Tips? What Actually Happens To Them.

Tips? What Actually Happens To Them.

what happens to our tips?

Some positive news, there’s been some rumblings in the government about tips and it looks like they’re soon to be protected by new legislation…

They have always been a source of controversy across my career, who gets them, how much goes to the kitchen, do managers get a share and how much is retained by the business? etc. It really does differ between establishments. I personally think the new legislation is only a positive thing however, I think it should also look at ways to make the distribution of tips fair across the board.

I’ve worked in places where all tips are kept by the business, and put towards paying for a Christmas party, others where I was told to pocket them for myself, another where I have to give 50% to the kitchen and keep the rest, the list goes on…

One in particular sticks out, a multi-million pound company, where gratuities are split 30% to the kitchen, and the rest for my own pocket. Card payment however, 20% was kept by the business, then the rest were broken down equally between all staff members at the end of the month.

Doesn’t sound too bad at first glance, but working 6 days a week, the rise of card payments and tips as a whole, and seeing around £150 per night shared equally to staff that worked 1 or 2 shifts a month, and the company that regularly cut back on any staff benefits taking their cut too, led to most of us declining to take card tips at all.

“Hardly Fair Is It?”


Personally, I’ve always been a firm believer in an equal share for front and back of house, quite simply because its equal responsibility that earns them.

You wouldn’t get tips for bad food and good service, and you wouldn’t get them for bad service and good food! Surely, they should be split 50/50, and probably on the day too depending on the workforce situation.

“Do you as a customer know where your tips go?”

Before working in the trade, I certainly didn’t.

I was under the all too common impression that tips are equally shared by all staff, and that was that. I couldn’t of been further from the truth.“Cash tips are legally the property of staff. They can go straight to the person serving you or they can be pooled and shared out among staff – but they are not the property of the business. Card tips are different – they currently belong to the owner of the restaurant who has no legal duty to hand any of them over to staff (although in practice, many do), the same applies to any service charges automatically added to the bill.”It has taken years to get this noticed by the government, so isn’t It time we as an industry sought to be fairer with tips also?


Perhaps if businesses were a bit more transparent with where tips went, people may be a bit more inclined to leave better ones?

I know I would.

Written by Jack Dennant

FOH Recruitment Manager

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