Chain under fire for keeping service charge
Customers paying the 12.5% service charge at Côte Brasserie have been shocked to find the serving staff don’t receive a penny.
According to workers, despite being forced to tell customers they get to keep their tips, waiting staff do not see any of the money automatically added to the bill.
A spokesperson for Côte said: “At Côte the optional service charge is used to increase the pay of all restaurant level staff above what would typically be seen as market standard. Whereas the base salary for a waitress in the industry would typically be minimum wage, currently £6.50 per hour, we are able to pay more like £7.50-8.00 per hour through using the service charge.”
A staff member told the Evening Standard, which uncovered the scandal: “We are told by management that we don’t get to keep the service charge because we get paid more than the minimum wage, so we should be grateful, but most of us would prefer earning the minimum wage and taking home our tips for the hard work we do.”
Customers said they would refuse to visit the chain again after the “scam”.
— Letty Thomas (@lettythomas) August 21, 2015
WOW: Côte Brasserie exposed scamming customers and ordering staff to lie about it when asked. (Er, allegedly!) http://t.co/9Ip1pqR611
— Rory Meakin (@rorymeakin) August 21, 2015