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to get annoyed when service charges are added to the bill?

(52 Posts)
HighwayRat Sat 15-Mar-14 18:35:33

We went out for a grownup lunch today, lovely food, nice restaurant. Got the bill which dp grabbed so he could pay, I had a look at the bill and they'd added a 10% service charge on top of the bill. I was angry that I'd not seen the bill first as I'd have made them remove it. We left no tip because of it.

why do they get to add this 'discretionary' charge on and not tell you about it, or even ask? if the service costs more then increase prices!! If there hadnt been the added charge the tip we would have left would have been about £2 more, and tbh its put me off eating there again.

LaurieFairyCake Sat 15-Mar-14 18:41:17

Because the majority of people don't leave a tip.

My friends daughter works in a restaurant, lots of people leave a few coppers.

LaurieFairyCake Sat 15-Mar-14 18:41:49

They must put it on the menu though.

DoYonisHangLow Sat 15-Mar-14 18:41:54

I quite like it tbh as I never have cash handy.

OTOH I dislike it as I bet the money doesn't go to the right people.

You can alway take it off if you want to though and either tip cash or not tip at all if the service didn't warrant it.

I can't bring myself to get worked up as its so common place and hardly a new thing.

NurseyWursey Sat 15-Mar-14 18:43:59

I don't mind at all.

When we go out and there's quite a few of us, I think the waiting staff do an excellent job of keeping us all happy, have the food down on time, making sure we're topped up with drinks...

Least I can do when they're on minimum wage is give them a tip or pay the service fee.

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 15-Mar-14 18:44:10

I live in North America where a 10% tip would mean that they were shockingly poor at everything. I don't mind a service charge as long as the service is good and I don't have to tip extra.

HermioneWeasley Sat 15-Mar-14 18:45:25

YABU and petty.

badtime Sat 15-Mar-14 18:45:57

You can ask them to remove it, you know.

They can't force you to pay it. They may get arsey, though.

whatever5 Sat 15-Mar-14 18:55:18

I doesn't make much of a difference to me as I always leave a tip anyway unless I'm unhappy with the service. I do find it very annoying if they try to get a tip as well as a service charge though. You have to watch for that in some restaurants.

SometimesLonely Sat 15-Mar-14 18:57:37

If you are given a bill that includes a service charge, just cross it out and pay what's left if you're paying in cash. It is not compulsory to pay a 'demanded' service charge. If I were presented with a bill like that, I'd leave nothing extra.

You can do the same if you're paying with a card. Just cross it out. Don't be told what you have to do.

ooerrmissus Sat 15-Mar-14 19:02:25

It's basically a suggested tip. It has to be 'discretionary' as if it wasn't the restaurant would have to pay tax on it. You are perfectly entitled not to pay it if you prefer. You say you would have left a tip that was a few pounds more. Well then the restaurant have just done the maths for you.

Perfectlypurple Sat 15-Mar-14 19:03:57

Yanbu. I want to leave a tip dependant on service. I would not trust that the tips went to the right people this way. I like to leave a tip on the table or hand it to the person who served me. It is not up to the restaurant to decide what tip should be left. And I have worked in this industry as a waitress.

tiggytape Sat 15-Mar-14 19:06:42

I don't mind too much as long as it is very clear on the bill so customers don't end up paying it plus a tip as well.

Tips are discretionary but, unless there was a huge problem with the food or service, I would always factor in paying it as part of the overall cost so this way it is just done automatically.

Nomama Sat 15-Mar-14 19:19:31

It is discretionary and I'd use it as a guideline. But I always check cos I hate it and thunk it presumptuous. I also think it encourages crap service.

One restaurant (posh, very much a treat) and we had a waitress who evidently wanted to be a model. She used the restaurant floor to practice her walk, turned beautifully, held a pose and walked on.

Sadly she forgot to bring the fucking food.

So we paid the exact amount minus the tip on a card and left her a penny tip.

I also emailed the following day to explain why we had been so mean and to reassure them that the food we did receive was lovely.

LessMissAbs Sat 15-Mar-14 19:28:09

YANBU. If the restaurant wants a tip, then they should leave it up to the customer. A tip is discretionary. I don't need the amount worked out for me and so strongly suggested.

I can't believe customers are that mean with tips. The only time I worked as a waitress to help out friends with a staff shortage, I was absolutely hopeless, yet the tips left were incredibly generous.

Its probably something that would make me avoid that restaurant in future, unless its food was so incredibly good I just had to go back (which tbh isn't usually the case with most restaurants, which are just about ok).

somethingwillturnup Sat 15-Mar-14 19:38:07

Having a DH that works in a restaurant, and doing psychology, there is method in their madness. It has been proven time and again, both anecdotally AND in experiments that the bigger the group, the smaller the tip. DH always points out the service charge (which in his restaurant only applies to groups over 8 iirc) and most folk still pay it anyway.

PP are correct - it is discretionary and can be taken off the bill. In fact, you're probably better doing this, as credit card tips are taxed, cash tips are not.

WooWooOwl Sat 15-Mar-14 19:40:37

You don't need to leave a tip if the service charge is already on there.

I get annoyed when run of the mill chain restaurants do it, but it's expected at more upmarket places where you are pretty much guaranteed good service.

SparklySocks Sat 15-Mar-14 19:41:36

YANBU. 9/10 I would leave a tip anyway, I only wouldn't if the service was awful. I resent service charges and usually don't pay them whereas I would have left a decent tip.

msrisotto Sat 15-Mar-14 19:44:12

YANBU - I don't like the american system of compulsory tipping - i want our restaurants to pay living wages with tips being an optional extra if service has been outstanding.

EurotrashGirl Sat 15-Mar-14 19:45:22

YABU, this is pretty standard in the UK and you don't HAVE to pay it.

wowfudge Sat 15-Mar-14 19:46:43

The 1p tip was meaner than no tip Nomama! But I'm with you - yes I tip, but when service is lacking I mentally start knocking bits off the tip.

Once in the US a waitress wrote 'suggested tip 18%' did the maths for us on our bill! Probably because she knew that as Brits we are not used to paying 15-18% or more as a norm for good service. She shot herself in the foot as DP was so annoyed he would only leave 10%.

K8Middleton Sat 15-Mar-14 19:48:39

Gosh to people really worry about this? Why ruin a perfectly nice lunch for no reason? Silly.

1. You were told. It was the bill. I expect it was also on the menu.
2. It is discretionary so you don't have to pay it.
3. You are NOT expected to pay a service charge plus a tip so your point about that is redundant.
4. If you are worried about how tips are distributed then take the service charge off and leave your cash tip.

I think that covers it.

MrsMot Sat 15-Mar-14 19:49:21

It's added by law in France, makes life much easier.

alwaysneedaholiday Sat 15-Mar-14 19:54:39

It doesn't bother me at all - I would quite enjoy asking them to remove it if I'd had crap service wink

HighwayRat Sat 15-Mar-14 20:14:14

likeI said I didnt check the bill till after it had been paid otherwise I would have removed it and left a cash tip. It just seems presumptuous to me and that annoys me, dp was fine with it.

It didn't ruin our nice lunch I was wondering if it annoyed anyone else.

It wasnt clear anywhere that it would be added, it wasn't written on the menu and id spent about 15minutes deciding what I wanted so had studied it well

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