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Protest held outside The Ivy restaurant in Dublin over working conditions and tips

Issues at the restaurant first came to light in November last year.

The Ivy Restaurant, Dublin
The Ivy Restaurant, Dublin
Image: Sam Boal via RollingNews.ie

A NUMBER OF activists gathered outside The Ivy restaurant yesterday evening to protest working conditions.

Issues at the restaurant first came to light in November last year when staff were told they will no longer be allowed process payments from customers after management alleged that some waiters were asking patrons to pay tips in cash, rather than on a credit card.

Management at the restaurant posted a staff notice to express disappointment that bad manners had been shown to guests by being “consistently asked for cash”. Management also claimed that the cash tips were not being shared with other staff members. 

The notice said that a new system would mean no team member is ever to handle cash or card from a guest. Until trust was rebuilt, management would process all payments, the notice said. 

In a video posted online yesterday, a ‘menu’ of alleged workplace issues was read aloud by an activist to customers and management in the restaurant. 

Reading a list of issues aloud as diners continued with their meals around her, the woman told them good service was “not rewarded” at the restaurant. 

Independent TD Joan Collins supported yesterday’s protest. 

Raising the issue in the Dáil, Joan Collins TD said “I have been approached recently by workers in the new, swanky and expensive restaurant, The Ivy, where the company is taking the major proportion of tips paid to staff to make up the difference in their wages.”

The Ivy response

In a statement today, The Ivy said: “The Ivy collection would like to clarify that 100% of credit card tips are shared amongst the entire 150 staff members (excluding management). 

“A gratuity per hour is paid to every staff member in addition to their contractual hourly wage and is guaranteed by the company in that any shortfall, regardless of whether any tips are paid by patrons, will be made up by the company.”

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It said that “all cash tips are kept by the individual waiter/waitress, although they are encouraged to share these tips with their colleagues”.

“We believe that the credit card tips should be shared amongst the entire team (excluding management) reflecting everyone’s contribution to the service. 

In a statement to Liveline in November, The Ivy explained that when a tip is paid by credit card, it goes towards a shared gratuity per hour that all restaurant staff – including front of house, bar staff and kitchen porters – receive.

The Ivy is located on Dawson Street in Dublin city centre. 

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