I am a member of the Unite Restaurant and Bar Staff Branch. I work as a waitress for a large chain of brand named restaurants. Yesterday was a typical day in my working life.
I worked a 7.5 hour shift. My rate of pay is minimum wage £6.50 an hour. So yesterday before tax and NI deductions I earned £48.75. It was a busy day and due to staff shortages I was covering more than one section. The sales for the tables I served totalled £2,136.00.
I recieved £60 in tips from customers. But my employer took 10% of this for an admin fee. I then had to pay out 20% to the kitchen and 10% to the bar. So out of £60 in tips I was left with £24, which will be taxed.
Because the shift was so busy and we were so short staffed I didn't notice two customers slipping out without paying their bill. At the end of my shift I was pressurised into handing over £40 out of my own pocket to cover the loss of revenue suffered by my poor employer.
So at the end of a hard day, with my feet aching and my head throbbing. I went home with no tips and an effective £16 shortfall in my minium hourly rate.
This why I am part of the Unite Fair Tips Campaign and The Fight For Five!