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Wow, couldn't believe this "Recommend Tip" handwritten on the check!!!

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
Just had lunch at a place in New Brunswick, NJ. Took my girlfriend and her 2 co-workers out to lunch. Bill was 52$, digital check.....but on the top the waitress hand wrote "Recommended Gratuity 18% - $9.44"

Not a bad place, but that left a real bad taste...heck, I was planning on leaving 20-25%...

Sahara Restaurant - Mediterranean Cuisine in the Heart of New Brunswick, NJ
post #2 of 40
Personally, I would email, or write, the GM of the restaurant and let him know what a bad taste it left with you. I would also find something like that to be quite appauling. I probably would have said something before even leaving the restaurant.
post #3 of 40
I've seen the amounts calculated before, but with a choice. Listing the amts that are 10%, 15%, 20% of the check. I quite like that because most people can't do such a calculation.
post #4 of 40
Thread Starter 
yeah I've seen that, and somewhat ok with that, but this was separate, hand written and said "Recommended Gratuity 18% $9.44"
post #5 of 40
I would have left a handwritten note to the waitress explaining that when you figure out percentage gratuities that you should do so before tax is added because tax is not a service performed. Doing otherwise is misrepresentation and illegal.

When I owned my restaurant, I would have been greatly appreciative if a guest had informed if one of my employees had pulled a stunt like that. It is extremely difficult as an owner to be able to catch every faux pas that occurs, but I could hardly correct a mistake if it was not brought to my attention.

Do the owner a favor, be his extra eyes and ears. It is his hard earned bucks that are on the line here, not the waitresses. His response will tell you if you want to frequent the establishment in the future.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
post #6 of 40
I'd be tempted to write "I'd been planning on 25%, but since you only want $9.44, here you go."
post #7 of 40
:lol: :lol: :lol: You really should have! I can guarantee that that waitress would never pull something like that again after seeing that on the receipt.
"Never use water unless you have to! I'm going to use vermouth!" ~Julia Child

"No chaos, no creation. Evidence: the kitchen at mealtime. "
"Never use water unless you have to! I'm going to use vermouth!" ~Julia Child

"No chaos, no creation. Evidence: the kitchen at mealtime. "
post #8 of 40
Stewey (below) makes a strong point.

post #9 of 40
[post deleted by writer]

on second thought, the tipping topic is too volatile to even mention among civilized peoples. I removed my comments, but will only add that what servers, patrons, and owners consider appropriate will ALWAYS be different.
post #10 of 40
Thread Starter 
aw man I missed what you guys said.
post #11 of 40
i don't know why the restaurant world assumes ppl are morons. it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the tip. to get 15% take 10% of the amount then take that amoutn and half it and add the two together, and so on. easy way to fig it out in your head! DUH.

As for what that girl did...I would have left her no tip and talked to the manager and let them know she ruined my dining experience. I also would have called corporate, to be compensated.
post #12 of 40
Like on Godfather pt III--every time I try to get out they suck me back in [paraphrased of course].

Ok...I won't stir the pot much...BUT:

CookingContessa is correct that it doesn't take much to figure out 15% for tip. However, ( comes my previously deleted for flying daggers from servers and front of housers) the lingering debate is on what part of the bill do you pay 15-20%?

What I learned years ago is that you tip based upon the subtotal minus alcoholic beverages. As I started visiting more expensive restaurants, some of their bills included a suggested tip rate at the bottom of the ticket--for 15%, 18%, and 20%. I was relieved to find that each time I came across the suggested tips from these restaurants that the restaurants CONFIRMED what I had been taught--their suggested tips were based on pre-tax and no-liquor totals.

That being said, servers and owners, and many others will disagree and probably be just as adamant about their differing opinion. I have heard everything from "diners should tip on the grand total regardless of tax and liquor" to "tips are MANDATORY and they START at 20%" to "If you cant afford a 20% tip on the grand total, then you shouldn't be eating out!" [these are all real quotes I have heard over the years.]

