Advanced search

"Service not included"

(88 Posts)
Oobis Tue 28-Jul-15 13:09:03

Am I completely wrong in my thoughts on this? I really, really hate seeing this printed on bills in restaurants (in this country), as as far as I know, it is completely untrue. Unless the restaurant is contracting self employed waiting staff, in what possible way is the cost of the service not included in the bill? And if it is not, how am I to know that the waiting staff are receiving the full amount I choose to pay them?
I'm not averse to tipping staff for good service at my discretion, but I confess that where they claim service to not be included in the prices they have calculated they need to charge to cover their costs and make a profit, I choose not to - I don't like this way of demanding tips. I've not worked in hospitality for many years, so if I am completely wrong and I am sending these poor, destitute staff home penniless, I shall change my ways. Or at least eat at establishments who have the decency to pay their staff.

SoupDragon Tue 28-Jul-15 13:10:21

it simply means the tip is not included. I thought everyone knew that.

19lottie82 Tue 28-Jul-15 13:11:15

I HATE it when restaurants add an "optional" 12.5% service charge to a bill. I always cross it out and refuse to pay. Saying that I always leave a tip (in cash) , unless the service was bad.

InTheBox Tue 28-Jul-15 13:13:39

It serves a purpose. A lot of restaurants have a 12% or whatever charge included - written on the bill so people can decide accordingly how much if at all to tip. By saying 'Service not included' I suppose is an eloquent way to say 'please tip large, we don't get fuck all.'

Mygardenistoobig Tue 28-Jul-15 13:14:38

I don't like it when they add on a service charge though. The price stated on the menu should be the price you pay .
If I then want to give the staff a tip I will.

I'm like this with everything though I want to know the final price for what I am buying. If I visit a web site and they show a price and then start adding on all the compulsory extras I don't buy it. State the correct price to start with if you want my custom.

Oobis Tue 28-Jul-15 13:22:21

Service is not the same as tip though. I know the tip is not included - that's a discretionary amount which I may or may not give. Service is what they get paid for being there and providing the service.

happygirl87 Tue 28-Jul-15 13:24:14

When they say service not included they mean tip not included (in the UK at least). It has no bearing on staff pay at all and that's not what it's referring to!

SoupDragon Tue 28-Jul-15 13:25:30

Service is not the same as tip though. I know the tip is not included - that's a discretionary amount which I may or may not give

Yes it is the same. Sometimes the tip is added, called a "discretionary service charge" which you are entitled to remove.

Oobis Tue 28-Jul-15 13:29:54

Well, if that is the case, indeed IABU. I still don't like it though. In my view, a tip is offered, not asked for, however they word it!

MaidOfStars Tue 28-Jul-15 13:30:38

Service is not the same as tip though

Agree with ^. In this context, it is.

MaidOfStars Tue 28-Jul-15 13:33:07

They are telling you that the price you pay hasn't included a 10% tip. Thus, should you want to make sure your server/bar staff/whatever get a little bit extra, you need to leave something separately.

Are you getting confused with the premise of a "service charge", which is often "optional" but sometimes compulsory for big parties/at peak times?

irregularegular Tue 28-Jul-15 13:35:52

But it's just a conventional turn of phrase. It's reminding you that (unlike a growing number of restaurants) they haven't added a 'optional service charge' to the bill and therefore in this country you need to pay a 10% tip. In the US it would be 15-20%. In some other countries it would just be small change, if anything.

I always leave a tip in these circumstances, unless the service is dire. Though I remember being absolutely incredulous at a previous thread which revealed that a large number of people don't.

It's a slightly odd convention, but as far as I'm concerned it is definitely a convention.

MaidOfStars Tue 28-Jul-15 13:41:21

This is an example breakdown.

Food: £100.
(Optional) service charge: 12.5%.
Total bill £112.50.
Tip: 10-15%.
Therefore, leave maybe £15 on the table (depending on how much you paid for your bill, whether you asked for the service charge to be removed or not).

The service charge is paid to the restaurant, right into their coffers, and very unlikely to be passed on to serving staff. There is no legal requirement for them to do so.

The "service is not included" is a reference to the tip part of payment. It just uses the same word as used in another charge.

