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NYC restaurants sued over tipping practice

Bethlehem Bill

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if the guests have the option to reduce or remove the gratuity that was automatically added then I don't see a problem with it

the only people that would are the cheapskates that would have tipped less than what was automatically added

so if youre a 15% and under kind of tipper, I can see how this would be embarrassing as you had to scribble out the 17% and write in a smaller number

but that's too bad for you. unless of course the service was truly awful in which case you should have no qualms about scratching out the entire thing altogether
 

Stewart

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I know it's a cultural thing but I ########## hate tipping. It just boils my blood. Especially this habit of automatic gratuities. How can that be conducive to good service when it's freaking automatic. For me (and pretty much the rest of Au) a tip is only rendered after outstanding service/excellent meal or for going completely out of their way etc. Grr.
Oh and stupid Sales Taxes, why can't they add them into the price? And they aren't even an even % that's easy to calculate. VATs ftw.

I'm gonna be the stingiest bastard when I come over.
 

Mr. E

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It is tacky and deceptive. I also take issue with 'automatic gratuity on parties of X amount or more.' In my state to be lawful it has to state 'fee' because it is not actually a gratuity.
 

radcen

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Good. I hope the restaurants lose. It's a deceptive and tacky practice.
It is deceptive. The example in the video shows only "18% Gratuity". No mention whatsoever that it is only suggested and can be reduced or even eliminated. None. That is intentionally deceptive, and anybody who tries to claim otherwise is simply being an apologist for unethical business practices.

If the receipt said "Suggested 18% Gratuity", or "Optional 18% Gratuity", then that would be fine. But, no, they choose to lie by omission instead.


I know it's a cultural thing but I ########## hate tipping. It just boils my blood. Especially this habit of automatic gratuities. How can that be conducive to good service when it's freaking automatic. For me (and pretty much the rest of Au) a tip is only rendered after outstanding service/excellent meal or for going completely out of their way etc. Grr.
Oh and stupid Sales Taxes, why can't they add them into the price? And they aren't even an even % that's easy to calculate. VATs ftw.

I'm gonna be the stingiest bastard when I come over.
What I resent is how tipping has evolved into a literal entitlement mentality.
 

Slyfox696

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I haven't read the article yet, but what I can say is I will never automatically tip. If the menu says one price, then that is what I owe. Anything I choose to tip for the service I receive is completely based on what I want to do.
 

dnsmith

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To Insure Prompt Service. A tip is not wages it is a reward for doing your job well and to punish those that sluff off by with holding the gratuity.
My principle objection is the reduced wage waiters/waitresses get based on the expectation of tipping. I would rather the restaurant raise the price of the meal, pay the attendants properly and allow me the privilege of tipping or not based on the quality of the service.
 

Captain Adverse

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Back when they first proposed taxation on tips, and set a rate assuming servers etc. all get a certain amount of tips, I knew crap like this was coming.

Tips are not wages!!! Tips are supposed to be a reward for extra or good service. The amount, if any, should always be up to the patron.

But now we have these restaurants with pissy servers who act like they are doing you a favor, and they expect a tip. We feel obligated because of this tax crap. As for tacking on gratuities? This is not the first time I have seen businesses do this, and I simply avoid places that do.
 

sawyerloggingon

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My principle objection is the reduced wage waiters/waitresses get based on the expectation of tipping. I would rather the restaurant raise the price of the meal, pay the attendants properly and allow me the privilege of tipping or not based on the quality of the service.
I agree, pay them a living wage and price the meal accordingly.
 

winston53660

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Oh jeesh Times Square has always been a tourist trap. Wadda ya expect/
 

Van Basten

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I always hated the automatic gratuity business. Waiters need to earn it by actually delivering good service.
 

Homer.

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Back when they first proposed taxation on tips, and set a rate assuming servers etc. all get a certain amount of tips, I knew crap like this was coming.

Tips are not wages!!! Tips are supposed to be a reward for extra or good service. The amount, if any, should always be up to the patron.

