Restaurant prices set to rise

PUBLISHED: 02:01 08 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:09 15 June 2010

FRIDAY, AUGUST 8: JUST as the credit crunch starts to really bite, East Devon residents have been dealt a fresh blow. The cost of eating out could soar - now that a landmark legal case has ruled tips cannot count towards the minimum wage. According to accountants Bishop Fl

JUST as the credit crunch starts to really bite, East Devon residents have been dealt a fresh blow.The cost of eating out could soar - now that a landmark legal case has ruled tips cannot count towards the minimum wage.According to accountants Bishop Fleming, the ruling could force hotel and restaurant owners to revisit their pay policies and put up menu prices.Spokesman Will Hanbury said: "At a time when food and fuel prices are on the rise, this is likely to boost menu prices in thousands of restaurants throughout the South West."An employment appeal tribunal case has found in favour of HM Revenue and Customs, so that where tips, gratuities and voluntary service charges are paid to a "troncmaster", who then allocates and makes payments to the employees, these amounts will not count toward the national minimum wage. "The same would clearly apply where the tips are received directly and kept by the employee," said Mr Hanbury.

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