June 29, 2022

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Pizza Express waiting staff win back bigger slice of tips

2 min read

Pizza Express waiting staff have won back a bigger slice of their tips after a year-long campaign against a change that handed more to kitchen staff.

The restaurant workers were forced to take action after their share of tips and service charges paid on credit and debit cards was cut from 70% to 50% last year at a time when pay was already under pressure from social-distancing measures that limited the number of diners.

A shift to cashless payments during the coronavirus pandemic had also knocked back tips for staff.

After a campaign by workers backed by the Unite union, from this May, waiting staff will again receive 70% of tips made on credit cards, a change worth about £2,000 extra a year. Kitchen workers will get 30%.

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Waiting staff say they should receive a bigger share of tips and the service charge as they tend to receive lower hourly pay and fewer guaranteed hours than those in the kitchen and do not have an opportunity to receive a bonus.

One member of the waiting staff, who said it was a struggle to survive on the basic legal minimum wage they received, said that some colleagues had cried with happiness at the planned increase in the share of tips after months of financial struggle.

“The original decision was insane,” the worker said. “The change came in so suddenly that reasonably predictable earnings every month suddenly disappeared. Stuff had to be put on hold.”

Another said the change was a relief as they had already been forced to take on extra shifts to make ends meet and their energy bill had just risen by £100 a month and their council tax bill had also gone up.

“This is going to be a distinct improvement,” the worker said.

Unite’s general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “This decision is long overdue and a welcome change. Pizza Express…

Business Matters

2022-04-01 06:35:42

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