Union members to hold Valentine's Day protest at three TGI Friday's restaurants

By Georgia Bronte contact

- Last updated on GMT

Union members to hold Valentine's Day protest at three TGI Friday's restaurants

Related tags: Covent garden, Tgi

Members of the Unite’s Restaurant Workers Union will hold a Valentine’s Day protest this evening, informing customers about plans for TGI Friday’s workers’ tip distribution, which they claim are unfair.

The rolling protest will take place outside three TGI Friday’s restaurants in Covent Garden, Leicester Square and Piccadilly.

Protesters will spend half an hour at each restaurant, “making customers aware” of the brand’s proposed changes to the way tips are distributed to kitchen staff and front of house staff.

Last weekend it was reported that the US-themed restaurant chain was giving 40% of credit card tips to back-of-house staff. 

Union officials say that they are advising members not to protest at their own branches, so although the attendees will include restaurant workers as well as hotel workers, it is unlikely that any of the protestors will be TGI Friday’s workers.

As part of the protest, the attendees will be encouraging customers across the three London branches to tip their servers in cash as opposed to card.

A TGI Friday spokesperson refuted the union’s claims that the company is “planning to save on payroll by using tips to improve the wages of back of house staff”.

However according to hospitality union Unite’s regional officer Dave Turnbull, the restaurant group is using tips to “appease kitchen staff at the expense of front of house staff.”

“The staff are now facing a 40% cut in a part of their income without any agreement, with the company now saying they’re not even going to meet the staff to address their grievance.”

A TGI Friday’s spokesperson told BigHospitality that the change is coming as a result of discussions with a “large segment of team members”, as well as “research into industry norms.” According to Turnbull, however, “not a single member has been consulted”.

Related topics: Venues

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