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Old 01-28-2008, 11:18 AM
 
419 posts, read 1,808,913 times
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I just returned from Miami and even though I was eating alone or with just one other person most eating establishments added an automatic tip to my bill. It was usually 15%. It gave no incentive for the waiter to do anything other than the minimum. When I asked they told me it is now quite common in Florida and expected to be universal all over the country.

Have you dined at restaurants that charge a 15% service fee to all meals regardless of group size? What do you think?
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Old 01-28-2008, 01:17 PM
miu
 
Location: MA/NH
16,469 posts, read 33,425,465 times
Reputation: 15198
Miami gets a very international crowd. In most other countries, the tip is included in the price of the food. The way we tip in the US is different and I think that the US waitstaff gets tired of being stiffed for tips by international tourists and others (poor students or no class people) that think that the tip is optional. But since the waitstaff is only paid a couple of dollars an hour by the restaurants, they count on that 15% gratuity as a part of their wage.

If a restaurant has customers that always leave at least 15% for good service, then I'm sure that the gratuity wouldn't be added to the bill automatically as a service charge.

Otherwise, in most hotels, the room service orders have an 18% service charge automatically included in the bill. 3% goes to the management.
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Old 01-28-2008, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Denver
2,970 posts, read 6,151,450 times
Reputation: 4825
I don't really care because I usually tip 20% standard. If it was truly terrible service and I didn't want to give 15%, I would just talk to management
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Old 01-28-2008, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
17,850 posts, read 19,595,646 times
Reputation: 6479
Quote:
Originally Posted by questioner2 View Post
I just returned from Miami and even though I was eating alone or with just one other person most eating establishments added an automatic tip to my bill. It was usually 15%. It gave no incentive for the waiter to do anything other than the minimum. When I asked they told me it is now quite common in Florida and expected to be universal all over the country.

Have you dined at restaurants that charge a 15% service fee to all meals regardless of group size? What do you think?
This is a common practice throughout Europe. The tip is included in the check for the meal. As a result, if I was terribly dissatisfied with the service, my only recourse would be to talk with the management of the establishment. If I was extremely pleased with the service, I would leave 5% to 10% more.

There are pros and cons with both systems. Leaving a tip less than 15% may be the customary method of expressing dissatisfaction with the service in the US, but does it really act as an incentive to make the waiter/waitress want to do better? Or is the waiter/waitress more likely to think you were a cheapskate and do nothing to improve their service?

Personally, I prefer the European method of adding the tip into the bill. This way if you are really unhappy with the level of service being provided, you will have the incentive to give management some constructive critizism on how to make the experience better.
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:26 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,691 posts, read 86,811,612 times
Reputation: 29355
Why bother with the pretense of a "tip" and just build it into the menu price instead?
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Old 02-01-2008, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Ruidoso NM
1,483 posts, read 1,599,254 times
Reputation: 580
My friend is a waitress, and lives off the tips, but when she has a big group or a dinner that cost more than 150.00 she is charged Tax, and many times she has been stiffed and left to pay the tax. And she said those who look like that cant rub two dimes together are often the biggest tippers compared to those who buy expensive wine and dinners.
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Old 02-02-2008, 10:23 PM
 
11,836 posts, read 24,970,208 times
Reputation: 2773
I don't like automatic tips especially if the service was bad.
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