What is an ethical tronc scheme?

An ethical tronc scheme is set up and run in line with these 10 principles.

  1. Any tips or discretionary service charges paid by customers are managed and processed in a way that is fair and transparent. The tronc scheme seeks to reward and benefit those members of staff who contribute to the customer experience.
  2. Tips and service charge are never be used to meet National Minimum Wage obligations.
  3. If you invite customers to pay for service, you should operate a fair and well-managed tronc system. Customers expect service charges and tips to be paid to staff in addition to basic pay, not as part of it.
  4. Any service charge is always discretionary and should be clearly advertised as such to the customer.
  5. As an operator, never get involved with cash tipping. Whatever cash staff receive directly from customers belongs to them and they are responsible for ensuring they pay the income tax due on it.
  6. Businesses should aim to distribute 100% of the tips and service charges to staff. Where this is not possible, they should set a fee for administration that does no more than cover genuine third-party costs incurred in respect of collecting, administering, processing and making payments to staff. The operator should not make a profit from the administration charge.
  7. Customers should be clearly advised of the level of any administration charge, whether a tronc scheme is operated, and who manages it (eg, a member of staff, an independent third party).
  8. In keeping with the principle of transparency, staff should always be aware of the rules of the scheme. Staff should be told about how their own share is calculated, who the Troncmaster is, and how to raise questions about the operation of their scheme.
  9. The Troncmaster should manage the tronc scheme fairly and free of bias, favouritism and personal friendships. They should not seek to unfairly exclude any individuals or groups of staff.
  10. Tronc members expect to earn more through the tronc when business is good, the restaurant is busier and more service charge is paid by customers.

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