Protesters confront diners at London restaurant

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The Independent Online

Carluccio's restaurant in London's Canary Wharf became the focus of our campaign for fair tips last night as demonstrators threatened to bring a busy evening to a standstill.

London Citizens, the capital's largest community organisation, unfurled a banner outside the restaurant midway through a dinner, in protest at the pay terms under which waiters at the restaurant earn money.

They approached other diners with copies of The Independent, explaining the company's policy on paying waiting staff. On Monday, we revealed the chain pays staff a basic hourly salary that is below the minimum wage but tops it up using gratuities from customers.

The company claims that, as a result, waiters are paid an average hourly wage of about £8 an hour and, if their wages fall short, the pay is topped up.

Staff at Carluccio's in Canary Wharf are, in fact, paid a basic hourly wage of £3.75. The legal minimum wage, from 1 October, will be 5.73.