TGI Fridays staff to protest over new tips policy

TGI Fridays staff will protest outside three London restaurants tonight following changes to the way tips are distributed across the company. 

Staff have been told that 40% of tips made via card payments will be given to kitchen staff from Monday – an increase on current deductions of 20%.

Unite regional officer Dave Turnbull told The Caterer that tips across the company are distributed through a tronc system, with the announcement made through the designated “troncmaster”.

Staff have claimed that the tronc committee had not been consulted before the announcement, which they argue is being introduced as an alternative to a pay rise for kitchen staff.

Turnbull said staff had requested a grievance hearing, but TGI Fridays denied this.

He said: “Staff want a grievance hearing into the way the troncmaster has handled this, which they believe is in breach of the rules laid down by the company.”

He said they also wanted to discuss “the question of who appointed him and if there should be an election” as well as “the allegation there has been collusion with the company [and troncmaster]” and to argue that “kitchen staff need a proper pay increase and not to rely on tips”.

The protests will take place at restaurants in Piccadilly, Leicester Square and Covent Garden.

A TGI Fridays spokesperson said: “As always, team members will keep 100% of tips received at Fridays, but from 19 February 40% of tips received on card will go to the kitchen teams. This has been done in the interest of fairness, and to ensure that all team members who have helped earn the tips receive a share of them.

“The changes were made after discussions with a large segment of team members and research into industry norms. Servers will continue to keep 100% of the cash tips they are given.”

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