Submitting its response to the Government’s consultation into tipping practices, the ALMR has welcomed it as a chance refresh the code of practice but urged the Government to proceed cautiously with any legislative changes.
ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “The ALMR has carried out a widespread survey of members, including leading casual dining businesses, and found extensive awareness of the current code and compliance with it. Much of the reporting of tipping practice has been inflammatory, based on anecdotal evidence and unhelpful in its effort to address any perceived problems.
“We have found no evidence of poor practice but there is a clear misunderstanding from consumers, the media and some staff members as to how tips are redistributed. The consultation presents us with a chance to modernise the code, to better reflect contemporary payment practices such as cashless, and clear up any grey areas.
“We would urge the Government to proceed cautiously with any legislative changes so as not to add to the confusion. We would also stress that hospitality businesses facing shrinking margins require a degree of flexibility to reward their staff in the way that best suits their business model and there is little justification for large-scale intervention. Intrusive regulation of employer practices regarding distribution of tips may well undermine the sector’s ability to push growth and inhibit investment.
“The system is in place to reward staff members who contribute to a great customer experience and wholesale changes may see those employees suffering as a result.”