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Old 11-17-2012, 09:31 PM   #11
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Re: Is more than 18% gratuity expected? Im confused...

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Originally Posted by essential1892 View Post
I find it very annoying that a gratuity was automatically added on. I know they do it at some restaurants when you have a large group of people but I didn't know they did it for normal diners.

I wouldn't have added anything either because I would have thought it was tacky for the restaurant to assume that the service was worth 18% gratuity. And I don't know what that does for a waiter's moral if they know that are getting an 18% tip no matter what.
To a degree I can understand because some people don't tip at all despite excellent service and others are still living back in the '30s. My grandmother thought $1 was a good tip for a full meal.

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Old 11-17-2012, 09:31 PM   #12
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Re: Is more than 18% gratuity expected? Im confused...

Ok...that's what I was thinking too. But, the way she acted, I thought maybe we had missed out on a national memo that standards for gratuity had risen above 20% or something.

We have always used 15% as our starting ground - 10% for poor and 20% for exceptional. Unless, like PP, we are using some great coupon or are eating super cheap.

I had always considered ourselves good, reasonable tippers.

But, I thought maybe I was missing something here. Glad to know I am not.

We did speak to the manager bc we both thought it was so out of line for her to be talking about it like that.

I, too, hate required gratuity. But, as soon as I saw it on the tab, I knew why her service had been so much below what I would have expected at a country club. Because she KNEW she was guaranteed a certain amount, she knew she didn't need to work for it. That drives me personally crazy.

Anyway, I doubt we will ever be back!

I appreciate the feedback - so I know we weren't out of line...

Last edited by lady longs; 11-17-2012 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:35 PM   #13
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As a former server now managing a restaurant, she was rude. If I were you, I'd call and let a supervisor know she was complaining about a tip within earshot of guests. Not ok. While tips are customary, I am not of the belief that they should ever be expected. When I was serving, I earned damn good tips and I worked hard for them. I had one couple who came specifically to see me every weekend. They tipped me roughly 100%. We pooled tips in that restaurant and there were servers I hated working with because they expected tips rather than earning them.

Anyway, all that to say, you don't ever have to pay a penny more than you see fit. Don't feel bad for tipping 18%, that's more than reasonable for service that's adequate at best.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:38 PM   #14
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I just saw your follow up. I'm glad you spoke with her superior. Sometimes, managers and supervisors just don't have a chance to see everything. If nobody notifies them, they simply may not know. And, yes, you're likely right that she didn't bother to try impressing you since she knew she'd get tipped either way. I'm not a fan of automatic tips on small parties (large parties are a whole other story and set of frustrations).
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:41 PM   #15
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Re: Is more than 18% gratuity expected? Im confused...

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It's probably just what they're used to working at a country club
This is what I was thinking, too. It doesn't make it right for her to comment about it though, especially in earshot of the customer. I find 18% to be more than reasonable for a tip.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:52 PM   #16
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If you get crappy service you should tip 2 cents. It tells the server it's because they didn't do their job, not because you are just being a jerk and stiffing them. I usually tip 20%, as long as the server had a good attitude and actually is trying. I wouldn't penalize the server for bad food, etc. I waited tables for many years. I actually would not add gratuity to most big parties, bc I usually ended up getting more that way. Servers here get 3 ish dollars/hr.

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Old 11-17-2012, 10:02 PM   #17
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Tonight, my DH and I went to a country club and had dinner. The food was good, the service was totally average. We were planning on tipping 15%. When we got the bill, it had an added "service charge" of 18%. We confirmed with the manager that this was the gratuity - it was. So, on the gratuity line, we put in "0".

When we were leaving, my husband overheard the server telling another server that she couldn't believe we didn't give her any additional money. He laughed and said, "oh well, sometimes that happens"

I am confused. I would have assumed that, even if it was good service, 18% would have been a sufficient gratuity. Certainly nothing so out of the oridinary that servers would have been discussing it.

Is 18% a sufficient gratuity? (even if the service had been good?)
If they include it in the check like that, then we don't give any extra unless service was stellar. The service industry is driving me crazy lately. People treat their servers awful and don't tip well, but then some server's act like they should get a tip just for existing.
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:13 PM   #18
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Re: Is more than 18% gratuity expected? Im confused...

Having formerly worked at country clubs, I can tell you that many of them have a standard included gratuity for all dining services. Doesn't matter if it's 2 or 20, that's how the club sets it up, and is agreed upon by the members of the board. Country club servers don't see the typical business that a regular dining establishment does. Lunch services consist of members on business lunches, ultra obnoxious trophy wives eating after tennis, and the older set spending a few hours at their lunch social because they literally have nothing else to do. Dinner service is rarely very busy except for Fridays which are generally club nights for members, as opposed to Saturdays when most members dine elsewhere. Including a standard gratuity ensures that there's less gossip regarding members amongst the staff, (although it still happens because some members leave extra, and others NEVER do) and that there's ideally supposed to be some standard of service for all members. Not to mention it's a convenience factor as well.
Also, country club servers generally, in my experience, get paid a little more that $2.13/hr to help compensate for the inconsistent business, but at the same time they also usually perform a lot more work than the typical restaurant server.
As a whole, tipping customs have been creeping upwards in recent years and i think that's due in part to the legal minimum wage for servers being so pathetic and the explosion of jobs in our service based economy. I've been doing this a while, and I rarely ever go home at night making less than 20% but that's mostly because the generous customers who truly appreciate attentive, genuine service make up for the cheap skates who look for any little excuse to tip poorly.
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:14 PM   #19
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Re: Is more than 18% gratuity expected? Im confused...

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.
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:18 PM   #20
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At the club we belonged to you just had an account and signed a slip at the end. Gratuity was included and tht was that. Every now and then I would see people leave some cash but not really. Except at the bar- the bartenders have been there for YEARS and have been a part of a lot of events for these families over the years- they get cash tips all the time.

For the record- I waited tables/bartended for 12+years. I very rarely put the added gratuity on for the reasons many people have said. I've sen people not take care of a table bc they knew they'd get tipped no matter what. I am a good server- if I do my job people know to tip appropriately. There is no need to force people to tip me. Unless you're a table of 35 14 y/o- they get auto grated, sorry :/
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