A huge campaign from thousands of 38 Degrees members in Cardiff has forced the Las Iguanas restaurant in Cardiff to cave to public pressure and stop cheating its workers out of tips.
The Las Iguanas chain with a restaurant in the Mermaid Quay was forcing staff to pay back hard-earned cash at the end of each shift – and taking the money for the company instead.
2136 of Cardiff locals joined the campaign and put pressure on the restaurant by calling radio phone-ins, calling and emailing the company, and writing on its Facebook page.
As a result, on Thursday it announced on its website it was changing the practice: now 100% of all tips will be shared amongst hourly-paid staff, with no part of the tips going to the company or managers.
38 Degrees member Sam Hughes, who started the campaign calling on Las Iguanas to stop forcing its staff to “pay to work”, says: “What a great result for the hard-working staff at Las Iguanas and all 38 Degrees members. This shows without a doubt that when the public get together and have a single-minded focus, then things can and will change. Other restaurants with unfair tipping policies should be looking at this and following suit.”
Until today, Las Iguanas required staff to pay back 3% of their total sales for the night – in cash – to the management at the end of each shift. The money was meant to be paid by waiters from their pot of tips but, because it bore no relation to how much a waiter actually took in tips, it could wipe out his or her entire income from gratuities in a busy night.
When Sam and his supporters started phoning local Las Iguanas restaurants on Thursday evening, the company finally gave into the pressure and announced a change in their policy.
Robin Priestley, campaign manager at 38 Degrees says: “This is a victory for people power – and a fantastic result for all the 38 Degrees members who were involved in the campaign. The pressure of tens of thousands of customers signing the petition, phoning restaurants, posting on social media and much more clearly had the right effect on Las Iguanas bosses.
“This proves that when people in Cardiff come together to demand change, it can change the direction of huge companies.”