Diners and employment rights activists in Leigh On Sea have reacted with anger after a popular local restaurant announced that their tipping policy has been changed in favour of the company’s owner. From today, 100% of all tips at the swanky artisan eaterie Le Pamplemousse Confondu will be automatically kept by the owner Leviathan Montrose-Nash, and he insists that the new policy is ‘fair and ethical’ as he has promised that all staff will earn the minimum wage and other benefits.
Mr Montrose-Nash said: ‘There has been so much controversy recently about tipping that I have taken a decision to protect both myself and my business. From this point forward, all tips that are paid by cash and debit or credit cards will become the property of myself as the restaurant’s owner, and all waiting and kitchen staff will be paid the minimum wage. Even though our main dishes start at just £36.95, I am also more than happy to let staff have a 10% discount on all food and drink, and this should help to offset any gratuities that they will miss out on.’
He continued: ‘Affer consulting with my staff, they have accepted that our new tipping policy is fair, and my own legal team has confirmed that there is no obligation to inform customers using signs or other forms of marketing about the change. As an additional gesture towards our commitment to helping the local community, 1% of our tips will be put aside for Leigh-based good causes every month. For May 2016, our chosen organisation will be the South Essex Homeless Chihuahua Foundation, and we will choose similar worthy charities in the future.’
Clementine Montrose-Nash has been waitressing at Le Pamplemouuse Confondu since 2014, and she told our Chief Reporter that she was happy with the new arrangements. She said: ‘Before people start jumping all over the owner and calling him unfair, they need to remember that the business only made £1.4m in post-tax profits last year across five locations. Personally, I would rather give my tips to people in need as this gives me a warm sense of fulfilment, and people also need to remember that the hospitality industry has never had it so hard before.’