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Old 11-18-2012, 09:48 AM   #36
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 909
Re: Is more than 18% gratuity expected? Im confused...

Originally Posted by hbee View Post
If there is forced gratuity, I will not pay a penny more. If there isn't, chances are about 75% that you'd getting more than 18%.

My FIL works with a man who has 10 children. He argues the party gratuity every time saying it's not a party, it's a family. If they take the gratuity off, he tips well. If it were my family, I'd ask for it to be removed, or not return to that establishment. I think it's ridiculous that a family gets gratuity added, but if it's a party of 8 adults, that's fine.
To the bolded, no that's not fine. It's discriminatory to not have a set policy applicable to all diners. A restaurant can not add gratuity to a table of 2 adults + 6 kids, but then give a pass to 8 adults.

To those that get turned off by added gratuity for large parties:
I look at it a couple of ways.
a. If it's restaurant policy, then all servers should stick to the policy to avoid potential ill will down the road. I.e. applying it to a group of ladies spending 3 hours eating salads and splitting appetizers, then not applying it to a party of couples spending $100/head that may include some of the same women who dined frugally in the previous party.

b. Servers may tip pool. We tip pool at our restaurant, and everyone knows that you don't "let it ride" because you feel good about the table when your splitting your tips with 5 others. Guaranteed 20% is better than hoping for 22-25% and getting 12%.

I've also done this on/off for almost 2 decades, and I can tell you that it's better to be fair across the board than risk guts feeling discriminated against, and I can also tell you that taking the guaranteed money has resulted in me getting extra much more often than not including the restaurant's agreed upon gratuity. Then again, I try my hardest to give everyone the best service I can because I respect the money they are spending, and in the case of large parties, I always make sure to tell the guest that gratuity was included, per restaurant policy.
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