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Added gratuity
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  • Added gratuity

    Post #1 - January 18th, 2011, 2:41 pm
    Post #1 - January 18th, 2011, 2:41 pm Post #1 - January 18th, 2011, 2:41 pm
    I've been trying top let this go, but when it happened a second time I felt the need to comment on this "policy"? Not sure what to call it. A party of three of us had dinner at Salpicon, when we received the check there was an 18% gratuity added, with no mention. I e-mailed them the following day, with no response. I had let this go until it happened again, at Phil Stephani's 437 Rush restaurant. Here, at least we were told by the server that the gratuity had been added. I was mildly annoyed, but let it go as we always leave a 20% tip. I called the next day to find out the thought process behind adding a tip to a table of three. I did mention that my husband has a German accent (He's been in this country for over 25 years) and our guest had a foreign accent as well, and maybe this had something to do with it. It turns out it did. They explained it is up to the server to add a tip if they felt the guest might not know the proper amount to tip, but the tip should be brought to the diners attention, which in this case it was. I do understand of course the server needs to be tipped properly, I just don't know how one goes about deciding, who will or will not tip properly. They also told me they would send me some coupons to compensate for the awkward situation, which they never did, but oh well. Not sure if this is the right board to post this on, just wanted some comments, thoughts.
  • Post #2 - January 18th, 2011, 2:51 pm
    Post #2 - January 18th, 2011, 2:51 pm Post #2 - January 18th, 2011, 2:51 pm
    uneverknow wrote:I just don't know how one goes about deciding, who will or will not tip properly


    uneverknow wrote:husband has a German accent (He's been in this country for over 25 years) and our guest had a foreign accent as well, and maybe this had something to do with it. It turns out it did.


    It sounds to me like you understand it perfectly well.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #3 - January 18th, 2011, 4:51 pm
    Post #3 - January 18th, 2011, 4:51 pm Post #3 - January 18th, 2011, 4:51 pm
    I know people in the restaurant industry in South Florida and they are always complaining about how out of all the foreign visitors they get, "The Germans" were the worst offenders at not leaving a tip at all.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #4 - January 18th, 2011, 6:44 pm
    Post #4 - January 18th, 2011, 6:44 pm Post #4 - January 18th, 2011, 6:44 pm
    uneverknow wrote:They explained it is up to the server to add a tip if they felt the guest might not know the proper amount to tip...I just don't know how one goes about deciding who will or will not tip properly.

    I don't recall that I ever received a bill with the tip included when I was part of a small party, but it's good to know that if I ever do, I should feel insulted!
  • Post #5 - January 18th, 2011, 8:59 pm
    Post #5 - January 18th, 2011, 8:59 pm Post #5 - January 18th, 2011, 8:59 pm
    riddlemay wrote:
    uneverknow wrote:They explained it is up to the server to add a tip if they felt the guest might not know the proper amount to tip...I just don't know how one goes about deciding who will or will not tip properly.

    I don't recall that I ever received a bill with the tip included when I was part of a small party, but it's good to know that if I ever do, I should feel insulted!


    Maybe I'd be insulted, but if it was only 18%, I'd feel like maybe I wasn't the sucker.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #6 - January 19th, 2011, 1:47 am
    Post #6 - January 19th, 2011, 1:47 am Post #6 - January 19th, 2011, 1:47 am
    uneverknow wrote:my husband has a German accent (He's been in this country for over 25 years) and our guest had a foreign accent as well

    Is it legal to provide different treatment re: tipping based on one's accent?
  • Post #7 - January 19th, 2011, 7:53 am
    Post #7 - January 19th, 2011, 7:53 am Post #7 - January 19th, 2011, 7:53 am
    nr706 wrote:
    uneverknow wrote:my husband has a German accent (He's been in this country for over 25 years) and our guest had a foreign accent as well

    Is it legal to provide different treatment re: tipping based on one's accent?


    Gray area. Accented people are entitled to equal enjoyment of the goods and services provided by a restaurant, so if a court believes that having an automatic gratuity added will reduce a reasonable person's ability to enjoy a meal, then the gratuity would be illegal. If I were on the jury, I'd say it's unreasonable for a person to claim that his ability to enjoy a meal was affected by this, so I'd throw the case out and deport him.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #8 - January 19th, 2011, 9:47 am
    Post #8 - January 19th, 2011, 9:47 am Post #8 - January 19th, 2011, 9:47 am
    I tried to affect an air of an ex-pat Parisian attempting to speak English during our stay at the Elysian this past weekend and they automatically added 18% to our tabs.

