Good news. By clicking to read this post an 18% gratuity has already been added to your bill.
Don’t worry. We still provide a space for “tip” that allows you to recognize unparalleled service. You don’t normally review your charges, do you? Have you tipped 20% on top of an 18% gratuity lately? Trust me. It’s fun.
I survive on your tips. The lion’s share of the profits go to management. Luckily, though, my proceeds are not subject to “protection” charges by the blogosphere syndicate. I haven’t been syndicated. At least not yet. Won’t you help pay my way through college?
A local restaurant just closed. The “chef” had her parents invest lots of their own money which I can only assume has now vaporized. The building is shuttered and construction workers have brought in scaffolding and are tearing things apart.
The food had a reputation for being quite good but the portions were notoriously tiny. The prices were though the roof and the place was easily one of the most expensive in town. The restaurant never seemed to do anything about bad service though the stories were the stuff of legend and spread like wildfire through our small town.
I heard the chef had an explanation for her failed enterprise. “The community just didn’t support us.” Yeah, I’m sure she’ll be successful wherever she lands.
After doing Saturday morning computer work for a friend, I was “paid” with a buy-one-get-one-free coupon for this very same restaurant. Hell, that probably makes it my fault they closed just a few days later. Whatever. Yet another guru freebie and without gratuity, to boot! I guess I should frame that coupon and hang it on my wall to remind me of how the world works.
A friend related an experience at another local restaurant. After a mediocre meal with crap service, they were given a bill by the owner that included an automatic gratuity of 18%.
An enforced automatic gratuity is no tip.
–Tom B. Taker
When approached, the owner’s attitude was less than sympathetic. The tip was mandatory. My friend was offended and swore never to return. It’s another free market win-win!
Me? I would have thrown down the exact amount in cash and said, “Eat that, fucker. No tip for you!”
I couldn’t help but wonder if the knowing the tip was guaranteed had any effect on the quality of service. Ya think?
Stories of this sort of thing keep coming my way. Apparently times are tough. I think this itemized gratuity phenomenon might be a trend. And I’m not talking about large parties, either. This is happening as a matter of policy even for parties of 2 to 4 people.
I’m no Miss Manners, but in my world, a tip represents a “thank you” from the customer for good service, an enjoyable experience, and the quality of the meal. If the tip becomes mandatory then it is meaningless. To me, the automatic gratuity is the restaurant’s way of saying, “We are more valuable people than you.” That’s not quite what I want from top dollar dining experience. It’s supposed to be a place where you don’t feel, at least for a few minutes, that you are an important person and the world is not shitting on you.
I understand they have to make a living. Don’t we all? I think what strikes me as offensive is the element of “we’re more special than you” that’s innately involved. I don’t get fucking tips for doing my job. I bend over backwards for customers and, the thing that truly sets me apart, is that I try to stand behind what I say. If I say I’ll do something then I make sure I get it done. FYI to the rest of the world: That’s called keeping your word.
You never asked if I wanted another $12 cocktail. You didn’t offer ketchup with my fries or glasses of water. When my wife asked for more napkins they never came. You forgot. Our food didn’t arrive together. You made a mistake on our order. We had to wait forever to get the check.
And here’s the rub. I’m pretty sure you make more money than me. A lot more. Your job is hard? Seriously? Is that all you got? I got news for you. Jobs suck for other people, too. Hell, I’m a professional whore. (Intentional redundancy.) I get paid by my inferiors to do what I hate with a total lack of decency, dignity and respect. I personally keep the kneepads industry afloat. No one gives me any fucking tips. Your job is hard? Fuck you. My job is hard. Everyone’s job is hard.
After all that, you’re going to slap one more indignity and disrespect, the sprinkles on top, by demanding a gratuity on the bill?
I normally tip 20 percent for adequate food and service. You present me with an 18% forced gratuity? Sure, I’ll be happy to pay less. And make a mental note to never return.