Why would you tip on the sales tax? Or, as here in Vegas, restaurants with live entertainment charge you an additional $10 tax mandatory. Why in the world would I tip on tax that has nothing to do with service? (and I won't even bring up the whole $400 bottle of wine debate--that's when things really get heated).

What the server was doing in RPM's original post was untimely pushing "her version" of what constitutes an appropriate tip. Personally, her "suggestion" would have caused me to sharply reduce what probably would have equated a 20% tip on the "grand total".

So although it is generally easy to figure is the other variable that cause the contention--the "15% of what" variable.

But whatever...Like all the other debates (abortion, Iraq, homeschooling, religion, gun control, tastes great vs. less filling) I believe this one will continue indefinitely!:eek:
post #13 of 40
I just went to a restaurant and had this experience. I looked at the total and immediately started calculating the 20% top to leave. But when I looked closely I saw that the total included a 15% tip in the total. Not recommended, it was in the total! So I paid what was asked of me and left pretty angry. We were just a party of 2!

Last week we went to the Culinary institute of america at the American Bounty Restaurant and were surprised to be told that 15% has been added to our bill and that money will go towards uniforms and graduation costs for the students, and that if we choose to leave more that it will go towards service. We did leave more, but I felt like we were guilted into it.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."


"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

post #14 of 40
Thread Starter 
that's different to me...the students are learning and that ensures they aren't blowing the money on cheap girls and smooth booze......or is it the other way around?
post #15 of 40
Oh jeez. Did she give you good service? Yes? Then pipe down, you had a good meal. Pay the tip. I don't get what it is about tipping on this forum. People make it seem like its the most important part of the meal. "The server forgot the straw that I never asked for so I only gave her 15%." Most servers work hard for their money. In rare instances you will find the irresponsible, slow, uncaring waiter that flew under the radar, but for the most part servers try to take care of their customers. Why? Because better service equal better tips. Keep in mind you are not the only table in the restaurant. Most places depend on their servers for heavy production as to decrease labor costs. And whats the limit to adding gratuity? We are ok with a party of 6 having gratuity added, but 5 people and darn it I'm calculating my own tip? The sad truth is most people don't know how to tip and servers are the most keen to this obeservation as it affects their wallets. Some customers are unaware that if you stiff your server you also stiff the bartender, the runner, the bussers, the host, and in some places, the kitchen. If something is bugging you, give your server an additional tip, let them know. I doubt they would be serving if they could read minds.
post #16 of 40
I have seen this before also. It is annoying because you want to feel like you can tip whatever you feel like but I think it's a method they use to make sure the wait staff are tipped fairly. Alot of people leave lousy tips I used to work as a server.
post #17 of 40
I used to work for tips for 5 years. I know exactly what's going on with this. Although I don't condone it, I would never do it and I think it does exactly opposite of what you want.
so one of three things could have happened to warrant this.

1. Either you (probably not)..or more likely somebody in your party frequents the place and either leaves no tip or bad tips.

2. They stereotyped you and felt that somebody LIKE you wouldn't leave a good enough tip or a tip at all (terrible, happens all the time by rude servers though..they usually don't have enough gall to let you know they're stereotyping you though)

or 3 and MOST LIKELY
the customer base hardly ever leaves enough tip and or the server is about to quit over it or totally fed up.

A lot of times servers have bad days, just like anybody else. And who knows you may have been her/his last table and he/she may have only made 10 bucks that day, even tho they busted tail all day. It's really frustrating when you livelihood depends on what other people will give you.

Personally why I would NEVER EVER EVER work for tips again, no matter what the circumstance. People, just never really have a lot of respect for you. A lot of people are sick and twisted and feel entitled in the position of deciding how much you make.

It's terrible what happened but those are the reasons it would have happened. All I can say is to look past it and next time you have a problem, confront the waiter and ask for an honest answer of why they felt they needed to write that down and then tip as you would.

