Information for restaurants
A discrete table card is placed on each table or in the bill folder during November and December. The card explains to the customer that a voluntary £1 will be added to the table’s bill at the end of the meal, and that every £1 donated will be used to help the homeless. It is also made clear that the customer may, of course, decline to donate.
The use of electronic tills makes the administration very straightforward. Most restaurants allocate a button on their till to StreetSmart during November and December. Staff add £1 (or more if the customer wishes) to the bill given to the customer. At the close of business each day, the end of day report gives the sum totals for food, alcohol, beverages, service, etc., and a separate sum for the amount taken for StreetSmart.
At the end of each month, the accountant determines the balance of the restaurant takings versus total sales, and the surplus would be the sum of all the StreetSmart contributions made by customers. The restaurant then simply writes a cheque or makes a bank transfer at the end of each month to StreetSmart. Cheques can be sent to StreetSmart, 1 St John’s Lane, London Ec1M 4BL. Alternatively payments can be made directly into StreetSmart’s bank account: Barclays Bank; Sort code: 20-36-88; A/C Number 70190888. Please use the name of the restaurant as a reference so we know who to thank.
Cost to the restaurant
Essentially, zero. StreetSmart provides every participating restaurant with all the table cards and information they need. Added to that, the administrative burden throughout the campaign is very small. The scheme is a very cost efficient way for restaurants to fulfil their social and community responsibility.
Restaurant staff and tips
As electronic tills make adding the £1 easy and straightforward, participation usually presents no problems for staff. And most staff enjoy being associated with an employer who has a social conscience.
Most restaurants find that participating in StreetSmart has no effect on the level of tipping. Our experience has shown that customers are happy to contribute to the scheme and don’t make any adjustment to the level of tip they would normally leave for a meal.
Our experience has shown that less than 1% of customers decline to participate, and often request that more than £1 be added to the bill! During the lead-up to Christmas, most customers are very happy to “give a little something back” after enjoying a fabulous meal.
The £1 donation is added to the bill after the service charge and VAT, so it does not affect the restaurant’s VAT returns.
Any restaurant is welcome to make a donation in addition to or in lieu of participating in the £1 campaign. Those donating will of course receive the same publicity and exposure as those in the regular campaign.
Restaurants are asked to submit funds to StreetSmart by the end of February at the latest. EITHER by sending a cheque payable to ‘StreetSmart-Action for the Homeless’ to StreetSmart, C/O BOOKMARK, Rose Court, 2 Southwark Bridge, London, SE1 9HS; OR by arranging a credit transfer to our account at Barclays Bank, Sort Code 20-36-88 / Account Number 70190888.