tipping.
The UK desperately needs new legislation on tipping. Unite the Union expressed concern after Pizza Express altered the way it distributes tips to customers who pay by debit or credit cards.
Pizza Express Restaurants
The popular pizza chain decided that it would deduct 50% of tips from debit or credit cards customers, and the other half go to the kitchen staff. The split used to be 70/30 for front-of-house staff.
“Our employee-led TRONC Committee in February 2020 decided to change the way our restaurant teams split out tips. This would Exercise Physiologist Jobs mean that 100% of restaurant tips would be divided 50/50 between the front and back of the house teams. It was previously split 70/30. Our restaurants were closed when the UK was placed under lockdown in March 2020. A spokesperson for New Food said that the committee instead decided to implement it starting 17 May 2021 as restaurants reopened.”
The TRONC committee is comprised entirely of Pizza Express employees. Pizza Express insists that the decision to change how tips are distributed was not made by senior management. It confirmed that there is no administration fee for tips and that cash tips go directly to the servers.
Unite claims that the new allocation method is being used by Unite to increase the wages of kitchen workers and deprive minimum wage waiting staff of a substantial portion of their income.
The union stated that Pizza Express had increased tip deductions to ensure it didn’t have the cost of paying competitive wages for its staff.
Pizza Express is increasing house pay rather Pizza Express than paying kitchen workers competitive wages in order to attract applicants. It also takes away the hard-earned tips of its minimum wage waiting staff, which make up a significant portion of their income. As poorly paid workers vote with their feet, this policy will only increase staffing problems. Potential new hires will decide to apply elsewhere.” Dave Turnbull, Unite national coordinator for hospitality, said that this policy would lead to even more staffing problems.
“Hospitality employers such as Pizza Express shouldn’t be exploiting low-paid waiting staff and pitting their employees against one another. Restaurants should instead pay their chefs a decent wage, and give their front-of-house staff 100 percent of their hard earned tips.