Majority of public support ban on keeping tips

By Emily Hawkins

- Last updated on GMT

Hot tip: YouGov data shows 68% of the public agree with the Government's proposal to ban restaurants from keeping tips intended for staff
Hot tip: YouGov data shows 68% of the public agree with the Government's proposal to ban restaurants from keeping tips intended for staff

Related tags tipping

The public supports the Government’s proposal to legally ban restaurants from keeping tips intended for staff, YouGov data suggests.

A majority of those polled (68%) said they would support a legal ban on restaurants taking a share of tips and service charges, rather than passing them directly to staff.

Only a fifth (19%) of the public said they opposed the idea.

Demographic divide 

There is a slight gender difference in levels of support for the legislation, with 71% of men in support compared to 65% of women.

Younger diners are less likely to support the ban, with 62% of 18-24s in support, compared to 73% of 50-65s, YouGov’s data showed.

Prime Minister Theresa May said the change would help to end exploitative employment practices, though she did not announce a time frame for the legislation.

Trade body UKHospitality (UKH) condemned​ the plan as unnecessary regulation and argued businesses already followed a code of practice to promote a fair distribution of tips among staff.


Two years ago a review into tipping practices made the recommendation all tips were given to serving staff and not employers.

Sajid Javid, the business secretary at the time, said the Government would decide whether to implement statutory legislation or make the voluntary code more rigorous. It was criticised for being slow​ to produce a response to this consultation earlier in the year.

An industry code of practice was developed between UKH and trade union Unite after public outcry met the revelation that many high-street companies kept tips made on credit or debit cards.

Industry reaction

Further legislation could have “unforeseen circumstances for staff”, UKH chief executive Kate Nicholls warned.

She added: “At a time when costs are mounting for operators in the sector, the Government must be careful about introducing additional legislation.”

Richard Moller, director for consumer research at YouGov said: “Tipping can often be a worrisome issue, with customers often anxious about how much to tip, and if the person that served them will miss out on the tip altogether.

“This is often brought into greater focus when paying for the meal, and the gratuity, solely on card.

He explained: “Despite this, there are some who would argue that a lot of staff members go into making a meal, and a night to remember for customers, not just those in charge of serving.”

Related topics Legislation

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