To Tip or Not to Tip, Is not the Question

Here in California when you go to a restaurant and the service is good you are expected to tip around 20%. Tipping is a honorary act (usually). In that you tip according to how well the service was. In some restaurants when you have large parties of 6 or more, some restaurants will state that there will be a automatic tip of 15 to 20% added to the tab.

Recently I found out that it is now against the law for restaurants to impose the large group automatic gratuity. The law states that it is unlawful to enforce a set gratuity amount. That the decision to tip and how much to tip is purely up to the customer and no company has right to dictate that amount. This new discovery of the law made me happy, because I have been burned by the large group enforced tip before. Where you have to pay it and yet the waiter sucked and so did the food. You feel cheated, like they knew you already had to tip so why give you any real attention?

Well restaurants have now discovered a loop hole to this law and instead of enforcing a pre determined tip amount on large parties. They have opted for a set Service Charge amount for all customers. Some friends of mine recently went to a new restaurant in town, and were shocked when the owner informed them that they would not be asked to tip at the end of the meal. But rather they would have an 18% service charge automatically added to the bill to cover tips for both the front and back of the house ( wait staff and kitchen workers).

I am extremely irritated by this new Service charge for the same reason I was irritated by the enforced tips. What if the service sucks? What will stop the wait staff from being mediocre if they already expect their tip? What happened to our right to determine how much we want to gift someone? Really that is what a tip is right? A gift. Not to mention any other time a service charge has been enforced it is usually stated as soon as I go to buy something. Almost as in a contract bases, I usually have to sign a document stating I have been notified of the service charge as part of my purchase. When will I be notified at a restaurant that I will not have a say in my gratuity gift? Will it be after I have waited for a seat for an hour ( since most places have no reservations) and I am starving? Will it be after my food is brought to me cold and my wine has been forgotten?

I truly feel that the entire idea is wrong because it is no longer in your hands as to how much you would like to gift. The funny thing is, I normally gift (tip) more than the opposed service charge amount. So, the service charge will actually be paying the workers less than I would. But for me it is the point of the matter. It should be my decision not the houses. But, do you know what decision is still in my hands? Where I eat!


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Coloring Project – The Frog


2010 Summer Reading List

Sookie Stackhouse, the complete stories A touch of Dead
Finger Prints & Facelifts
His First Wife, Gracce Octavia
The promise of happiness, Justin Cratwright
Silk & Shadows
The Honey Thief
The marriage
Ya ya Sisterhood book # 3
The Other Boleyn Girl
Wishful Drinking, Carrie Fisher
3 book flower series by Nora Roberts
The Kept woman
Twlight book # 4
twlight book #3

Coloring Project – The Swan