A London restaurant has been slammed for upping its service charge to 15 per cent, with many angry customers saying its the latest sign ‘ridiculous’ American tipping culture is taking over the UK.
L’Escargot, in Soho, London charges 15 per cent to customers on top of their regular bill – which many have branded ‘crazy high’.
The French restaurant, which serves the likes of £24 mushroom risotto and £56 steak recently charged £7.65 tip on a £51 bill – outraging customers.
One customer posted their receipt to Reddit – with others frustrated that service charges to 10 to 15 per cent are becoming commonplace in the UK.
Unlike in the U.S. where hospitality workers rely on tips to survive, staff in UK restaurants are paid a living wage, and tips are traditionally only added to exceptional service.
L’Escargot, in Soho, London charges 15 per cent to customers on top of their regular bill – which many have branded ‘crazy high’
One person took the time to compliment the diner’s wine choice whilst also acknowledge L’Escargot’s (pictured) high service charge rates
Wait staff in London will make a minimum of £11.95-an-hour, whereas tipped employees in the US can make as little as $2.13 (£1.72) an hour before tips.
However, discretionary service charges have become commonplace in British restaurants particularly in London and tourist hotspots, with the average in the capital now reaching 12.5 per cent.
This type of charge is not mandatory to pay, however it is placed on a customer’s receipt before it is handed to them.
MailOnline has approached L’Escargot for comment.
Reddit users were left stunned by the increase in service charge prices, with one writing: ’15 per cent is crazy high,’ while another added: ‘Noticing a lot of 20 per cent popping up.’
One person took the time to compliment the poster’s choice in wine, saying: ‘Yup that’s way too high, Also excellent wine choice!’
To which the diner responded: ‘Wine was good!’
Another shared their experience dining in London, stating: ‘Ate out in London three times over the weekend, all had a 15% to added to the bill without asking.
‘One restaurant made me pay via QR code, added a service charge then asked if I wanted to add a tip before checking out…. No.’
Others were left steaming over the thought of paying a service charge, with going as far as to say: ‘Stop this b******t culture.’
While an individual continued: ‘We need to fight this American born problem before it becomes ‘the way’. Time to get the letters written to MP’s’
Some were vehemently against paying the 15 per cent charge, commenting: ‘I always tip 10 per cent. However, if there is a service charge, I neither pay it, nor offer a tip.’
Another quipped: ‘Yeah I’d probably let 10 per cent slide but I’m asking for 15% to be removed.’
Certain users went as far as alleging that service charges were a ‘scam’, saying that: ‘Most places give some service charge to staff and keep the rest. It’s just an imaginary charge.
They continued: ‘We mock America for their awful wages and tipping culture but service charge is basically the same concept in disguise.’
It comes as many Brits took to the social media platform to ponder whether it was rude to remove the service charge.
Several Brits took to the thread to share their the thoughts on the matter – and the resounding response was no.
On the Reddit forum one person argued: ‘No that’s why we have a high minimum wage.’
Another chimed in: ‘Not rude at all, we should be doing our very best to reject this Americanism. It has to be one of the worst cultural exports that’s come out of there.’