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May 29, 2007 11:07 AM

Polvo's made me mad.....

Found out that they have a policy of adding 18% gratuity for a party of FOUR or more. In all of my travels, in all of the lands, I have never seen this before (except at a private club where everything it auto-grat). I might have tipped over that amount in the first place, but the service that night wasn't very good. I think that it is probably to their discretion, if they think that the table consist of cheapskates. I scoffed at a $47 pitcher of "top shelf" margaritas, so we ordered singly. I think that I was "put in a category" and then got blown off.

I wonder how many times I have tipped on top of this tip, or even on the total amount?

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  1. Polvo's =
    Great food
    Crappy plastic chairs
    Crappy plastic tables
    Dirty patio that's pretty much just a section of the parking lot with a cover. (Not attractive)
    Weird gratuity policy
    Smoking on the patio (Yuck)
    Car exhaust *siempre*
    Great food......did i say that already?

    hmmmm.....what to do...........

    Best Chiles en nogal

    1. Huh! I wonder how many times I've tipped on top of gratuity then! Can't imagine this policy has been in place for very long. Maybe they're paying for that ridiculous new neon sign with tip money?

      Love the restaurant though. While service is sometimes slow, I find that the individual waiters tend to be friendly and helpful most of the time.

      4 Replies
      1. re: tastegood

        This has been bothering me about Polvo's for quite some time now. It's been in place for at least the last year, and says it quietly on the bottom of their menu. The reason you probably never noticed it before? If you pay with a credit card, when you get the slip to sign, there's no metion that gratuity has been added. You have the standard "total" line (which already includes the grat) and then a tip line, empty and waiting for your 20%. Your original bill does note the gratuity, though.

        We now make a point every time we see that gratuity's been added, to ask when the credit slip comes back. Usually the waitstaff is really forthcoming about it, and we always note that it bothers us that it doesn't say it on the credit slip and encourages you to tip on a total that already includes an 18% tip. I keep meaning to be more assertive and talk to a manager about it...but at that point I'm usually chasing a queso-encrusted toddler...

        Point is, be aware when you get your first bill, and clarify before you add any tip to the credit slip...

        (it's worth it for the mole enchiladas and the puntas de filete)

        1. re: jodi

          Frankly, this is a despicable business practice.

          Thanks for the heads up.

          1. re: tom in austin

            It has been that way for a while. They have the worst service I have experienced in the United States, so the automatic gratuity is especially galling.

            1. re: El General

              You know, we have gotten decent to very good service there for most of our visits. Not sure if it was worth tipping 20% on an automatic 18%, however.

              This past experience was probably a 10% service effort. I might be biased high, because I just received the most horrible service in Topeka KS during a business trip. The waiter served me the wrong steak, then lied about it. I knew that I had a NY Strip on my plate, but I ordered Ribeye. I asked him (after a while) "what cut is this." He said "Oh, that's the NY Strip......ummm no, uh, it's the Ribeye!" That, among several other things, led me to whip out my Mom's 2 cent tip trick. Of course, I digress......

      2. Wow, I had no idea they were pulling this stunt. Well, this place is off my list for good -- and I'll be sure to tell everyone I see here in Austin to do the same.

        1. My impression of Polvo's is that it's nothing more than a weekend hipster hangout.

          The food is medicore at best.

          1. The original comment has been removed