Whether service should be included in the bill can be a controversial issue. While in France, Italy and Sweden this is a common practice, restaurant-goers in the UK remain sceptical. British diners tend to believe that extra should be given voluntarily by customers and withheld if service is unsatisfactory. Most restaurant owners share this point of view and think that tips should motivate waiters to be pleasant, helpful and competent.
However, in some cases, a pre-included service charge may be a good idea, for example, for large groups of customers.
When a waiter serves a large party, he/she usually has to focus exclusively on this one table. If the meal lasts several hours, additional staff may be called in to help manage the demand. To minimise payroll expenses, many restaurants automatically include a service fee into bills for larger parties. For example, some restaurants will add a 10% markup for parties of 10 or more, even if they are not part of a formal event or a celebration for which tables have been reserved in advance.
In Tillypad, service charges can be entered as a percentage (the program will automatically calculate the charge as a proportion of the guest tab total) or a fixed amount. Restaurateurs can decide which option is more economically sound for their business. A fixed amount or percentage can easily be set up in the system, and the 'Service charge' line will be automatically added to the bill.
Keep in mind that if you want to add a service charge to the bill, this should be noted on the menu. Otherwise, the charge will be considered unlawful.