Tipping Point: Time to Rethink the Service Charge?

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Should you leave a cash tip or is card just as good, do you prefer a service charge or would you get rid of tipping altogether? Sheila Dillon finds out when she meets the co-founder of Hawksmoor Restaurants William Beckett to talk about our attitude to tipping in the UK and how it varies from city to city. Peter Davies of WMT Accountants describes how high-profile scandals have dented our trust in tipping and Alex Wrethman of the Charlotte Group of restaurants explains how that could be hurting businesses now. Sheila then draws on examples from the US where Saru Jayaraman is President of the Restaurant Opportunities Centre. Jayaraman explains how the system in many states has forced workers to rely on tips to earn the minimum wage and been a cause of poverty and sexual harassment. We hear from the poet Jan Beatty about waiting tables in the US for 15 years and then look at one of the most forward-thinking tipping models in the world, dreamed up by restaurateur Danny Meyer who founded New York’s Union Square Cafe and Gramercy, and ask whether it could be rolled out in the UK. Presenter: Sheila Dillon Producer: Tom Bonnett

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