Turning the tables on service charges

Johnny Tang is 22, has bleached blond hair, piercings and tattoos halfway up his arm. He might look like an unconventional waiter, but Tang's attitude is what really sets him apart. It's easy to see he's happy in his job and also very good at it.

Thursday, 20 October, 2011, 12:00am

Tip in the balance

I'm planning a holiday to New York in a couple of weeks, and apart from the problem of wanting to eat at more than 20 restaurants in six days, I'm having tip anxiety.

I was born and raised in the United States, so tipping is not new to me. I'm fully aware that in America, while tipping wait staff in restaurants is ostensibly voluntary, in reality, it's an obligation.

13 Oct 2011 - 12:00am

Public Eye

Big profits when you pay slave wages

11 May 2011 - 12:00am

A waitress worth her weight in gold

Nowadays, Hong Kong is an international financial city. Often we miss the personal touch of someone who cares. Waiters in restaurants are usually just interested in taking orders and getting tips. But some waiters are very helpful, very patient and very careful. I was impressed recently by one caring waitress who works in a Japanese restaurant.

5 May 2011 - 12:00am

Why bar staff may sniff at your credit card tips

Hong Kong's most widespread rip-off is worse than you thought.

Not only are unscrupulous bar and restaurant owners keeping the 10 per cent service charge rather than passing it on to their staff, in many establishments owners also use the tips that customers add to their credit card payments to pay commission fees charged by card companies.

25 Apr 2010 - 12:00am

The bar owners who ban the service charge

It's one of the biggest rip-offs in Hong Kong. The 10 per cent 'service charge' in most upmarket bars and restaurants which ends up not in the pockets of the staff, but in their bosses' bank accounts.

18 Apr 2010 - 12:00am

Jet set: Gigi Chao

Gigi Chao (below), PR executive

Which destination have you returned to again and again?

Paris. I remember the first time I went as a teenager and I hated it. But as an adult, I always make an effort to stop over to absorb a bit of Parisian arrogant cool.

What's one destination that's always eluded you and why?

20 May 2009 - 12:00am

Top court blocks travel firm's appeal over tips

The city's highest court yesterday blocked an appeal by Wing On Travel and held that tips paid to tour guides should be counted as part of their wages when calculating claims for holiday pay.

A tour guides' union anticipated that more than 1,000 tour guides would seek similar compensation from their former employers following the decision.

20 Jan 2009 - 12:00am

Travel firm denied appeal on ruling over guides' tips

Verdict that service fees are income is final, says court

The Court of Appeal refused to give permission to Wing On Travel yesterday to appeal in the top court against a ruling that tips should be included in the wages of tour guides for the purpose of claiming holiday pay.

9 Oct 2008 - 12:00am

Tour guides threaten to strike over pay reduction

Tour guides facing pay cuts of about 60 per cent or more are threatening to stage a week-long strike from Saturday.

The Hong Kong Tour Guides General Union has not ruled out taking more drastic measures to protest against travel agencies and the government scrapping income from tips.

9 Jun 2008 - 12:00am

Tour guides hit by euro rise seek better tips

An increasingly expensive euro is prompting tour operators, who get paid in Hong Kong dollars, to demand more tips when taking tour groups to Europe.

The Travel Industry Council will debate the issue tomorrow.

25 Mar 2008 - 12:00am

Centenary facelifts and gizmos leave cabbies in no mood to party

New York

During the 100th birthday celebrations for New York's metered taxis last year the city's iconic yellow cars got a thorough facelift.

19 Feb 2008 - 12:00am

'Service' fee doesn't go to those who serve

Restaurants add 10pc, but it's not for the staff

It is a question one restaurateur has asked himself on more than one occasion when he feels guilty tallying up another substantial month's takings at his upscale restaurant on the south side of Hong Kong Island.

26 Aug 2007 - 12:00am

Food notes

These nuggets of information may come in handy when you next dine out


30 Mar 2007 - 12:00am

Great party, whose pad?

Clothing magnate Samuel Chan Wing-sun last week threw open his luxury Bowen Road pad to the city's young and glamorous - with most of the guests admitting they had never met him before.

6 Sep 2006 - 12:00am