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Discussion on local restaurants automatically adding 20% to bill to pay for employee costs.

MCMLVToppsMCMLVTopps Posts: 4,602 ✭✭✭✭✭

There is apparently a new trend at the local restaurants (and maybe nationwide) to include a 20% cost to the final dinner bill. The servers do on occassion make it clear that this is not a tip. If I understood correctly, they are required by law to advise you about this practice.

As we sit there contemplating a nice dinner with friends, we are now listening to a mini-sermon about how the 20% is to cover their health insurance, etc, etc. So, after setting the tone for the meal, I'm now thinking my bill sans 20%, will be close to $100+/-. When the bill arrives, it will then be at lest $120+/-...then, I'm apparently expected to add a decent tip of 20% more for the server, I'm now all in for $140+/-, which is obvioulsy $40 beyond the original cost of the meal/wine, etc. I am suddenly feeling very ripped off by the restaurant and feel like I've become their cash cow.

I am not cheap, and am an excellent tipper, but I detest having something shoved down my throat by management. It is not my responsibility to provide funds to cover health costs of their employees, no matter what that cost might be. IMO, management should either bake in the 20% to avoid an embarrassing moment with wait staff while the taste of that steak begins to wane.

This issue goes along with the "resort fee" charged at most, if not all hotels/casinos, etc. This is the brain child of some bean counter who wants to gouge vacationers. These fees can and in many cases borderline obscene, costs of up to and beyond $50 per day extra, are obscene. Of course the hotels explain that this is to cover usage of the gym, pool area, and other ammenities, which have always been part of the reason people would make a reservation there in the first place.

Do you go to restaurants that do the auto charge? How do you feel about it? Do you think you, as a patron wanting to have a nice dinner with the wife/lady, or friends and know that the establishment just wants into your wallet as deep as they can get? Who said 20% is correct? Why not 5% or 10%.

As for Vegas or any casino I may gamble in, there is always, almost always a Holiday Inn Express, or Hampton Inn not far from the casino, who don't charge this nonsense, and offer a pretty decent breakfast to boot.

CAVEAT EMPTOR!! You may be getting ripped off and not knowing it. The time to address this is not when the bill comes and you either submit to the gouge, or cause a potential scene in front of wife/date, friends.

Comments

  • AFLfanAFLfan Posts: 1,272 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Before commenting, please be sure that your response does not include your thoughts about the government or politicians ultimately being the reason behind this. Let's keep this non-political.

    Thanks, Todd

    Todd Tobias - Grateful Collector - I focus on autographed American Football League sets, Fleer & Topps, 1960-1969, and lacrosse cards.
  • galaxy27galaxy27 Posts: 7,127 ✭✭✭✭✭

    not only this, but think about how many times a tablet has been shoved in your face in the past couple of years. the first time i was confronted with this scenario i was at a concession stand at a golf tournament trying to buy a single beer. next thing i knew, i was under the gun to tack on more to the already 10X markup.

    this is not even your twin brother's world we're living in

  • craig44craig44 Posts: 10,494 ✭✭✭✭✭

    with the incredible rise in inflation, these type of increases are to be expected. It is no doubt cheaper to increase prices in this way than to have new menus printed up.

    George Brett, Roger Clemens and Tommy Brady.

  • Alfonz24Alfonz24 Posts: 3,039 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would walk out of any eatery that had this practice of the 20% "service fee'. Change your menu and build the prices into those prices.

    I do understand how these restaurants are under extreme pressure in the current environment do to "unnamable" policies.

    #LetsGoSwitzerlandThe Man Who Does Not Read Has No Advantage Over the Man Who Cannot Read. The biggest obstacle to progress is a habit of “buying what we want and begging for what we need.”You get the Freedom you fight for and get the Oppression you deserve.
  • thisistheshowthisistheshow Posts: 9,386 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My wife and I, along with my kids, have not gone out to a restaurant in many years. And we won't ever make this a regular practice in our lives again. However, I just did a quick Google perusal and found the following. information...more and more restaurants are charging a 20% service charge. Depending on the restaurant, geographical location and laws of the area, there are differences in how this is being applied. It is not uncommon for this money to be divvied up among the entirety of the staff, or distributed in some other such way.

  • 1948_Swell_Robinson1948_Swell_Robinson Posts: 1,677 ✭✭✭✭

    Inflation. High fuel cost. Regulations. Etc...

    A lot of restaurants for breakfast still have good prices. I love a good breakfast skillet and with the cost of eggs being $6 a dozen, I'm surprised they still haven't changed their skillet prices much.

    A pile of hash browns, sausage, bacon, peppers, Jalapeno's, onions. topped with cheese, and then four eggs on top. $13.

    They can either raise the price or charge the 20%. Gonna pay for it either way if they are doing that to stay in business.

    Restaurants are a tough business.

    I bought a huge outdoor griddle and can cook those meals just as well now :). Sometimes you spend the extra money to go out too.

    Always options...well, hopefully always.

  • tommyrusty7tommyrusty7 Posts: 1,777 ✭✭✭✭

    My wife and I are not able to go out to eat anymore and until now have missed doing so as we dined out a few times a week .
    With this new trend it would be impossible so maybe we will spend our evenings at home knowing that we would not be happy paying for someone else's health care or whatever else they include in the 20% .

  • perkdogperkdog Posts: 29,456 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I always tip 20% when dining out, unless it's an absolute diabolical experience.

    I also believe that businesses should be allowed to set their own rules, however if there was a 20% service charge added to the bill before tip I would simply walk out and never go back.

  • BLUEJAYWAYBLUEJAYWAY Posts: 8,014 ✭✭✭✭✭

    How about the tip jars everywhere. Movie theater concession stands, Dunkin Donuts. Expect to see them at Lowes and Home Depot soon. :D

    Successful transactions:Tookybandit. "Everyone is equal, some are more equal than others".
  • BullsitterBullsitter Posts: 5,333 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would laugh in their face and walk out their door.

  • craig44craig44 Posts: 10,494 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have also noticed tip jars

    EVERYWHERE

    not a fan.

    George Brett, Roger Clemens and Tommy Brady.

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