    Oh wait - that's their policy. All that soft palate rolling for naught :wink:

    Davooda
    Life is a garden, Dude - DIG IT!
    -- anonymous Colorado snowboarder whizzing past me March 2010
  • Post #9 - January 19th, 2011, 11:55 am
    Post #9 - January 19th, 2011, 11:55 am Post #9 - January 19th, 2011, 11:55 am
    I have to say we did enjoy our meals, but it certainly put a bad taste in our mouths :lol: to have a tip added to our bills. Especially when not informed about it. We've been eating out and tipping properly for years. This just has never happened before. And yeah, hey I'm an American and I am insulted!
  • Post #10 - January 19th, 2011, 8:31 pm
    Post #10 - January 19th, 2011, 8:31 pm Post #10 - January 19th, 2011, 8:31 pm
    uneverknow wrote:I have to say we did enjoy our meals, but it certainly put a bad taste in our mouths :lol: to have a tip added to our bills. Especially when not informed about it. We've been eating out and tipping properly for years. This just has never happened before. And yeah, hey I'm an American and I am insulted!


    I really dislike the mandatory 18% tip. I generally tip more than that but I find it diffficult to add more when I am compelled to put down the 18%.
  • Post #11 - January 20th, 2011, 1:25 pm
    Post #11 - January 20th, 2011, 1:25 pm Post #11 - January 20th, 2011, 1:25 pm
    More and more I am hearing that parties smaller than five are charged an auto grat. Used to be five or more, disclosed on the printed menu, and pointed out by the server when the check was dropped. To prevent "large party stiffing syndrome," which is usually inadvertent. I am not sure how I feel about this trend, other than that if it is to be applied, it should be applied to everyone regardless of birthplace.
  • Post #12 - January 20th, 2011, 1:41 pm
    Post #12 - January 20th, 2011, 1:41 pm Post #12 - January 20th, 2011, 1:41 pm
    NeroW wrote:More and more I am hearing that parties smaller than five are charged an auto grat...I am not sure how I feel about this trend, other than that if it is to be applied, it should be applied to everyone regardless of birthplace.

    I agree. I'd be curious to know whether servers will in general be happy if it is applied to everyone, assuming it stays at the 18% level. Will they "do better" when everyone must auto-tip 18% and few feel the inclination to add more tip as a result? Or are they doing better now, when some people stiff them (or undertip) while others are generous at the 22-25% level?
  • Post #13 - January 20th, 2011, 1:46 pm
    Post #13 - January 20th, 2011, 1:46 pm Post #13 - January 20th, 2011, 1:46 pm
    I'm sure the SAA (Servers' Association of America) has contracted with an actuarial firm and is rushing to do a thorough study of the matter before recommending a course of action to its members.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #14 - January 20th, 2011, 3:47 pm
    Post #14 - January 20th, 2011, 3:47 pm Post #14 - January 20th, 2011, 3:47 pm
    Kennyz wrote:I'm sure the SAA (Servers' Association of America) has contracted with an actuarial firm and is rushing to do a thorough study of the matter before recommending a course of action to its members.

    Now that's just silly.

    My question isn't, however. I can imagine servers thinking they'll do better overall with auto-tip--and being wrong. Or being right! I'm curious, even though the only way to find out is empirically.

    (Actually, I guess it's easy to know. All a server has to do is ask himself, "Are my tips currently adding up to less than 18% of my sales, exactly 18% of my sales, or more than 18% of my sales?" But I'll bet different servers in the same restaurant will come up with different answers to that, depending on how good they are at their jobs.)
    Last edited by riddlemay on January 20th, 2011, 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #15 - January 20th, 2011, 3:51 pm
    Post #15 - January 20th, 2011, 3:51 pm Post #15 - January 20th, 2011, 3:51 pm
    riddlemay wrote:I can imagine servers thinking they'll do better overall with auto-tip--and being wrong. Or being right! .


    Yes, it's a very exciting quandary!
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #16 - January 21st, 2011, 9:46 pm
    Post #16 - January 21st, 2011, 9:46 pm Post #16 - January 21st, 2011, 9:46 pm
    riddlemay wrote:(Actually, I guess it's easy to know. All a server has to do is ask himself, "Are my tips currently adding up to less than 18% of my sales, exactly 18% of my sales, or more than 18% of my sales?" But I'll bet different servers in the same restaurant will come up with different answers to that, depending on how good they are at their jobs.)


