Increasingly restaurants will try to add 12.5% service charge to your bill. I always ask for this to be removed and then tip directly to the waiter in cash. I’d like to explain why.
Firstly, I’ll decide whether I’m going to tip and how much – often service is good, but not always, and the decision should be mine, not decided for me by the venue.
Secondly, if I tip on the bill then the management very often take a slice of that for themselves. Well, thanks for having the restaurant and all but, no, get lost.
Thirdly, if the tip is on the bill then it is taxed. Now, I’m already taxed on my income, the waiter is taxed on his or her income and there’s already tax on the meal; this is a gratuity from me to my waiter – the government doesn’t have to have a finger in every pie!
Oh, and finally: the added service charge is always calculated on the total cost of the meal, including the drinks. This is scandalous: restaurants already put an outrageous mark-up on wine, spirits and beer, so I’ll just tip a percentage of the food price, thank-you very much.