For reference, a "cover charge" is usually a small set amount per diner to cover things like bread rolls, water, etc.

If optional, I ALWAYS ask for the service charge to be removed.

Lurkedforever1 Tue 28-Jul-15 13:57:10

I read it as 'we pay nmw so if the staff have provided decent, let alone excellent service please show they're appreciated'. Depending on the place I also mentally add on either 'we pay them badly to pocket all the profit' or 'it's nmw because we're cheap as fuck and a small struggling business nobody is coining it in from so please give them a tip'.
If it's the former I'll actually ask the waiting staff how their system works, i.e does the tip get added to the staffs wages as a bonus. If not I've been known to tip them cash separately or buy them actual drinks or similar so they get it not the money grabbing management

GraysAnalogy Tue 28-Jul-15 14:47:25

I hate this. I'm 100% happy to tip as long as they haven't been rude, but labelling it as a 'service charge' gets my back up. If I want to give them a tip I will, I don't need a receipt with service charge not included. You pay your servers wages not me.

PtolemysNeedle Tue 28-Jul-15 15:42:10

I agree with you completely.

I know the tip isn't included in the bill, because it can see that a 'service charge' hadn't been added. I don't need to be told, and I don't see what difference it's supposed to make anyway. I can decide for myself if a top is warranted.

It makes no difference to whether the service recieved is worthy of a tip or not, so why put it on there?

FarFromAnyRoad Tue 28-Jul-15 16:00:14

Added 'service charge' doesn't always go to the staff. I ate recently at an expensive and up-itself fish restaurant and decided to query the 'service charge' and where it went. I asked if it went to the staff and was told 'No' - it goes towards maintenance, laundry of tablecloths etc. Once I'd unscrewed my catsbum face I told the manager I wouldn't be paying it - he shrugged and was probably calling me every cunt in the book, but I don't care. Instead I gave a tip to our waiter - and even then had to do that in an underhand way because he said if it was seen it'd be taken off him.
Bloody disgraceful behaviour!

Tuskerfull Tue 28-Jul-15 16:13:39

But it's just a conventional turn of phrase. It's reminding you that (unlike a growing number of restaurants) they haven't added a 'optional service charge' to the bill and therefore in this country you need to pay a 10% tip.

No no no no. You do not "need" to leave a tip. A tip is completely optional and discretionary, as is the amount or percentage.

irregularegular Tue 28-Jul-15 16:16:57

Legally, you don't "need" to, obviously. However, as a convention I think you do. I don't think I have ever been out for a meal with someone who has suggested not leaving roughly a 10% tip, possibly more. Apart from a handful of times when there has been a real problem with the service.

DrDre Tue 28-Jul-15 16:28:38

I've worked in a restaurant and the tips never went directly to the staff, the manageress took them all and we got a small % of it.

MaidOfStars Tue 28-Jul-15 16:35:34


So if I handed you a tenner, you had to hand it over?

happygirl87 Tue 28-Jul-15 17:14:56

Maid they've been handed over in the few places I've waitressed, and either split equally or used for staff party. Supposed to encourage team work...

DrDre Tue 28-Jul-15 17:32:17

I washed the dishes but the waiting staff had to hand their tips to the boss.

MistressOfAll Tue 28-Jul-15 18:27:13

Where DD works (no service charge on bill grin ), tips are pooled in a jar. At the end of every day, one person's job is to add the tips and divide by how many staff hours worked that day. So if you do a 10 hour shift you get half of someone on a five hour shift. If you've already left for the day, yours is kept for you. Each worker including washers up etc get the same.

kellyandthecat Tue 28-Jul-15 18:37:37

irregularegular no wonder you were astounded because as far as I'm concerned it's never been a convention in the UK to leave a tip at a restaurant beyond maybe leaving the change. when foreign visitors have come to stay with us it is often noted in their guidebooks so I think you're mistaken. At a very fancy place perhaps it is conventional but please let us not go down the american route of non-optional 'optional' tipping by the customer instead of the owner paying their staff properly

my understanding is that in some us states the minimum wage for waiters is actually lower than for other people! terrible system.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now