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Mandatory tip at Alhambra Palace?

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Hi:

Went to Alhambra Palace last night with some friends. There were four of us total and I was surprised to see a 20 percent gratuity added into our bill. I know many restaurants do this for larger groups but I've never seen this for just four people. The huge restaurant was barely full so maybe they're just that desperate? Just looking for your thoughts on this...

PS - Skip Alhambra Palace for the food. Save your money and go to Noon-o-Kabab or Semiramis on Kedzie.

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  1. You had the right to object unless it was clearly specified on the menu that 20% was automatic. Even then, I would have complained. Tipping is a courtesy not an obligation to be enforced by a restaurant.

    1 Reply
    1. re: CJT

      An automatic gratuity for a party of four is unusual. I would have asked for some clarification.

    2. Agreed - I should have said something last night. I guess this is more of a warning.

      1. If you sit in the main dining room where the entertainment is going on, I know that they add that as a mandatory gratuity to any size table. I believe I saw it on their website somewhere, or maybe read it in Time Out magazine, however, they should definitely take the time to specify their policy when you call to make your reservation!

        1. This reminds me of an experience I had at Heat sushi on Wells. They made you add the tip to your bill before the server swiped the card. That made me uncomfortable as the service was not good yet I knew if I tipped poorly the server would take an hour to run the card!!!

          1. I was there last Friday night, and it does say on the menu that there is a mandatory 20% gratuity added for parties that dine while the live entertainment is going on (I forget the exact wording, but my husband pointed it out right away).

            But I agree--the entertainment was nice, but food was WAY overpriced.

            1 Reply
            1. re: EDL

              We went with friends quite a while ago, and I do remember being slighly annoyed with the automatic grautity (we were a party of 4). The entertainment and atmosphere were terrific. My entree was awesome, but the rest of the food was so-so. It is on the expensive side. We'd probably try somewhere else instead of going back.