The debate over tipping has damaged the reputation of UK pubs and restuarants, according to the chief executive of the British Hospitality Association (BHA).
Bob Cotton is now urging all restaurants to adopt a new code of practice on service charges, which is being developed in conjunction with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
The governnment confirmed in May that the practice of using tips to boost staff pay to minimum wage levels will be illegal from October this year.
Under the code, to be introduced alogside the new legislation, pubs and restaurants will:
- explain on their website or in another easily accessible form how the service charge is distributed to staff
- say whether the proceeds are shared between the outlet and staff
- say whether distribution is controlled by an employee representative
- say what percentage (if any) of the service charge is held back by the restaurant to cover administration.
Cotton said: "If we can ensure that every restaurant accepts and adopts the code, the industry will have done much to reinstate its reputation.
"We must put behind us all the critical comments the industry has had to endure in the last year."
He added: "Customers must be able to understand exactly what happens to the proceeds of the service charge."