But now we have these restaurants with pissy servers who act like they are doing you a favor, and they expect a tip. We feel obligated because of this tax crap. As for tacking on gratuities? This is not the first time I have seen businesses do this, and I simply avoid places that do.
But this is the problem, tips are wages in America. Plenty waiters/waitresses don't get paid a wage at all, and the only money they get is in tips.
 

Dr. Chuckles

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If you're in New York and eating at Red Lobster you deserve to be ripped off
 

Captain Adverse

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But this is the problem, tips are wages in America. Plenty waiters/waitresses don't get paid a wage at all, and the only money they get is in tips.
Maybe in the U.K., but we've had a Federal minimum wage since 1938. Tips only started being taxed in 1984. The problem is that tips, as I stated, are NOT wages. Why? Because they are not guaranteed and are awarded based on each patrons view of the service they were given. Lousy service, no tip. Average service, no tip or minor tip. Good to excellent service, 10% - 25%+.

Servers got minimum wage plus tips. Tips were not taxed. Then Congress decided this wasn't fair and set up a system of taxing tips as if they were standard wages. So, once upon a time people providing a service did so with a smile and lots of effort. Now, restaurants treat tips as expected wages, reduce actual wages to a pittance, and patrons are guilted into paying tips because thats what the servers live on. As for the servers, they expect it just for showing up at your table.
 

Mycroft

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I wonder if these restaurants actually pass this mandatory tip to the server...or if they pocket the money?
 

Captain Adverse

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I wonder if these restaurants actually pass this mandatory tip to the server...or if they pocket the money?
Good question, and it often depends on whether the restaurant is paying servers/staff full minimum wage or the "tip" minimum wage. If the former, they don't have to give servers/staff any of it, though some will give a portion. If the latter, the restaurant is supposed to give at least the minimum required for tip tax purposes and the remainder up to the full amount can be given depending upon the generousity of the employer.
 

Homer.

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Maybe in the U.K., but we've had a Federal minimum wage since 1938. Tips only started being taxed in 1984. The problem is that tips, as I stated, are NOT wages. Why? Because they are not guaranteed and are awarded based on each patrons view of the service they were given. Lousy service, no tip. Average service, no tip or minor tip. Good to excellent service, 10% - 25%+.

Servers got minimum wage plus tips. Tips were not taxed. Then Congress decided this wasn't fair and set up a system of taxing tips as if they were standard wages. So, once upon a time people providing a service did so with a smile and lots of effort. Now, restaurants treat tips as expected wages, reduce actual wages to a pittance, and patrons are guilted into paying tips because thats what the servers live on. As for the servers, they expect it just for showing up at your table.
I was talking about the US, not the UK.
I believe waiters/waitresses aren't eligible for the minimum wage in the US.
 

Captain Adverse

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I was talking about the US, not the UK.
I believe waiters/waitresses aren't eligible for the minimum wage in the US.
Your belief would be incorrect. Servers must be paid either the full minimum wage or the "tip" minimum wage. If they are paid the full minimum wage the employer can claim all tip income (and they often do). If they are paid the "tip" minimum wage (which is like $2.50/hr?) then they must be granted access to tip income from patrons.

Why did you think servers didn't get some form of minimum wage?

P.S. If you are referring to "under-the-table" jobs, and there are some, these are actually "illegal." Illegal because they are methods of employment designed to skirt both tax and employee benefit regulations.
 
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Captain Adverse

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Tips are not wages. Tips are income. Income is taxable.

Wages are another category of income, also.
I'm sure that's part of the logic the Congress used back in 1984. :) Okay, then it's income, so now you have to be an accountant to keep records like an independent contractor to figure it out since it is not guaranteed income, like wages. lol :)
 

HumanBeing

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if the guests have the option to reduce or remove the gratuity that was automatically added then I don't see a problem with it
The whole thing works on the assumption that people don't know they have the option of reducing it. There are almost no other examples where it's accepted industry practice for additional charges that you didn't request to be added to your bill unless you ask for them not to be.

I think the whole thing is fraudulent, and I'm glad it isn't being tolerated anymore. I give big tips and make big donations to worthy people and causes, but I give absolutely nothing if I'm made to feel like my gift is a requirement.
 
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