Kass (kassh) wrote in bad_service,

Waiters to rely solely on tips??

I came across this article this morning and was wondering how everybody felt about it, and what you all thought?

I've put it behind a cut, but to give you a run down, its an article about a famous british chef saying that they should cut minimum wage and that waiters should strictly rely on the tip system, to promote good service in restaurants. He's also "blaming" foreign waiters for poor service..

Bad service? Blame foreign waiters
By ALexa Baracaia, Evening Standard
10 May 2006
TV chef Antony Worrall Thompson has blamed east European waiters for poor service in restaurants.

He also calls for the minimum wage to be scrapped to force them to work harder. He tells Square Meal magazine: " The service here, frankly, is s***.

"Lots of people from eastern Europe and elsewhere come here and work in restaurants without having the level of English or the skills they should have.

"We need to make our waiters more enthusiastic. One solution would be to get rid of the minimum wage, so waiters would have to rely on tips like the old days. It's amazing the great service you get from staff who are out to earn tips."

The minimum wage was introduced in April 1999. Rates are £5.05 per hour for over-22s and £4.25 for workers aged 18 to 21.

Worrall Thompson's comments fuelled scorn and anger. Pawel Potoroczyn, director of the Polish Cultural Institute, said: "Frankly, there are many restaurants in London where you are hard pushed to understand what the English staff are saying. At least the Polish have an excuse."

A spokesman for the Latvian Embassy insisted: "Many employers tell us they are very content with the people that come from our country... they speak good English and they are kind and hard-working."

Chef Brian Turner, who employs Polish and Latvian staff at his Mayfair Millennium Hotel and Windsor restaurants, said: "In my restaurants the frontline staff who come from all four corners of the world are more than capable and enjoy their work and show it. As far as the minimum wage is concerned, we should pay a fair day's wage and get a fair day's work."

Ed Blissett, London secretary of the GMB union, said: "Perhaps Mr Worrall Thompson should go back to waiting for a few years to see how difficult it is to survive on the minimum wage. If it wasn't so serious it would be laughable. It's an ignorant comment that reflects no understanding of other people's lives."

A TUC spokesman said: "There is no evidence that the minimum wage has had a negative effect on the quality of service in the restaurant sector. In the past, some staff were only paid when they had customers."

But Square Meal editor Gaby Huddart said Worrall Thompson was right to criticise service.

"We hear again and again from our readers that it is a problem," she said. "In the US you get service with a smile, in France you get efficiency, in Italy charm. Here they can be inefficient and charmless."

She said a major problem was that service charge isnow usually added to the bill.

I've crossposted this in customers_suck to see what the otherside thinks :)
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