A WOMAN was shocked to see a service charge added to her bill after enjoying a meal at a pub in an Oxfordshire town.
Resident Sara Miller went to the Old Auctioneer in Banbury on Sunday with a group of friends.
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In a post on Banburyshire Info’s Facebook page, she said she enjoyed her meal but warned people of the 12.5 per cent service charge that was added to her bill – which she decided to not paying.
The post received 290 comments from people questioning whether or not customers should pay a service fee.
We asked our readers in a poll if you paid for it and out of 767 responses, the majority (67%) said no, while 33% said yes.
This is what you said on Facebook:
Laura Simpson: “The thing is, when it starts to be the norm – enough to include it on the bill – that customers tip, they don’t raise the workers’ wages enough because, hey, they get tips from the share of paying customers.
“It should never be up to the customers. Make sure the workers get enough money to survive. It’s up to the employers.”
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SARAH JENNING: “I tend not to leave as much now due to the increase in restaurant prices.”
MICHAEL MOUSEY O’DONOGHUE LARMAN: “A service charge on a bill is taxable, so it’s always best to sneakily tip cash if it’s earned.”
SINEAD LEACH“People don’t realize the challenges of the hospitality industry, especially as it’s on its knees after lockdown. There’s a shortage of chefs and now, for the first time, there’s a shortage of fronts .
“Tipping someone 10% or 12.5% is part of the experience, appreciate how little people earn. Yes, increasing the NLW or NMW could make a difference, but it could also shut down more businesses.
“Appreciate the effort and work that goes into preparing your food and enjoy the experience. Unless it’s horrible service, pay for the service and protect the industry.”
DAMIEN ROBERT JAMES HUGHES“Hospitality needs to be more transparent on this issue. We only survive and remain competitive through service fees. This is the only way for me to attract decent staff.
“Naturally it’s discretionary, but we’re counting on it 100 per cent to pay staff a living wage in an expensive county.
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“Living pay is a misnomer. It just isn’t enough on its own. What would be more honest would be a general price increase and a sales bonus for every colleague. Or just pay staff a base £12. / hour and more.
“We need to be clear about what it costs to support a business that pays living wages.”
HANNAH TALBOTT-FALCE: “I love paying a service fee. Because it always highlights that I had great service and expertise. However, I won’t pay for service if I didn’t get it or at least for good service.”
SARAH JONES“I also refuse to pay the service charge. I asked a waitress who was serving us, ‘do you get the money’, her answer was ‘no, it’s shared between everyone’. So I tipped him the service charge.”
ALEX NICOLAOU: “How about pub/restaurant employers paying their staff a living wage? A crazy concept, isn’t it? If the service was above and beyond, they will receive their service charge (tip). Otherwise, it’s up to them to improve.
“It’s not America, don’t make a thing out of it, it doesn’t work.”
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RACHAEL SARAH BEDDING: “I understand an added service charge for a lot of people, but I think it’s up to the individual whether they want to tip. I don’t think that’s to be expected, we can’t become like the United States, we support way too much of their practices as they are.”
DARRON GIPSON“I tip. If they put in a service charge, I take it out and they get nothing.”
TIM GERARD DOWD: “It’s the customer’s option to tip or pay a service charge, it should be discretionary. Personally, if a service charge is added without asking first, I wouldn’t pay.”
Kim Louise: “No. I tip the waiter or waitress in cash to prevent the government from taxing them for their service or greedy managers from stealing their tips.”
COX HAZ: “It’s up to the employer to pay the salaries of their staff. The client is already paying more than the odds for what they get anyway.”
MAZKAT: “Tipping is at my discretion. Not sneakily added to my bill.”
LYM KOLA: “There is no need to pay for the service, as prices are on the rise.”
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