I was recently out with a large group of people at a cafe/restaurant; roughly there were 10 of us. The joint was well designed, ambience was positive, and we were all enjoying the sweet delicacies of ice cream, crepes, and other fattening artery clogger-foods. When it was time to boogie, the waitress never asked if we wanted one receipt or separate receipts – she proceeded to give us one receipt with everyone’s orders. I was fine with that; my portion totaled to like $4.74, so I believe I gave like $6 or $7 – figuring that it would cover taxes and would even add to a tip for the waitress. However, I was quickly prompted that I had to throw in $10 due to a gratuity that was already calculated into the bill. I obliged, but I was taken aback – it should be up to the customer if they choose to give a tip or not. Furthermore, automatically calculating the tip into bill is like a ‘slap in the face’; the restaurant is pretty much saying ‘you are going to pay a tip, regardless if you like it or not’. I guess restaurants engage in this practice because they figure with groups, they may not subscribe to socially practice of tipping (which is x% …. I don’t even know, because I don’t practice that foolery), meaning that the group may still tip, but below the ‘acceptable norm’. And in retrospect, maybe the restaurants do this because dealing with groups can be problematic for their wait staff – for our group, some of the orders will wrong on the bill, some of the ‘fresh fruit’ was far from it, and a lot of the group members were not really pleased with their meal. I mean, look @ me; I really wasn’t going to tip anyway – and I’m sure many of the other group members were going to follow in a similar fashion.
Its a very good thing though that I wasn’t paying the bill for the whole group, because I would have ignored that ‘auto’ tip, and maybe even do a D&D (best way to work out calories … instantly!).
P.S. d.b or its affiliates does not endorse Dine & Dashing at any restaurants, cafes, or the like.
Xtra Thought ~~
Look out for great pieces about D&D in the future though! D&D’s are best done in foreign cities and when on vacations though.