What is a tronc?

A tronc, or service charge pool, is a special arrangement between business and staff that allows the fair distribution of staff tips, gratuities and service charge collected by the business in bars, restaurants, hotels or casinos.

You may have seen text such as 'A discretionary service charge of 12.5% has been added to your bill' at the bottom of a receipt in a restaurant - this is service charge that can be collected and put into a 'tronc pot' to then distribute amongst staff.

A properly managed tronc system is a great way to incentivise and keep staff. A poorly managed tronc system can have some serious consequences, especially with your staff and HMRC.

Where does the word 'tronc' come from?

The word 'tronc' comes from 1920s in France, where the word was first reported to be used as 'collecting boxes' - tronc de pauvres - which were used to collect donations for the poorer in society.

What is a troncmaster?

There are a wide variety of types of tronc, but all are run by a Troncmaster. This is a person who decides how the tronc money is shared out between staff. Generally this person has been given the authority to manage the tronc on behalf of the business, but frequently this is not the person actually making the payment.