Restaurant says new 20% service charge isn’t a tip

Restaurant says new 20% service charge isn’t a tip
Image Credit: Emilio Labrador/Flickr
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Read more: 9 worst restaurant meals in America

Is this forced tipping by another name?

Read more: How much should you tip for counter service?


Here’s my take…

Generally, there is no tipping allowed when I go to sit-down restaurants outside the U.S. Instead, there is mandatory service charge of 10%.

Let me perfectly clear: I cannot stand this idea. I believe servers are classic entrepreneurs. They are kind of like in business for themselves. The better a job they do, the friendlier they are, the better a job they do attending to customer needs…well, the better the tips they will get.

But to treat everybody the same? Let’s say one server riled up the people at table 6 and created a horrible dining experience for them. Should that server get the same amount of money as other servers who played nice with their customers? If so, that sounds like it’s a page out of the playbook of the old Soviet Union!

So the mandatory service charge is one idea that I hope does not really catch hold outside of a handful of restaurants on both coasts in major metro areas. What a crummy idea!

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