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TV chef Michel Roux Jr scraps tips after he reveals 13% service charge goes to restaurant

Michel Roux Junior will include service charge in the menu price. Credit: PA

Celebrity chef Michel Roux Junior has scrapped tips after he admitted that staff at his Michelin-starred restaurant do not get a share of the service charge on bills.

The former Masterchef judge told The Guardian the 13% charge is treated as "revenue" and is not shared out between kitchen and front of house staff.

A fixed price menu with wine at the Mayfair restaurant costs £212 per person meaning the service charge could amount to thousands per week.

It emerged after the TV chef said he was "embarrassed and sorry" over claims that chefs were paid below the minimum wage and working long hours.

He has now vowed to scrap service charge from the end of January 2017 and include the costs within the prices on the menu.

He said: "There is too much ambiguity between service charges and tips. So from the end of January 2017 we are going ‘service included’. This will be marked on the bill and menus so as to make it clear that no further payment or gratuity is needed and credit card slips will be closed."

Roux confirmed on his website and Twitter that staff will be paid at least the minimum wage and anyone due extra money will be paid "retrospectively.

In a statement on his website, he said:

You may have read a recent report in the national press that Le Gavroche was underpaying some junior staff members. I would like to reassure you that the welfare of our staff is of primary importance, and that all our staff are receiving the correct salary.

In order to provide a better working environment, we took the decision earlier this year to close the restaurant all day Monday, as well as being closed Saturday lunchtime, and all day Sunday, and I have also decided to increase even further the amount of time off enjoyed by all restaurant employees, at the same time maintaining all salaries at the current level despite less hours being worked.

– Michel Roux Jr