    And it all depends on who is asks the question. How many are REPORTING the full 18%??
  • Post #17 - January 21st, 2011, 10:51 pm
    Post #17 - January 21st, 2011, 10:51 pm Post #17 - January 21st, 2011, 10:51 pm
    Also means server can't be tipped directly in cash ... avoiding credit card charges some restaurants pass on to the servers.
  • Post #18 - January 21st, 2011, 11:40 pm
    Post #18 - January 21st, 2011, 11:40 pm Post #18 - January 21st, 2011, 11:40 pm
    Siun wrote:Also means server can't be tipped directly in cash ... avoiding credit card charges some restaurants pass on to the servers.

    I don't see why that is so. If my bill is $100 before tax, $110 (or so) after tax, and then $128 after the 18% auto-tip is added, and I put $128 in cash on the table, I presume the server will get his $18--in cash.

    But he won't be able to hide it from the IRS now.
  • Post #19 - January 22nd, 2011, 1:05 am
    Post #19 - January 22nd, 2011, 1:05 am Post #19 - January 22nd, 2011, 1:05 am
    Smacking forehead ... you're right! (It's been a very long day ... )
  • Post #20 - January 22nd, 2011, 11:02 am
    Post #20 - January 22nd, 2011, 11:02 am Post #20 - January 22nd, 2011, 11:02 am
    jlawrence01 wrote:
    riddlemay wrote:(Actually, I guess it's easy to know. All a server has to do is ask himself, "Are my tips currently adding up to less than 18% of my sales, exactly 18% of my sales, or more than 18% of my sales?" But I'll bet different servers in the same restaurant will come up with different answers to that, depending on how good they are at their jobs.)


    And it all depends on who is asks the question. How many are REPORTING the full 18%??


    None of them...they don't get to keep the entire 18%...some of it goes to the bartender, some of it goes to the expediter in the kitchen, some of it goes to the busser/back waiter/food runner.

    The actual % of a servers tip that gets dolled out is often determined by the restaurant's management.

    Wage laws for tipped employees require employers to determine and declare a minimum of a % of sales as tip and are a touch convoluted. Of course legally all tips one takes home are supposed to be declared by the server. What happens in practice is something only a server knows for sure.
    "The only thing I have to eat is Yoo-hoo and Cocoa puffs so if you want anything else, you have to bring it with you."
  • Post #21 - January 22nd, 2011, 12:00 pm
    Post #21 - January 22nd, 2011, 12:00 pm Post #21 - January 22nd, 2011, 12:00 pm
    Diannie wrote:The actual % of a servers tip that gets doled out is often determined by the restaurant's management.

    Interesting--didn't know that, even though in the back of my mind I think I wondered about it.

    With cash tips, I suppose it's up to the server's honor how much he splits it. (For who's to know other than the server how much the cash tip was?) Or is there some other mechanism for enforcing this?
  • Post #22 - January 22nd, 2011, 12:45 pm
    Post #22 - January 22nd, 2011, 12:45 pm Post #22 - January 22nd, 2011, 12:45 pm
    stevez wrote:I know people in the restaurant industry in South Florida and they are always complaining about how out of all the foreign visitors they get, "The Germans" were the worst offenders at not leaving a tip at all.

    Don't mention the war!
  • Post #23 - January 22nd, 2011, 1:08 pm
    Post #23 - January 22nd, 2011, 1:08 pm Post #23 - January 22nd, 2011, 1:08 pm
    riddlemay wrote:
    Diannie wrote:The actual % of a servers tip that gets doled out is often determined by the restaurant's management.

    Interesting--didn't know that, even though in the back of my mind I think I wondered about it.

    With cash tips, I suppose it's up to the server's honor how much he splits it. (For who's to know other than the server how much the cash tip was?) Or is there some other mechanism for enforcing this?


    A typical breakdown: host 3%, runner 5-8%, backwaiter 20-30%, bartender 5%, and kitchen (if they are tipped out) 3-5%.
  • Post #24 - January 22nd, 2011, 1:54 pm
    Post #24 - January 22nd, 2011, 1:54 pm Post #24 - January 22nd, 2011, 1:54 pm
    NeroW wrote:
    riddlemay wrote:
    Diannie wrote:The actual % of a servers tip that gets doled out is often determined by the restaurant's management.

    Interesting--didn't know that, even though in the back of my mind I think I wondered about it.

    With cash tips, I suppose it's up to the server's honor how much he splits it. (For who's to know other than the server how much the cash tip was?) Or is there some other mechanism for enforcing this?


    A typical breakdown: host 3%, runner 5-8%, backwaiter 20-30%, bartender 5%, and kitchen (if they are tipped out) 3-5%.


    So then, a server typically has to relinquish between 40-50% of the tip he/she receives. That's far more relinquishment than I ever imagined.

