London Lite Tuesday, 29 September 2009 Restaurant chain takes its service charge off the bill Bossesgivepowerbacktothediners Founder: Conran is still a part-owner Inbrief Desert Island Discs on iPlayer Radio 4 favourite desert island discs is available on the BBC iPlayer, after the corporation worked out a rights deal with the family of the shows founder, Roy Plomley. Fans can replay episodes via the BBCs website, with a show featuring Barry Manilow the first to go online. Radio 4 controller Mark damazer said the shows new website would be an all-singing, all-dancing affair. E.coli outbreak infectsfourmore FouR more people have contracted E.coli in an outbreak linked to a childrens petting farm. a total of 86 people who visited Godstone Farm in Surrey have contracted the potentially deadly o157 strain of the bug, the Health Protection agency said. They include three children being treated in hospital, who are all said to be in a stable condition with none seriously ill. New York Service charges are rare, but tipping is universally expected. The tax on restaurant bills is 8.25 per cent and the tip is usually expected to be about twice that on top. In expensive restaurants 20 per cent or more is now the norm. ParIS Service is almost always included in the bill and not expected to be paid on top. However, it is common when service has been particularly good to leave a small top-up of loose change on the table. TokYo Tipping is virtually unheard of and service is always included in the bill. Leaving a tip can even be seen as an insult. HoNg koNg a 10 per cent service charge similar to the London system is typical, although this often goes to the restaurant rather than the staff. A fEw tIPs on gRAtuIty cultuRE ARounD thE woRlD A LEADING London restaurant chain has scrapped its 12.5 per cent service charge in a move that could revolutionise the capitals tipping culture. D&D London, which owns most of the former Conran restaurants such as Pont de la Tour, the Coq dArgent and Quaglinos, said it will now be up to customers to decide how much to leave as a reward. The change, which comes into effect on Thursday, was hailed as wonderful news by consumer groups who said that the system of automatically adding 12.5 per cent to bills was a resented stealth tax used mainly to boost the low wages of restaurant staff. Most London restaurants add service to bills as a supposedly discretionary charge for serv- ice, although in practice diners hardly ever refuse to pay it even if service has been poor. Des Gunewardena, chairman and chief executive of D&D, said: We want to change the mind-set of customers and staff. Were saying, If youve had great service leave a great tip, if you havent, dont. It should result in better service. It is a trip into the unknown but that is the way they do things in America. It works in New York where service in gen- eral is excellent and tips very good. T he s y s t e m will not apply for groups of eight or more, who will still have an auto- matic charge. It comes on the same day as legislation that will make it illegal for restaurants to use service charges and tips to bring staff pay up to minimum wage level. D&D diners tips will be added to their credit card slip and then shared out among staff. Elizabeth Shaw, editor of the Good Food Guide, said: The service charge has become almost like a stealth tax. Personally Id prefer the service compris system so you know exactly how much you are going to pay and the tip is a little add-on. D&D, in which founder Sir Terence Conran retains a 51 per cent stake, revealed that its profits fell by a fifth last year to 6.5m. by GEORGINA LITTLEJOHN 20,000policerewardto catchgunpointrapegang Filmed: a suspect on CCTV in Finsbury Park E Continued from Page 1 Finsbury Park. Scotland Yard today offered a 20,000 reward for information and released CCTV images of the suspects. The attack took place on 14 May last year. Police said details were being revealed only after other efforts to trace the men had failed. Detective Inspector Robert Pack said: Every rape is a very serious crime but what makes this all the more shocking was that the victim was so clearly heavily pregnant. He added: Allegiances may have changed over the last 14 months and we would urge anyone with information to contact us. A reconstruction of the robbery will be shown on Crimewatch tonight. The woman went on to have her baby without any problems. The Met is tackling a surge in burglaries, in particular gangs who target houses to steal the keys of cars parked outside. Police released images of three men caught on CCTV shortly before the Finsbury Park attack. Two men were seen outside a mini-market at the corner of Seven Sisters Road and Durham Road in Holloway 10 minutes before the attack. A third man was filmed at 10.02pm on the corner of Seven Sisters Road and Fonthill Road in Finsbury Park. Police said they were keen to trace the men, if only to eliminate them from inquiries. The suspect who carried out the sex assault is black, 6ft, aged 18 to 25 and stocky. He wore a black balaclava, black jacket and black tracksuit bottoms. A second man was black or Asian, 5ft 6ins and about 18. He wore light grey tracksuit bottoms, black trainers and a jacket with red sleeves. The third suspect, who had the shotgun, was black, 5ft 10ins, and aged between 18 and 22. He was also wearing burgundy tracksuit bottoms. index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html