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Time to Remove Service Charges?

Is the automatically applied service charge an out-dated concept?

Is right now the opportunity to create a service-led tipping culture in the UK?

By publicly removing the charges, would it send a message to the UK customer that they should reward service, perhaps leading to larger tips?

Would it make careers in hospitality seem more attractive as seen in other countries?

Hospitality around the world stands at a crossroad. The pandemic has punched the industry again and again. Some have fallen away - some are firmly on the ropes.

New ideas are needed.

I sat in a hotel bar yesterday for about 90 minutes doing some work. I had one drink (no attempt to sell me a second) and the service was pretty poor. Then I got the bill.

  • 1x Diet Coke: £4.50. It was a nice spot, so I don't begrudge what many might refer to as premium pricing.

  • VAT: 5%. Great to see that they were passing on the discounted VAT to the customer

  • Service Charge: 12.5% (£0.56). I paid it, but I didn't like it.

  • I paid service charge on the VAT element of my bill. Did I just get taxed on my tax?

  • Do the staff see any of that money anyway?