Leroy scraps service charge to ‘do better by the people who serve the food’

Ed Thaw and Jack Lewens, from the Michelin-starred and much, applauded Shoreditch restaurant Leroy, have followed Selin Kiazim in scrapping discretionary service charge to bills and will instead raise menu prices to better reflect the value of the dining experience.

They explained “if you want to eat in a quality place it will cost you more, but you will also be doing better by the people who serve that food”.

Leroy, like Oklava, had never operated a formal tronc system, with Thaw and Lewens saying on social media that the system had always seemed unfair to them that employee wages would be “subject to the ebbs and flows of our business”.

They explained: “We believe in the dignity of hospitality as a career and we believe that extraordinary experiences need extraordinary people who deserve to be paid properly.

“Service charges were much misunderstood by diners but ultimately having it separate from menu prices also means that the government doesn’t add VAT to it. And, for us, the government makes enough money from eating out. It does not need to make more. Our employees need it more.

“Nevertheless, we believe that the time is right to stop adding to service charge to bills and we encourage all independent operators to do the same. If you want to eat in a quality place it will cost you more but you will also be doing better by the people who serve that food.”

This debate will continue to rumble on.

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