    The "honor" with cash tips would come into the equation when the server either accurately or inaccurately shares the information with the rest of the staff as to how much he/she received in cash that night. Giving away 40-50% of an underreported $500 would be a lot less painful than giving away 40-50% of a more accurately reported $1000, for example. Or is there some way for management and other staff to have an accurate guess as to how much a server has received in cash tips? I suppose there is, since this figure probably doesn't vary much from one Saturday night to the next over the long haul.
  • Post #25 - January 22nd, 2011, 9:05 pm
    Post #25 - January 22nd, 2011, 9:05 pm Post #25 - January 22nd, 2011, 9:05 pm
    riddlemay wrote:The "honor" with cash tips would come into the equation when the server either accurately or inaccurately shares the information with the rest of the staff as to how much he/she received in cash that night. Giving away 40-50% of an underreported $500 would be a lot less painful than giving away 40-50% of a more accurately reported $1000, for example. Or is there some way for management and other staff to have an accurate guess as to how much a server has received in cash tips? I suppose there is, since this figure probably doesn't vary much from one Saturday night to the next over the long haul.

    When I waited tables at an Outback Steakhouse in college, the tip out to bartender, hosts, bussers, etc. was based on overall tabs, not actual tips -- and thus there was no issue with honor/honesty. Under this approach, the server bears the risk of a bad tip. For example, if you got tipped 10% on a $100 tab and the tip out was 3% of the tab (I think it was 3%, but may have been 5%), you contributed $3 and got to keep $7. On the other hand, the server does not have to tip out more where he/she gets a really good/over-market tip (you would still just pay that $3 even if the tip was $30). I did once have some guys from Ireland who gave about $3 on a $150 tab (it was $147 and change and they just left $150 in cash), meaning I was out of pocket for that table. I suspect this is different than the approach in finer dining restaurants.
  • Post #26 - January 23rd, 2011, 1:02 pm
    Post #26 - January 23rd, 2011, 1:02 pm Post #26 - January 23rd, 2011, 1:02 pm
    Not necessarily. A lot of places require the server to tip out on net sales.

    Aaaaand . . . another conversation about tipping :)
  • Post #27 - January 24th, 2011, 2:40 pm
    Post #27 - January 24th, 2011, 2:40 pm Post #27 - January 24th, 2011, 2:40 pm
    NeroW wrote:Aaaaand . . . another conversation about tipping :)

    There is so much we civilians don't know about how restaurants work, but are curious to know--including the subject of tipping--that it doesn't surprise me another conversation has evolved. I'm grateful for the insights you pros have provided.

    Considering how much of our lives we spend in restaurants, and how important restaurants are to us, it's actually sort of astonishing how little most of us know about how they work.
  • Post #28 - January 24th, 2011, 2:53 pm
    Post #28 - January 24th, 2011, 2:53 pm Post #28 - January 24th, 2011, 2:53 pm
    riddlemay wrote:Considering how much of our lives we spend in restaurants, and how important restaurants are to us, it's actually sort of astonishing how little most of us know about how they work.


    Most of us spend even more time sleeping, yet we don't seem to care at all about the compensation structure for Sealy Posturepedic employees.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #29 - January 24th, 2011, 4:01 pm
    Post #29 - January 24th, 2011, 4:01 pm Post #29 - January 24th, 2011, 4:01 pm
    Kennyz wrote:
    riddlemay wrote:Considering how much of our lives we spend in restaurants, and how important restaurants are to us, it's actually sort of astonishing how little most of us know about how they work.


    Most of us spend even more time sleeping, yet we don't seem to care at all about the compensation structure for Sealy Posturepedic employees.

    A whole different thing, in my opinion. Perhaps if I met personally with the people who made my mattress before I bought it, and had the sense that the personal interaction I had with them was going to materially influence the quality of my sleep, and their compensation level was directly tied to how pleased or not I, riddlemay, was with their handiwork, the situations would be more comparable.

    Far be it from me to tell anyone who isn't interested in the topic of tipping that he should be. I'm not sure why you're suggesting that those of us who are interested in the topic shouldn't be.
  • Post #30 - January 24th, 2011, 5:21 pm
    Post #30 - January 24th, 2011, 5:21 pm Post #30 - January 24th, 2011, 5:21 pm
    riddlemay wrote:I'm not sure why you're suggesting that those of us who are interested in the topic shouldn't be.
    Its not that one should not be interested, and it can be an interesting topic, but certain posters drag the subject around and around in downward flowing concentric circles, endlessly. Nap inducing to say the least, maybe we should tip the people who make our mattresses.
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow

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