Mark Hix, Shaun Hill and Marco Pierre White are among the chefs who have given their backing to the Independent`s Fair Tips Fair Pay campaign.
The campaign, which was launched on Monday, sets out guidelines for the fair treatment of waiting staff and asks the government to change legislation which currently allows employers to top up pay for waiting staff with tips.
As with a similar campaign launched by Unite and the Daily Mirror in May, the Independent`s campaign calls for more transparency about the way restaurants distribute tips among staff and for all waiting staff to be paid minimum wage with tips on top.
Speaking out in today`s edition of the Independent, Hix said: "I`m surprised – and disappointed – by some of the practices that The Independent`s Fair Tips, Fair Pay campaign has exposed. Some of the tipping policies out there are shocking, especially where the management takes more of the service charges than the staff – that`s exactly what restaurants should not be doing."
The editor of the Michelin Guide, Derek Bulmer also gave his backing to the campaign and said he may consider also asking restaurants to reveal their policy on tipping in the guide`s annual questionnaire.
He told the newspaper: "It would be very easy to create a new symbol. It could be done. We would have to ask several questions: `Are your prices fully inclusive? Do you have a service charge? And what happens to the service charge or the tip customers leave on the table?"
The editors of Hardens, Which? and Time Out restaurants guides also called for reform of the current system of tipping, which they called unfair to staff and confusing for customers.
The Independent`s Fair Tips Fair Pay guidelines are:
1) All restaurants should operate a fair, clear and transparent policy for distributing service charges and gratuities to their staff.
2) All restaurants should display their policy on service charges and gratuities clearly on all of their menus.
3) All restaurant waiting staff should be guaranteed a basic salary of at least the minimum wage, excluding gratuities.
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