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3% surcharge in restaurant, but "keep tipping as usual"

3% surcharge in restaurant, but "keep tipping as usual"

Old May 13, 19, 9:28 pm
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3% surcharge in restaurant, but "keep tipping as usual"

In what seems to be a trend, the restaurant had a 3% surcharge. I've seen it before, and this restaurant specifically said it was for helping with the increase in wage (new state minimum wage laws). But after it it noted that this is not a gratuity and should not affect the amount you tip.


Why not?

People no longer tip just because of good service. If you meant for "great service" or "going above and beyond", which I presume what is the original intent of tipping, yes, that should not change. But nobody tips for that reason anymore. People tip (I mean in the US) because there is an expectation, because waiters hound you for it (sometimes chasing you out the door), and (for many) because you feel they don't make enough to get by.
But if their wage increases, why shouldn't the tip decrease?

Is it only people with lots of disposable income that should eat in restaurants? Who shouldn't mind paying an extra 3 or 5% of their bill because of these nonsensical costs, and still should "tip generously" because ... Since when is tipping considered a charitable donation?
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Old May 13, 19, 9:34 pm
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Well, the management can say whatever they want, but if Iím being assessed a ďservice chargeĒ or an automatic gratuity, Iím adjusting my tip (or not tipping) accordingly. And if the service charge isnít actually going to the staff providing the service, thatís an issue between the staff and their management, and not really my problem. But honestly, I just probably wouldnít return to a place like that, because I donít want to encourage the spread of bad policies.
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Old May 13, 19, 9:57 pm
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Haven't seen that here (yet) but any place I do any tip left will be reduced by that amount if not more.
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Old May 13, 19, 10:09 pm
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Please continue to follow this thread in the Dining Buzz Forum. Surchages becoming more and more common in Southern California.
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Old May 13, 19, 10:12 pm
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Some restaurant owner with a sense of humor should just call it out. Put in a 18% surcharge, don't explain what it is for, and say "gratuity" not included.
Oh, and hire horrible waiters.
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Old May 13, 19, 10:19 pm
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Originally Posted by s0ssos View Post
Some restaurant owner with a sense of humor should just call it out. Put in a 18% surcharge, don't explain what it is for, and say "gratuity" not included.
Oh, and hire horrible waiters.
Here you go: https://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/jon-...bEYj28gMIQ8DOg
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Old May 13, 19, 11:23 pm
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Originally Posted by obscure2k View Post
"Keep in mind, it is on the pricier side, although it may not seem like it. In my opinion, I found it a little deceiving that the restaurant tells you at the very end that there is an 18% service charge added to the total, regardless of the total or how many people are dining. Our waitress explained to us, that this 18% doesn't include tip, for it's a service charge. I just think they should mention that on their website by the reservation section, so you are aware of this.

Our bill came to an easy $84 for 1 pasta, 1 pizza, 1 order of garlic bread, and 1 order of broccolini. All the portions were really small, except for the pizza. However even with the 18% service charge, I still left a $14 tip (18%), totaling the bill to be $98."

If this is the stereotypical LA bimbo, I don't know what is.

Maybe at Oregon gas stations they should start putting up a tip jar for Californians at the gas station, explaining service isn't included.
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Old May 14, 19, 12:13 am
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The restaurant business clearly has a lot to learn from the airline business.

Unbundled dining concept: the price of the dishes only covers the dishes themselves, the service charge is the YQ.

Basic dining? No problem, but expect a table by the door or the toilet. Better table? Just select your table for 20, 40, or 100$.

Did you bring a jacket? Sorry, it can't hang from the chair, but the coat check is free with the Dining+ package (which also includes breadsticks) or with the restaurant branded credit card (use of the credit card to pay the bill incurs in surcharges).

Obviously cancellation of your reservation is not possible (surely you understand), but you can purchase our insurance which will refund 10% of the mandatory charge in case of death of the main diner only.

