Jeremy King, one half of the restaurant group Corbin and King, has released a video addressing diners about the state of the industry during the outbreak of Covid-19.
Mr King has urged members of the public to purchase dining vouchers in order to support the business and his staff. Due to the reliance of the tronc system, which, simply put, allows service charge to boost earnings, employees are receiving much less per month.
This is because the furlough scheme accounts for wages paid. With no tips to supplement workers, as Corbin and King sites are not open to trade, Mr King is hoping vouchers help out. He has promised 50 per cent of the money from all those bought will go directly to his team members.
He wrote on Thursday:
“Extraordinary times can sometimes necessitate unusual actions – particularly when the situation becomes serious and unprecedented such as the situation we find ourselves in currently. I wouldn’t normally talk to you by video, but if you do have a couple of minutes, please watch the above as I am able to explain quickly and in more detail why we need your help.
In short, we in the catering industry have had a terrible shock, in that the Government furlough scheme we thought would look after our employees, does not include tronc, (or service charge,) in the calculation of wages, which ordinarily boosts earnings by 60% and is the staff’s chosen way of receiving remuneration. This a payment that is taxed, and they have come to rely on, meaning many will have insufficient to house and feed their families.
We have done all we can and topped up their wages in March and April but our money is running out quickly. And this is why I am writing to you now. What I am asking is that you buy Dining Vouchers in advance – for any amount that you wish – that can be redeemed in all restaurants across the group without any time limit. For every voucher we will give 50% directly to the staff as income replacement.
We would appreciate any help you can give. I hope you and your families are staying safe and we look forward to welcoming you when this is all over.