Published On: Thu, Feb 1st, 2024

Punters fury as pub goers hit by American-style automatic tip on bill for pints | UK | News


Pub-goers in the UK are left furious after being hit by American-style service charges for drinks ordered at the bar.

Bars and pubs in Scotland, under the ownership of The Scotsman Group, have implemented a new policy of imposing a 2 percent automatic service charge on drinks. Consequently, a £5 pint of beer will now include an automatic 10p tip, reported The Telegraph.

The Grosvenor Cafe’s drinks menu displays a pint of Camden Hells Lager at £5.95, but customers ordering at the bar are billed £6.07 for the beverage.

Similarly, at the Golf Tavern, the published menu indicates a pint of Guinness at £5.50, yet patrons are actually charged £5.61.

Consumer expert Jane Hawkes emphasised that while many in the struggling hospitality industry are working hard to stay afloat, it remains crucial for businesses to maintain transparency in their pricing.

She stressed the importance of companies compensating their staff adequately without relying on tips or service charges to subsidise wages.

The Golf Tavern in Edinburgh implemented a 2 percent service charge in October, replacing the previous system where patrons could optionally add a discretionary tip on the card machine after placing their orders.

Established in 1456, this historic pub, drawing golf enthusiasts worldwide, is situated near the Bruntsfield Links.

Meanwhile, Glasgow city centre bars, The Social and Delmonicas, have been applying a 2 percent service charge on drinks, a practice they claim to have maintained for at least the past year.

A staff member at Delmonicas defended the approach, stating that it aligns with industry norms, helping to create a level playing field.

The additional fees, which are subject to removal upon request, contribute only a modest increment to bar bills. Nonetheless, consumer experts said patrons might be unaware of these supplementary charges, emphasising that companies should not depend on “siphoning off tips” to augment staff salaries.

Over the past decade, service charges have become a prevalent practice in the restaurant industry, with the majority of diners now anticipating the inclusion of a 12.5 percent “discretionary service charge” on their bill following a meal.



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