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Old 02-06-2019, 11:09 AM   #1
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Automatic Gratuity Charged

I know I have posted on similar topics before . I guess it's my pet peeve. I am not cheap at all, if anything I'm generous when deserved . I understand the food industry has a different method of pay, and in no way do I want anyone not to get paid what's deserved and rightfully earned. I just still can't understand how an " Automatic Gratuity" is a gratuity. I think once it's made automatic, it is now considered part of the dinner fee. Im sure its to weed out the cheapos who are trying to beat the system, but to those who play by the proper etiquette rules, its a slap in the face. Anyway, I can go on about this forever, but it just annoys me and rubs me the wrong way.

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Old 02-06-2019, 11:18 AM   #2
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That's pretty standard for larger parties in our area. Maybe a lot of people cheap out when it's a larger bill? However, the server best give the same amount of attention and service or I would be complaining to management and then on social media if management doesn't correct.
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Old 02-06-2019, 11:43 AM   #3
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Automatically adding a gratuity for large parties is something I've seen for many years. It was probably necessitated by the inherent cheapness of customers.

We've had the general tipping discussion several times. Over the years I have seen gratuity percentages creep up. It used to always be 15%. Then it jumped up to 20%. And now I see people giving more than 20% for "excellent service".

This is not a worldwide phenomenon. Many places in Europe don't have tipping at all. I think it's time restaurants paid their servers a living wage and adjusted the prices accordingly. That way the customer pays for the food and any meals taxes and that's it!
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Old 02-06-2019, 12:19 PM   #4
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I also consider myself a good tipper and I also think they should do away with this whole tipping custom here.
And I can see how tipping puts some individuals that typically don't tip in awkward positions when dining with a group.
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Old 02-06-2019, 12:19 PM   #5
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Well, now that I don't have a kitchen, we have to eat out a... (just kidding, K-L).

Actually, El Aurens, didn't you just post this a few months ago?
http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...st-100621.html

Not to be a smart ass, but I agree that all tipping shpuld be at the discretion of the customer.
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Old 02-06-2019, 12:29 PM   #6
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When InstaCart implemented a mandatory 5% tip, I was PO’d. People who would previously tip pretty well, either on the site or in cash, figured that they no longer had to tip at all; it was already done for them! My tip revenues dropped by about 30%.

I too am all for abolishing tipping and paying a living wage instead.
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Old 02-06-2019, 01:20 PM   #7
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I just love the phrase " Automatic Gratuity",

I had a friend visiting from Brazil , a few years back. She went to a Chinatown restaurant, and tipped as what she thought was fair ( or common in Brazil). When the waiter came to the table to collect the bill, he told her it was not enough and proceeded to grab her pocket book and attempted to go inside it to get himself more of a tip. Clearly this is going way above and beyond , be that guy's lucky he didn't try doing to my wife or myself. ( I may have mentioned this story in the past too, but it just irks me every time I think about it).
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Old 07-28-2021, 06:29 AM   #8
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Las Vegas business are charging a CFF - CNF and a PPP on drinks and food. One a concessions and franchise fee, the others a Covid Recovery fee. This in addition to all the taxes and automatic gratuity.

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Old 07-28-2021, 10:31 AM   #9
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The fundamental problem is a structure that assumes the employer doesn't need to pay employees fair wages because if they do an adequate job the lion's share of wage is voluntarily paid by customers.

I cannot understand why this doesn't seem a stupid idea to everyone.
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Old 07-28-2021, 10:49 AM   #10
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I was sitting at the bar at the Macaroni Grill and overheard a waiter tell the bartender 'I get tipped if I give good service or not."
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Old 07-28-2021, 12:13 PM   #11
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I have probably mentioned this before. My mother was a member of a private club in SoCal. The wait staff were not allowed to accept tips. However, the pay and benefits provided by the club were good enough that there was always a waiting list of potential employees. The food was great and the service was exquisite. I went a few times, when I travelled to SoCal to visit my parents.

My sister became a member of the club. I don't remember if that was before or after my parents passed away. In any case, she brought me there for supper, while I was visiting her. The service was mediocre and I commented to my sister about the change. She said that it had gotten worse and worse, since the club started allowing tips.

I personally find that when a large portion of the servers' pay comes from tips, it doesn't make the service better. It only makes the service more obsequious, and often worse.

I think it is only reasonable to pay the servers decent wages and benefits and to include the service fee in the prices listed on the menu. I guess any other fees and taxes should be included in the price listed on the menu too. when I go to the SAQ, the Quebec, provincially owned chain of liquor stores, the price on the bottle is the price I pay. When I get my receipt, there is a section that lists the totals of the included sales taxes.
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Old 07-28-2021, 12:31 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
...
I think it is only reasonable to pay the servers decent wages and benefits and to include the service fee in the prices listed on the menu. I guess any other fees and taxes should be included in the price listed on the menu too. when I go to the SAQ, the Quebec, provincially owned chain of liquor stores, the price on the bottle is the price I pay. When I get my receipt, there is a section that lists the totals of the included sales taxes.
Taxlady, I think we aren't far off but help me understand your idea.
So you are saying a fair wage for a restaurant server should be paid by the employer in her regular paycheck. But the customer's bill should show the amount paid to the server for the quality of service required by the employer. If I've misunderstood your position, please clarify.

