Unite wants chain to scrap 8% 'tip administration' fee


Campaigners acting for staff at Pizza Express have begun an online petition urging bosses to stop taking part of their staffs’ tips.

It has been revealed employees who are tipped when their bill is paid for by credit or debit card face a 8% ‘administration charge’, meaning they lose 8p of every £1 tip they are paid.

According to union Unite, which is backing the campaign, this means the high-street pizza chain takes an estimated £1 million each year from customers who think their tips are going straight to staff.

Chantal Chegrinec, campaigns officer at Unite said: “We believe this 8% fee is unfair and that, if the chain values its staff, it should be paying them the total tips they are given by customers.”

Pizza Express claims the 8% charge covers the cost of running a ‘tronc’ – the payroll process for deducting and distributing tips to staff. It has also been revealed they’re not the only ones to penalise staff this way. Zizzi and Ask restaurants also take 8% off tips paid by card, while Cafe Rouge, Bella Italia and Giraffe all take 10%.

Even after the 8% is removed, the remaining 92% is split 70-30 between the waiter customers dealt with, and the kitchen staff who prepared the food.

Pizza Express say the 8% charge “is what it costs to run the tronc,” adding: “It’s a standard administration charge, and we don’t profit from this.”

So far, more than 6,000 people have signed a petition demanding Pizza Express changes its policy.

Pressure is mounting because others, like The Restaurant Group, owner of Chiquito, Frankie and Benny's and Garfunkels, give100% of tips paid on cards to staff.