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Old 11-17-2012, 10:27 PM   #11
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Re: Is more than 18% gratuity expected? Im confused...

Originally Posted by mom1mg View Post
Sorry a little OT but why do big parties have mandatory tips? We have 5 kids and get hit all the time with this. I would tip anyway so I don't care but I dont understand why it is required in most places either.

Op I'm glad you said something that was terrible for them to say something within hearing of customers.
I'm sure there are a multitude of reasons, but off hand:
a. Servers can generally overcome a bad tip here and there by one or two tables in their 3-5 table section. Large parties, otoh, can be their only table, or half their section in some cases, and can generally ruin their night if by chance the person paying the bill thinks 20% of a $500 tab is entirely too much for someone for 2-3 hours of work.

b. Large parties generally can require more attention of a server because, inevitably, different people in the party always want different things at all different times. This can cause a server to constantly run back & forth to attend to a table's needs because people at the table aren't aware enough to ask for things in a more convenient fashion. This can lead to a server who has other tables, not being able to get to the other tables as timely as possible.

c. The general anxiety that comes from a. in which a really large table may be their only table of the night in some situations. I've had this happen many times. A huge party makes a reservation for an inconvenient time like 7pm in which early diners can't be sat because they may not be up in time. Late diners won't be sat because large parties never dine in a timely fashion. That 7pm reservation for 20 results in 4 people showing up @ 7 with the rest of the party straggling in over the next 45 minutes and not actually ordering until after 8pm. Pile on separate checks, and the risk of some people being cheap and wanting to skimp on the tip because there's so many other people in the party they think it doesn't matter, or because they didn't get their 6th Diet Coke refill quick enough.
Many establishments protect their staff by including gratuity so as not to have a server's entire night's wages shot by an inconsiderate group of amateur diners.
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