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Wed 24th Feb 2016 - London restaurant to axe service charge
London restaurant to axe service charge: Kojawan, the new izakaya from SLO Group, headed up by Bjorn Van Der Horst and Omar Romero, will eliminate the service charge when it opens next month on the top floor of London’s Hilton Metropole. The new restaurant is inspired by soul food of Seoul, Tokyo and Taipei. Van Der Horst said: “The world of service charge is a murky one and there are many grey areas in the rules and regulations. It is widely accepted that the current system is often not fair. We thought long and hard about this and genuinely believe this is the future of the hospitality industry if we are to support, retain and attract new talent whilst providing genuine career opportunities. We owe it to our hospitality work force to show them the utmost respect by giving them the opportunity to own a home, get a mortgage and be equal members of the skilled working class. They should receive a respectful salary based on their skill set and performance, not through a charitable-style TRONC system. This way they know exactly what they’ll be taking home each month. We don’t believe it’s fair that take-home pay be fixed at a minimal rate and topped up by at times an unclear fluctuating service charge distribution, which depends on how busy the restaurant is, what section you’ve been given to work in, or how much management deems appropriate. We can give real and honourable salaries, reflective of an employee’s skill set. We (as owners) can create clear and transparent incentive bonus schemes based on financial results in a similar way that many other industries provide yearly bonus schemes to their teams. Skilled craftsmen and workers in the hospitality industry should be recognised the same as in other industries, they have learnt a trade and deserve the same status. This is a massive step for our industry and one we are taking very seriously in the hope others will follow suit.”

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