Adding gratuity to your bill
Just want some input from fellow CHs. I've noticed many restuarants are now adding gratuity to our bill these day. Personally I don't believe it's fair. Especially if it doesn't state their "policy" on their menu, website or in the restaurant. I can understand if it's a huge group and they were told at the time of booking, however, these days even if you have a party of more than 4, it's added to your bill. Seriously, why should I have to pay it if the service and food is crappy. Does anyone know if it's mandatory to pay? I've tried contacting the consumer information website by the Government of Canada but it doesn't have any information. They directed me to their website which doesn't help. Just want to see what your feedback is and the normal practice in your province.
Thanks for your help!
I was on the Kelowna website yesterday, looking for some tourist information (going up there next week) and found this blog on their website:
"Gratuities & Tipping
Providing a tip or gratuity for service has become a standard practice in Canada. The amount is not calculated on your bill, so it is suggested that you add 10% - 15% to the amount before taxes. However, the amount should vary and be dependant upon the quality of service you received"
Here's the Link:
My policies are what matter to me.
1. Groups in excess of a certain number, where the number and gratuity % are stated on a menu, the servers forehead, wherever, get paid. If the service is crappy, then I complain like Hell and never go again, and spread the word unless something is done to soothe me.
2. If nothing is stated, then I pay what I want for a gratuity. Don't get bullied, you can't be arrested. If you get hassled, explain yourself, and, once again expect to be soothed, or never go again and spread the word.
3. Simply don't go to places that add a gratuity no matter what the number of patrons. This practise is nothing other than getting a patron to subsidize low wages and possibly accept compromised food and service quality.
Ignorant restauranteurs need to be put out of business. (as long as it is the restauranteur who is ignorant and not the patron)
IF the practice is stated on the menu, I don't see any issues. The vast majority of the time I have ever seen this, a 15% tip is assumed, which is the minimum standard tip for reasonably good service according to practices that most people in N. American society currently accept.
The fact is that large tables (say 6 or more) do have an added element of complexity in timing all the food to come out at once and providing good service. Furthermore, larger groups may have the tendency for everybody to "throw in some money" towards the bill, which can result in little to no tip when all the dust settles.
I don't think it is even legal. I usually tip what I feel like.
Were the restaurants anywhere close to the tourist areas? I was at Rosie's at the Rosedale Hotel. At the bottom of the bill, they printed "guides" for gratuities, at 15%, 18% and 20% :) I asked the server about it and she said a lot of tourists do not tip (not in their custom to). It is a subtle way of saying "Please tip".