Thank you for choosing to dine with us!
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Old May 14, 19, 12:29 am
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Typically, I will tip 15%. However, if you force me to tip, I will not tip a dime.
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Old May 14, 19, 1:17 am
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Friends of mine recently made their first ever visit to the US. Despite me warning and advising them, they were shocked when exposed to the 'tipping and prices excluding tax' culture of dining in the US. It became exceedingly frustrating for them, to the point they decided to live off junkfood for the few days they had in Miami after a caribbean cruise.

Having visited numerous times I've grown used to it, but never understood why it's necessary to have such a convoluted process of paying restaurant staff. FFS, give them a living wage and dispense with the idiotic "mandatory" tipping.
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Old May 14, 19, 1:28 am
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I thought tipping was supposed to be based on the pre-tax amount. Since this fee is presumably added on top of that amount, I would think it wouldn't matter.

(BTW, I feel like surcharges like what OP's describing are sour grapes on the restaurant's part, but that's maybe a discussion for another thread.)
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Old May 14, 19, 1:33 am
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Karl Strauss brewery in LA does this to cover staff costs and on their website they justify it is as follows:

As of March 1st, 2017, we implemented a surcharge to offset increasing operational costs triggered by new federal, state, and local laws
and then further down in a Q and A:

We believe transparency is the right thing to do. These increased operational costs affect the company directly and indirectly through our vendors’ and local suppliers’ increased prices for raw ingredients, supplies, and services. Raising our menu prices under such conditions is not an accurate reflection of our core value to build authentic relationships based on trust and integrity.
Now if anyone can tell me that the text directly above is not meaningless nonsense then I would love to hear that argument.


Last edited by Enigma368; May 14, 19 at 2:24 am
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Old May 14, 19, 3:24 am
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Tip out to house

Servers these days are typically tipping out anywhere from 8-12% of their SALES to the house regardless if they actually got tipped or not sometimes meaning if they donít get tipped on a large bill they are essentially paying to be at work.

Employers then use the house tip to pay managers, porters/bussers, kitchen staff etc. Servers either pool the leftover few percent and split evenly amongst themselves or keep for themselves. Any additional tip over a mandatory service charge /auto-gratuity displayed on the bill is a true tip of which 100% would go to the server.

Hereís an example:

Food and drink = $300
18 per cent service charge = $45.00
5 per cent tax = $17.25
Total $362.25

House Tipout of 8% of net sales including tax
Porter Tipout 3% of net sales including tax
11% of ($300+$17.25) = $34.90

Server tips out $34.90 to house/porter regardless of whether or not she got tipped on top of the bill. From the $45.00 total ďservice chargeĒ added to your bill your server will receive $10.10

$10.10 of a $300 bill is 3 percent. So essentially your server makes 3% on her net sales.

I always tip 15 or 20% on top of the final bill which leaves the server personally with the tip plus she gets the 3% from service charge.

Basically restaurant food costs and expenses have increased greatly over the past few years and prices have not really been inflated appropriately to adjust for this. If a restaurant needs to charge $20 a meal to breakeven or be profitable, instead of just charging $20 for that dish as would be the proper thing to do, they instead write a menu price of $15 add the tax and the service charge which goes back to them and that $20 lunch doesnít seem so bad on a menu at $15. This is their theory.

Meanwhile servers are the ones who have to take the fault for making you feel like you should tip on top of a service/auto-gratuity. It is because autograt/service charge on a bill isnít a real tip, itís money collected by the restaurant itself disguised as such.

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Old May 14, 19, 6:55 am
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US native here and I am extremely familiar with the nonsense tipping culture of our country.

In my youth I worked as a busboy, waiter and delivery driver so I can sympathize with those who actually work for tips. Waiters are often paid far below minimum wage in expectation of tips. If management chooses to charge a surcharge to customers, this should be provided to the servers to at least hit minimum wage (which is not really a living wage anyway). However, expecting customers to tip beyond a 15-20% surcharge (or service charge) is absurd.

We are travelling to france at the end of this month - does anyone know if we are expected to tip on top of the added service charge?
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Old May 14, 19, 7:07 am
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In France "Service compris" means the tip is included, although rounding up is appreciated. No need to tip further though.
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