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AIBU about baby incurring a service charge at restaurant table?

(90 Posts)
AliBingo Sun 15-May-16 22:39:00

We recently ate out at Bella Italia, 5 adults and a 3 and 2 year old who ate off the kids menu, and a 7 month old who slept through the starter and main course in her car seat on the floor and then used a restaurant highchair to eat some puree and yoghurt we'd taken with us.

Meal was lovely and service good but when we got home I was surprised to see that we were down as a table of eight and had been charged a 10% service charge as a result. Looks like this was discretionary not mandatory and we could have asked for it to be removed if we'd been more careful in checking the bill.

I think that it's unreasonable of them to count the baby as one of the party being served, do others agree or AIBU?

Leigh1980 Sun 15-May-16 22:41:19

Was it normally a table for 8? The receipt normally represents has how many people a table can hold rather than how many were actually there. Anyway it has in my experience.

FasterThanASnakeAndAMongoose Sun 15-May-16 22:42:40

Yanbu, as long as you didn't leave the high chair in a mess. They can hardly say they had to serve her.

I hope she didn't get prune puree on anyone's coatigan!

Arkhamasylum Sun 15-May-16 22:42:41

Why would a service charge be applicable for a baby who wasn't served? I would phone them up. They're taking the piss.

civilfawlty Sun 15-May-16 22:42:43

Did you clean the high chair after so it was spotless?

PurpleDaisies Sun 15-May-16 22:44:03

Was it booked as a table of eight? They might have just done it automatically without considering one was a baby. If you take it up with the manager you never know, you might get a voucher.

Pinkheart5915 Sun 15-May-16 22:44:28

I don't think your unreasonable.
Not experienced it myself, When we've been out with ds who is now 8 months, it's always been put table as 2 or 4 etc never including ds even now he eats like a horse.

You can always ask for the 10% service charge to removed for all of you if you wish, and leave a whatever tip you feel is acceptable. its not mandatory, if fact most places ask if you want to pay the 10%

bibbitybobbityyhat Sun 15-May-16 22:44:56

Oh I can't get worked up about this. How much extra did you pay? Would you have paid at least 10% in gratuities if you had been treated as a table of 7?

PurpleTraitor Sun 15-May-16 22:45:19

But you were a party of eight.

Eight place settings, a high chair to organise and clean, two toddlers to clean up after, five adult meals to clean down.

All in a day's work of course and nothing out of the ordinary, but I'm not sure why the surprise.

choccywoccywoowah Sun 15-May-16 22:45:42

As someone who has worked numerous restaurants, it doesnt matter if she left the high chair spotless - we still have to clean it. I personally think its taking the piss.

JassyRadlett Sun 15-May-16 22:45:43

How much would you usually tip?

Twowrongsdontmakearight Sun 15-May-16 22:45:47

I suppose she did use a seat and had the cheek to eat her own food on the premises! Hilarious though. Presumably the waiter put it through that way. Just daft IMO.

MumOnTheRunCatchingUp Sun 15-May-16 22:46:19

Yes. You were party of 8

If there had been a fire then 8 of you would need accounting for

RealityCheque Sun 15-May-16 22:50:26

What a load of crap. MN is a crap place for tipping / service charge advise as everyone on here pays ridiculous amounts extra.

They are taking the piss. Any service charge automatically added to a bill is automatically removed as far as I am concerned. I will decide if I want to tip based on the service received.

Osolea Sun 15-May-16 22:51:20

I think it's fair enough. It's about the space used for eight people, as well as the high chair, which needs to be provided and cleaned regardless of whether you cleaned it or not.

AliBingo Sun 15-May-16 22:53:28

I don't think it's done on table numbers otherwise you might get charged if you are on a larger table.

Yeah we would usually leave 10% anyway.

I don't think it's to do with fire regulations surely.

Highchair was spotless, I wiped down after but just one of those wooden ones with no tray anyway and just did puree not BLW. I used my Mumsnet Milton wipes on it in fact smile

Not really a big deal, just a bit surprising and I probably would have mentioned it at the time while we were there but wasn't sure if they'd have said it was deliberate ort not, wondered if others had had the same thing happen.

badg3r Sun 15-May-16 22:54:02

It doesn't make any difference to the cost though. Gratuity is based on how much you spent, not how many you were.

AliBingo Sun 15-May-16 22:54:23

Oh and the highchair was on the end of a long table crammed in next to a big plant pot, there was no chair there to be removed so I don't think it's usually a place sitting.

AliBingo Sun 15-May-16 22:55:39

badg3r the receipt said that tables of eight or more are automatically charged a 10% service charge so baby tipped us over into that territory - we didn't realise as we often go as a five and have not had this before.

IDontBelieveAnything Sun 15-May-16 22:55:47

I think that was a bit daft of the restaurant but as I would normally leave at least 10% tip then I dont think it would bother me. Why don't you just phone and ask?

Would you have left less money?

AndTakeYourPenguinWithYou Sun 15-May-16 22:56:26

Gratuity is based on how much you spent, not how many you were

No, most restaurants add a service charge onto the bill for larger tables, either 6 or 8+, so of course it makes a difference.

BombadierFritz Sun 15-May-16 22:58:09

I had this service charge thing anyway and its not compulsory to pay it. Charging for a baby is even more ridiculous.

missbishi Sun 15-May-16 22:58:10

There would have been a 10% discretionary service charge regardless of how many people were present at the table. It's 10% of the bill, not a per-person charge. The baby has incurred no charge whatsoever.

AndTakeYourPenguinWithYou Sun 15-May-16 22:59:49

There would have been a 10% discretionary service charge regardless of how many people were present at the table. It's 10% of the bill, not a per-person charge. The baby has incurred no charge whatsoever

Wrong. RTFT.

bibbitybobbityyhat Sun 15-May-16 23:02:18

Please try and educate yourselves. Many restaurants add a service charge for larger tables. Often these are not discretionary.

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