Pizza Express is facing a series of demonstrations outside its restaurants by wait staff angry that the firm skims eight per cent of tips paid by card.
The protests are being coordinated by Unite the union, which has published an open letter to Pizza Hut CEO Richard Hodgson from a 15 year company veteran who says that the "administration fee" costs her £3 a night.
"Try living in London on £6.50 an hour, we need our tips just to get by. The 8 per cent admin fee Pizza Express takes from our tips is a lot of money to a waiter," says the letter.
Unite is urging Pizza Express to follow the likes of Pizza Hut and TGI Friday and ditch the fee on tips made via card. More than 5000 people have signed a petition backing the call and Unite is urging customers to pay tips in cash.
Pizza Express insists that it does not profit from the fee, with a spokesperson telling the Independent: "We choose to operate a ‘tronc’ system, which is used by many in the industry. One of the big benefits of this system is that tips made by electronic card payment and discretionary service charges are paid without the deduction of national insurance contributions.
"Therefore, our restaurant teams are charged an administrative fee of just 8 per cent, compared to national insurance contributions of 12.8 per cent, which they would otherwise be required to pay."