Otherwise shouldn't "service fees" for a dentist employed in a large practice be itemized. What about the dental assistant? Hygienist? Receptionist?
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Old 07-28-2021, 12:49 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by skilletlicker View Post
Taxlady, I think we aren't far off but help me understand your idea.
So you are saying a fair wage for a restaurant server should be paid by the employer in her regular paycheck. But the customer's bill should show the amount paid to the server for the quality of service required by the employer. If I've misunderstood your position, please clarify.

Otherwise shouldn't "service fees" for a dentist employed in a large practice be itemized. What about the dental assistant? Hygienist? Receptionist?
When I have seen service fees on a bill, where they were already included in the price, they were the amount by which the resto had increased the price of the dish over what they would have charged without the service fee. I lived in Denmark in the early 70s. When I first moved there, the resto bills always added the VAT and the service fee to the total of the bill. Then, the restos all decided to include the VAT and the service fee in the price of the items. I guess listing the VAT and service fee helped explain the price increases to people who were getting upset by all the prices in restos going up, when they actually were paying the same total.
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Old 07-28-2021, 01:14 PM   #14
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Whats funny is I was just thinking about this yesterday, and I log in today and see that this thread was brought back into play.

I was a busboy back in the day, and we got paid crap and relied on the tips.

All that aside, I can think of 2 instances that happened to me. One I mentioned above a few years ago and what brought on this thread..

I was in NYC and eats eating at a Times Square Restaurant which I had eaten at in the past ( and always tipped). Im not one of those people who hover over the bill. I know about what it should be, and unless it seems way off, I just go with it. I know there are mistakes here and there, but I want to enjoy myself when out, not harp on the bill ( unless it is way off). Anyway, I actually looked at the bill this time and saw the " Automatically included %18 gratuity added. Thats when I realized in the past that I had been not only tipping when the tip had already been included. but I was actually judging my tip on the bill + tip. ( Maybe I should study the bill from now on). Anyway, that obviously rubbed me the wrong way. Im a good tipper, but when Im being kinda tricked into it, that annoyed me. Also, as mentioned above, a tip is a tip and should rely on quality of your experience / service... Do pre judge my experience then charge me for it. Also as mentioned above, especially in Times Square, where %90 of the people are tourists any way ( probably closer to %99), and tipping isn't always customary in other countries, I can understand the restaurants padding the bill, but at least make It more obvious.
All that being said, its their loss, cause I usually tip higher than what they have added to the bill, so now I just give that , and thats it ( unless the service was a completely above and beyond)

The second thing was a ta Panera Bread. You go in there and either punch in your order on a tablet kiosk kinda thing, or they take your order at the counter. Then, was your going to pay, they swing it around for you to tap on the percentage you want to tip them. Now I understand they aren't probably being paid well, but this isn't even service. They either took your order or you placed it yourself. You haven't received your order yet let alone have eaten it, so is the order correct ? is the food good? did you get it in a reasonable amount of time? is it still warm ( or cold) ? And,if you're not taking it out, then you have to bring it to your table then clean up after yourself. Maybe they should tip me.

As far as charging extra for increased things you got to do due to Covid , I get it. Trust me, my profession has probably been hit the hardest. We're actually not allowed to charge a separate fee. We can increase our overall fees too cover it, but cant actually have an itemized fee ( at least in my state anyway).
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Old 07-28-2021, 01:28 PM   #15
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When we used to go to Aruba yearly, we saw that some restaurants add the gratuity and others did not.

The servers complain to tourists that they didn't get that automatic gratuity as the owner took some of it. Often, the server would deliver the check with a 15%-18% gratuity added and tell us to please leave the tip in cash as they would not get all of the automatic gratuity. So they were asking the customer to double tip.
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Old 07-28-2021, 01:47 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
Whats funny is I was just thinking about this yesterday, and I log in today and see that this thread was brought back into play.
...
Hi Larry. I was hoping you would comment on recent posts but I wish you addressed this issue.

If it's okay to pay waitresses as little as $2.13 an hour, should it be okay to pay Dental Hygienists in New York $15 an hour, making it clear that at least a $20 tip is expected?
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Old 07-28-2021, 01:52 PM   #17
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When we used to go to Aruba yearly, we saw that some restaurants add the gratuity and others did not.

The servers complain to tourists that they didn't get that automatic gratuity as the owner took some of it. Often, the server would deliver the check with a 15%-18% gratuity added and tell us to please leave the tip in cash as they would not get all of the automatic gratuity. So they were asking the customer to double tip.
How dare Aruba servants address their betters.
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