I'm a great fan of The Banc, a terrific local resource & used by people from right across the community. But I was horrified the other day to hear that the 12.5% service charge they add to the bill doesn't all go to the staff. It seems staff get a proportion based only on the hours they work, and the rest goes towards running costs. Sorry, Banc, but that's not honest, & I'm not sure it's legal.
Except studies show that people seem to tip to reward the age, attractiveness and ethnicity of the waiter or waitress. I'm sure you'd never do that, but what if your generosity means that the owner can get away with cutting wages? And what about the chef in the kitchen - if you're rewarding the quality of the food, are you scrupulous about making sure she gets her cut as well? Fairness is more complicated than you seem to think, and there is a market for labour so if one restaurant's policy is really worse for the staff than elsewhere, they won't keep those staff for long.
If it were down to me I'd ban tipping completely, haha.
Those sound like interesting studies. Do you have any links?
Ok. Do you know the staff's views on the arrangements? Do you know how their pay compares overall with other similar restaurants? Or is that all irrelevant and we can go to straight to publicly accusing the restaurant of dishonesty and breaking the law?
I know the staff didn’t like it when this service charge was introduced, it’s not cost effective for them by way of receiving the tips, There is no consistency - for some ‘special’ customers the service charge is removed.
I know the large majority of the staff are paid cash in hand to avoid being officially on the books, which also means they do not receive employee benefits, like you would expect, like sick pay, holiday entitlement, maternity leave, etc. Not all of the cash profits are declared and hence staff get paid in cash.
What I have stated is widely discussed amongst the staff and is more than enough to accuse this restaurant of being dishonest and breaking the law. Unfortunately what I have stated is also common practise with many other restaurants in London.
Dear Ruth and fellow residents.
Firstly apologies for the late reply, I have just been made aware of this discussion and could not reset my logins for a few days. Thank you very much for your kind words as I am aware you are a local and a big supporter.
Service charge does indeed get shared to all areas of the business. This includes chefs, kitchen porters, house keeper (washing and ironing of clothes and chefs uniforms) and all waiting staff.
Service charge is indeed discretional and at the customers wish. Cash tips do off course go to waiting staff, but I'd like to shed some light on this very peculiar topic, as there seems to always be a grey area. If there were no service charge, or all service charge was removed to accommodate waiting staff, what would then be of the chefs who prepared your meal, the bartenders who made your drink and the kitchen porters that have cleaned the kitchen, washed and polished the plates and prepped the food you (the consumer) to eat?
We are extremely ethical and considerate of our staff, hence why we have kept many of our staff for 3 + years and they are extremely happy, as we are very competitive with the expectations of living in London.
Many times service charge is removed as we serve at times a clientele that does not believe in service charge thus have it removed. Our system guarantees our staff always obtain service charge whether or not the business has physically made that amount. We have introduced Security and a Car Park Facility (which is free) and that is part of SERVICE, a service that all customers benefit from hence why it is evenly distributed to all teams across the business and not to owners.
Myself (Fabio) and Jan, are ethical and conscious that high levels of service must be rewarded and have a duty to our staff, which we are obliged and happy to uphold.
I hope I have shed some light and hopefully answered any questions that were somewhat of a concern to you all and I am more that happy to speak in more depth. My email is Fabio@thebanc.co.uk
Fabio, interesting info. Thank you. Do you pay your staff the living wage? As of April 2018, the UK living wage is £7.83 for workers aged 25 and over. For age 21 - 24 the rate is £7.38. Is the service charge shared with staff extra to this?
Of course the London Living Wage is considerably higher than this at £10.20
Genuinely interested in your feedback on this. Thanks.
It would be illegal not to pay the living wage, that's just the national minimum wage. The Living Wage Foundation sets voluntary rates for companies to sign up to, based on different criteria. I'd be surprised if many small businesses could afford to commit to that.
Thank you for your message. Yes all of our staff are on different hourly packages as this is due to skill and experience. Indeed all staff are at least on minimum wage and higher. I am proud to say that we are competitive and in line with central london pay central london wages if not higher. When you consider service charge, yes majority are even on london living wage and higher.
Even if there were no service charge, all of our employees would at least at the bare minimum be on minimum wage and or higher.
thank you again for your message.
Well done Fabio. Glad you had the opportunity to make your policies clear.
my pleasure, only stating the truth and our position at our establishment as this was perhaps not clear. We will continue with this approach as it is ethical and within our ethos as responsible businessmen and more importantly locals.