Hospitality Today July-Aug 2016 - Page 16

16 | Hospitality Today | June/July 2016 Ufi Ibrahim (right), CEO of The British Hospitality Association (BHA) – which represents over 40,000 hospitality establishments in the UK - has welcomed the consultation. Ms Ibrahim said: “Transparency is precisely what we asked the government to consider. Customers should be able to reward good service and know where their money ends up and how much of it goes to the staff.” “Over the coming few weeks, we will convene a series of meetings with hospitality business leaders across the UK and conduct our own impact assessment, to deliver a unified and robust response to inform the government’s decision making process”. Previously, during the Governments ‘call for evidence’ The British Hospitality Association asked Business Secretary Sajid Javid (opposite) to make it a legal requirement for restaurants to tell customers how tips and service charges are distributed among staff. Ufi Ibrahim continued: “Many restaurant customers struggle to understand the difference between a tip and a service charge. What’s more they aren’t always sure what happens to the extra money they leave at the end of a meal. We believe restaurants should have to provide a written notice explaining exactly what happens to service charges and tips.” Andy Hamman, Employment Tax Director of BDO, says: “Although delaying any potential change for the sector, [the consultation] should be welcomed as a positive opportunity, providing a valuable forum to offer representations and further feedback to government. “It is worth noting that BIS took some five months to respond to the Call For Evidence. Assuming this consultation will receive significantly higher responses, one should not expect findings to be published much before the autumn.” Mark Linehan MD of the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), commented: “The Government’s review of tipping and service charges is a very welcome step towards ensuring a fairer deal for the 600,000 people working in the industry and the millions of people who eat out every day “The UK dining public’s attitude to tips and service charges is straight forward: it demands that staff are treated fairly and that restaurants are utterly transparent about what they are charging customers and where the money goes. “When, in 2014, we asked consumers to identify the sustainability issue that mattered most to them when eating out, fair treatment of staff came out on top. Ensuring that staff who have contributed to a pleasurable dining experience receive all their tip is a key part of that fair treatment.