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Sep 28th, 2015

Las Iguanas – Campaign Victory!

By Robin Priestley

Wonderful news! 38 Degrees members have forced restaurant chain Las Iguanas to rip-up their dodgy tips policy.

Until last night, Las Iguanas bosses pocketed huge chunks of the tips earned by hard-working waiters and waitresses. 38 Degrees members were determined to change this unfair system, so tens of thousands of us signed the petition, phoned restaurants, posted on their Facebook – and our pressure worked.

It goes to show that when 38 Degrees members come together to demand change, we can have a huge effect not just on politicians – but big companies too.

Here’s how 38 Degrees members took on this company and won:

When 38 Degrees member Sam from Brighton saw the news he was outraged and started a petition on the 38 Degrees website. He shared it with his friends and family and before long it began to snowball. Thousands of us signed, but at first, the company refused to budge on their dodgy policy, they claimed that there wasn’t a problem.

38 Degrees members stepped up the pressure. We wrote to the papers, called up our local radio stations, and posted on Las Iguanas facebook pages and even posted our concerns on review website Trip Advisor. Our pressure forced Las Iguanas HQ into lock-down: they took down their Facebook pages and stopped responding to the press.


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Rumours began to surface that Las Iguanas were talking with staff about changing the policy, so last night we started a final push together to tip them over the edge. At 6pm, 38 Degrees members started phoning restaurants – and by 8pm last night they decided to change the policy!  This morning our campaign has hit the headlines.


Read some of the news stories here:

The Guardian – Las Iguanas changes controversial tipping policy 

Coventry Telegraph – Las Iguanas changes controversial tipping policy in face of public pressure

Torquay Herald Express – Las Iguanas restaurant chain to change tips policy after petition

Liverpool Echo – Las Iguanas say it will stop taking hard earned tips from waiting staff in Liverpool

Exeter Express & Echo – New Las Iguanas tips policy follows 38 Degrees petition and staff survey

Bath Chronicle – Las Iguanas in Bath changes its tips policy after online petition

Cardiff Times – Cardiff locals force restaurant to stop cheating workers out of tips.

Bristol 24/7 – Las Iguanas changes tipping policy

Leicester Mercury – Las Iguanas Leicester: Staff to get 100 per cent of tips after nationwide campaign

38 Degrees members have known for a long time that when we come together as voters we can have a huge effect on politicians, forcing them to listen to people power. Now, this victory shows that when we come together as customers we can have an equally powerful effect on companies.

Here’s what Sam, who started the campaign, had to say:

“What a great result for the hard-working staff at Las Iguanas and all 38 Degrees members. This shows without a doubt that when the public get together and have a single-minded focus, things can and will change. Other restaurants with unfair tipping policies should be looking at this and following suit.”


Today shows that when thousands of us work together we can have a huge impact on companies.

Over 1000 current and ex-staff members of Las Iguanas have signed the petition. So 38 Degrees sent them a survey asking about their experiences at the restaurant. You can read the results here:

The results of the survey include lots of quotes from staff members like this:

“On more than one occasion I had not made enough in tips to cover the 3% and they demanded that I pay out of my own pocket. The final time I refused to give them a penny of my own cash, which I think slightly threw the manager, so he “kindly” (his word not mine) only took all of my tips for the evening.”

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