It should stop the culprit from their crap the next time.
post #18 of 40
I am English and maybe things are different over here but in my book it should be left to the customer whether he or she leaves a tip and for most peope this would depend on the quality of the service and the meal. Was the meal served quickly? was it nice? was it served with a smile? was the waiter polite and courteous and friendly? All these things should be taken into account and a tip left accordingly.
post #19 of 40
I just hate seeing that written down :(
post #20 of 40
I find it interesting that everyone assumes the server wrote that in on her own. Maybe that wasn't the case.

I ran into exactly that situation, once. Turns out it was house policy for the serviers to hand-write the tipping info. The owner felt it was more personal that way; in the same sense that the server writes "thank you, Shirley" on the bill.

I sent him a note telling him he was stone-cold wrong, and that rather than seeing it as a favor, most people would resent it.

As for me, whether hand-written or computer generated I resent seeing tipping amounts on a bill. There's an implication that I somehow or other owe more than the total.

Bzzt! Wrong! Thanks for playing. But I make that determination for myself---both the whether to, and the amount.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #21 of 40
Thread Starter 
Nope...very small restaurant...saw her prepping the bill...

she was the hostess, waitress, and server.
post #22 of 40
What's the difference between a waitress and a server?

The question is, was she the owner? And, if not, was she acting on her own, or was she following orders?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to justify what might have been an apalling act on her part. And God knows, the level of service overall, nowdays, is incredibly bad (which might explain why those working for tips aren't making any money). But it's possible there is another side to that particular story.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #23 of 40
What does it matter about the other side of that particular storyanyway? IMHPO, an owner that truly cares about the perception of the business, wouldn't condone nor institute such a policy. Like you've already said, it's None the less you seem to be arguing a point for a policy that certainly doesn't belong in a Hospitality oriented industry especially since the orientation of the industry says it all. Hospitality.

In all my years I'd never seen or heard of such a policy by an owner, management or concept. However I have seen in certain markets where there's a break-down at the bottom of the computer generated check of what 5,10, 15 or 20% of the total would be. This would help folks out in calculating the tip but by no means was it an endorsement of what should be left.

Writing what you think the tip should be or allowing it to be done is just as intolerable a concept as condoning the chasing of a guest inside and/or outside of the building to confront them on what they left. To ask them what was wrong or how could things be done better is acceptable only by a manager or owner, but not to discuss the tip or lack there of.

The industry may have a standard or norm but Tips (To Insure Prompt Service) is completely perceptive on all sides. Because of this the system of tipping may be an imperfect one but it does work when all parties follow proper etiquette and procedure.
post #24 of 40
This topic could be discussed forever as peoples opinions on tipping differ. Tipping is a hidden cost in dining. You are subsidizing their wages. Of course an owner doesn't want it to appear as if you have to tip. But you do. There was a time when a server made a standard minimum wage. Tips where an extra. Ever since the IRS got involved the industry has gotten away with paying less than the standard minimum wage. Passing the payroll on to you the diner. Times have changed but the attitude toward tipping has not. We still expect to get our butts kissed as we hold that dollar over a servers head. Personally punishing someone for not filling our coffee every time we were ready. I think the service has got to be pretty bad to not warrant a tip. And if it was that bad it demands a complaint to the manager. Stiffing your server doesn't teach anyone a lesson.
post #25 of 40
Tip-Ping is not a city in China.
post #26 of 40
>None the less you seem to be arguing a point for a policy.....<

If you actually read what I wrote, Oldschool, it obvious that I'm not arguing anything.

I'm just pointing out that the server involved may have been following orders to do what she did.

Doesn't mean I condone it. Doesn't mean I'm in favor of it. Doesn't mean I'm arguing for or against it.

>that certainly doesn't belong in a Hospitality oriented industry "

Yeah, well. As long as you claim to have been around, I can't believe you're unaware of the simple fact that there are a lot of people in the hospitality industries that shouldn't be.

