Harry Cragoe of The Gallivant on why banning tips is good for business
Why did you decide to ban tipping?
I'm a little bit different to most people in this industry because I had no experience in hospitality until I bought this business a few years back. The tronc system always troubled me as it tended to be paid to front of house staff and I didn't understand why they deserved to be tipped more than anyone else. I thought it was very demotivating and unfair.
Tell us about the changes you've made at The Gallivant.
We refuse tips, everyone's paid £9 per hour or more and receives a performance-based bonus paid monthly and quarterly. At the end of the year we have a profit figure to hit and if we exceed it then some of the excess will be distributed among members of staff. Everyone has ownership of the business and feels like they're a worthy valued member of the team.
We also don't have an age limit on pay. I've got a 19 year old daughter, why should she be paid less if she came to work for me than a 25 year old? I don't understand that. Everyone in the business, whether they're 17 or 55, should be on the same terms.
We announced the changes to our staff in November and to my enormous pleasure people started to clap. They were very appreciative of the effort.
How have customers reacted?
In our bill folders we put a statement that says we are not asking anyone to tip and have increased our food and beverage prices a little to enable us to do so. The response from customers has been 100 per cent positive.
What's been the response from staff?
It was interesting, after we'd made the changes a few members of staff actually left. My suspicion was that once we'd removed the tronc they realised they weren't going to get a free ride anymore. But we've now got more people wanting to work for us than ever before and they are all genuinely passionate about working in this industry, rather than just wanting a job.
Read the full article from Big Hospitality here