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Alberta resturants

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Are there any resturants in Alberta that automatically tack on a 18% gratuity on to the bill if you are in a small group (less than 6)? For example, does Capo do this ?

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  1. I am only aware of two.
    The first is an Italian restaurant on the east side of Highway 2 in Airdrie. They are just north of the GM & Chrysler dealerships. They add in a 15% tip and then if you pay by credit card they leave the tip line open so you tip twice. I caught them doing this and have never been back.
    The second one is a restaurant in Red Deer near the NE corner of Gaetz and 67th. I paid cash and left a tip. When I was doing my expense report I saw it. I haven't been back there either.
    dean in Canada

    1 Reply
    1. re: carlitguy

      Any those of the listed resturants on the red deer thread?

      how much was the automatic gratuity on the last one?

    2. I was really surprised when Rouge in Calgary did this. The menu stated that an 18% gratuity would be added to any group of 8 or more...and then when we got the bill, it was already added on ours as well, and it was just the two of us for dinner.

      2 Replies
      1. re: GaryR

        Did you ask them why they did that or did you just leave it at that?

        1. re: sleepycat

          I did comment to the hostess as we were leaving that it left a bad taste in my mouth, because nowhere was it stated in writing and nothing was said in person, and I would think there are a lot of people who don't pay particular attention and just add a tip and pay, as we almost did, which would have meant we would have tipped 38% which to my mind is excessive. Actually, I guess it would have been more than that, because I would have been tipping on the already included gratuity as well. She only shrugged and smiled.

      2. I thought it was 15% for groups of 8 or more. When did it become 18%? Or is that just at high end places?

        I've never seen any place in Alberta do it for just 2. Capo didn't do it any time I've been there, for 2 or 4. Although I usually tip 20% unless I'm peeved about something service related.

        1. I think when I took the family out for brunch at the rotating restaurant atop the Chateau Lacombe in Edmonton a tip was automatically included. We were 6 and it was a buffet - actually a good buffet. But I do remember that when I booked the table, I was told the prices - one price for adults, one for kids under 10 or 12 and one for seniors - and that there would be a 10% tip added to what were not cheap prices. But I have to say the service was good -- coffee, tea and fresh-squeezed juice refilled many times, etc. And I also understand that many people do not tip at a buffet, so I thought this was reasonable. And my Dad, who in his dotage is quite cheap, actually left an extra tip on the table too.

          The other thing I have noticed in some nicer restaurants is a line on the bottom of the computer print out that autormatically calculates the tip to amounts like 15%, 20%. I actually thought that was clever.

          1. Buchanan's downtown chages an automatic 18% on tables of 8 or more.

            But when does an automatic gratuity no longer become a "tip" and just become a part of the cost of the meal? When it is automatically added to the bill there is no longer any discretion in it just like there is no discretion in paying $35 for the duck breast on the menu. I find surcharges (which is what an automatic gratuity essentially is) one of the most annoying retail trends to-date. Rather than saying my duck breast is going to cost $35 + an 18% automatic gratuity, why not say advertise it at $10...+$8 for the chef's wage...+$5 for the server's wage +$17 overhead for the restaurant...+$1 in profit - but the duck is only $10?

            1. La Pachanga in Calgary charges a 17% gratuity on all parties greater than six individuals. This is posted on their menu. The food and drink is quite good (Latin fare), although its expensive for what you get - $32 nets you a appetizer "platter" with one tamale, 5 breaded meat chips, house salsa, two meat turnovers, a roasted sausage and fresh made tortilla chips. The service is acceptable, though not necessarily worth the automatic gratuity. On the upside, the live music is good, the local latin regulars schmooze the ladies into dancing (so those men that don't like dancing don't have to...) and the atmosphere is friendly and inviting. 3.75 stars of 5.