By Ian Dunt
Restaurant customers will be encouraged to ask 'who gets the tip?' next time they go out for a bite to eat, under a new government campaign launched today.
The new drive follows significant pressure from unions and gastronomes over many outlets' secrecy in discussing the final resting place of customers' tips.
"The issue of tipping is a big concern for all in the restaurant industry and the 'who gets the tip?' campaign is an excellent way of highlighting it," said celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson.
Since October, businesses can no longer use tips, service charges, gratuities or cover charges to pay the national minimum wage, but the government is concerned that most consumers are still uneasy asking waiters where their tip is going.
Research released today by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Bis) revealed 91% of consumers tend to tip in cafes and restaurants but only a fifth ask what happens to their tip, while two-fifths are uncomfortable doing so.
"Consumers should never feel afraid to ask 'who gets the tip?' - whether it's at the hairdressers, a hotel or restaurant. It's their money and they have a right to know what happens to it," said employment relations minister Lord Young.
Today's research also highlights some interesting comparisons between the nations in the UK.
The Welsh are most likely to leave a tip, while the English are least likely, apart from in takeaways and deliveries. They are, however, the most likely to ask 'who gets the tip?'