Pizza Express has bowed to customer pressure and given waiting staff a bigger slice of the tips they receive when customers pay by credit or debit card.
Eight in 10 of us usually tip waiters, so it is no surprise campaigners had targeted the restaurant chain over its failure to grant 100 per cent of tips to its staff.
Business secretary Sajid Javid entered the debate too, having previously announced an investigation into how restaurants distribute tips.
Other eateries such as Cafe Royal, Giraffe, Las Iguanas and Cote Brasserie have all been named and shamed in the press over tipping.
These chains have also been accused of maltreating staff and of misleading customers.
A YouGov BrandIndex set of data indicates how the reports impacted on the perception and reputation of brands such as Pizza Express.
YouGov’s Impression Metric shows that from a high point of 24 at the beginning of August, Pizza Express’ score dipped to low of 15. The real worry for company bosses will be whether this means fewer customers come through the door.
Our Purchase Consideration Metric shows a similar decrease. From a high of 19 at the start of August, the score fell to 16.
As the debate over the minimum and living wage rages, paying all staff a living wage supplemented by the full tip amount, at the very least, may well be the only way to safeguard a reputation in the future.
Irrespective of Pizza Express’ U-turn, high-profile restaurant chains that fail to amend their policies will not impress customers. This may be an opportunity for smaller, local alternatives that are vocal about their positive staff policy.