Every one of us could tell stories.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #27 of 40
Just my perception although, as I try to with every post I reply to, I did read your reply thoroughly. I also understood completely that you were not trying to "justify" the action or policy presenting the "other-side" or a possible speculation of it, it did appear to promote an argument for an understanding of why it was done. Like I said and IMHPO, the policy, either stated or implemented, doesn't belong in the proper scheme of things.

Yes I have been around for a while there is no disputing that but how did you get the perception that I was "unaware of the simple fact that there are a lot of people in the hospitality industries that shouldn't be." That couldn't be further from the reality of things. I am or have been aware, and quite painfully at times, that there are a good many people working with-in the hospitality industry that do not belong there. I have certainly experienced more than my fair share. I once was sickened by the way they did things but then realized that I was just a small cog in the continually breaking down machine that I was attached to. Although I never threw my hands up in the air, I have been a casualty and lost a job or position on more than one occasion based on the Principle of things. I will certainly starve in a principle and avoid feasting on complacency! Again IMHPO, I would like to add that there are also a good many people that are associated with and around the hospitality industry that do not belong as well. Either as purveyors, writers, critics, teachers, etc, etc, etc not to mention the countless numbers of guests that seem to be out to abuse the system, servers and the customer service policies plus remain ignorant to the actual idea behind things.

There is much I'd like to change but I'm not in charge today.:rolleyes:
post #28 of 40
I'm sure there are a lot of people that shouldn't be in the hospitality or food industry (just like a lot of other industries)...seems like in every industry I come across nowadays (whether it requires a degree or not)..nobody can do their job right.

But a lot of servers (the politically correct term, so you know)...DO IN FACT CARE...and like their job. But the demand is very high for food service workers given the amount of lazy fata$$es that live in this country..and as long as that remains fact, we're all bound to run into the "I hate my job" server.
Not everybody is as fortunate to be a professional opinion giver.

As for me agreeing with some of what has been said i find it appalling when somebody says:

Bzzt! Wrong! Thanks for playing. But I make that determination for myself---both the whether to, and the amount.

That is precisely why I don't work for tips anymore. the reason it isn't an hourly because we're capitalistic Americans who need motivation to perform well...the same reason a vast majority of people are paid on commission...and given bonuses...
But I do not find it acceptable to stiff somebody who only makes 2 bucks an change an hour..unless they visibly spit in my food or personally offended me I always find at least a dollar per person sitting at the matter what restaurant I'm frequenting

It's all called class, some people obviously have none...
It's just plain disgusting not to leave a couple bucks is almost like stealing...only you're doing at it out of the pocket somebody who just waiting hand and foot on you.
post #29 of 40
I think you may have misunderstood me earlier on. Are you saying that in U.S. it is possible that people are working for just tips alone and not being paid a living wage?
My comments re:" it is left to the diner to decide if s/he has had good service and whether or not to tip "was based on U.K. culture. In U.K. everyone is paid on or above a minimum wage. It is a living wage. Catering staff are paid a wage they can live on. Tips are seen as extra if they have done a good job. A treat on top of a their wage. It, therefore, encourages good service etc. This is surely a better system?

It does vary from country to country round the world. In Australia a tip is looked on as being patronising and a relic from the class system and is not done. It is seen as a bit of an insult becomes it smacks of "Jack is not as good as his master".

In Italy, for instance, the price on the menu is nothing like the price you can end up paying. They slap on a cover charge which depends on the location. I know this to my cost after a meal by The Grand Canal in Venice.
So, all things considered, if the waiter in U.S. is depending on the goodwill of patrons to live, wow! you should just smile and pay up, I think.
post #30 of 40
Exactly. In the US servers are payed less than half of the minimum wage. After tax deductions for the 8% allocation many servers don't even get a paycheck. Your tips are there only income. This creates an environment where the server needs to "hustle" the table to make a living. This happened in the 80's when the IRS got involved. But yet the American diner likes to believe we are still in the 50's and a tip is a treat.
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