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Jun 28, 2009 08:02 PM

Tangierino - automatic 18% tips added for 2

Sorry for another rant post. As a matter of fact I *just* came out from a horrible dining experience and it's a bit hard to swallow.

We haven't been to Tangierino for a while. This was our first visit since they expanded the place. I must say it has become more exotic than before - dimmer lights, rose petals scattered on dining table, dining table and chairs at proper heights, finally. I was very happy when I sat down and things started to go downhill.

We ordered drinks and food (1 app and 2 entrees). I just wanted water because I was the driver. BF ordered a sangria. We got the bread and finished it. BF timed that it took 40 mins for them to get his drink. Our plates were clearly empty, for almost an hour, and we were not being offered some more bread. We sat through belly dancing without food.

We probably waited for another 10 mins after the show's over before our appetizer finally arrived. We could see that there were two birthday parties going on in the restaurant so we thought maybe the kitchen was too busy, although another couple sitting two tables from us, ordered after we did, got their food before the show.

There came the entree, and the last time we talked to our waiter. He did not come to check on us, did not want to know how my medium-rare lamb was. When we're both done, another pair of couple came to sit next to our table. They got their drinks before our plates got cleared out of the way.

Dessert? I didn't feel like spending another hour in the restaurant, or else I really wanted their mint tea.

We understand that sometimes the kitchen is not being cooperative, or the waiter just had a bad table... As long as we receive food and attention, we tip at least 20%. BF opened the bill and saw that 18% was already included. I don't remember that we ate 6 people's worth of food. His service was worth 10%. And he's demanding for 18%. I was feeling robbed. I should have asked for the manager right then and there, but we somehow got satisfied that he lost our normal 20% tip, wrote down 18% exact to the cent, and left. The more I think about it while driving back home, the more it's harder to swallow. Since when have restaurants been automatically adding tips to party of.... TWO?? We eat out every week, and this is unheard of.

I'll contact the restaurant tomorrow. Let's see what they say. BTW, I don't remember seeing any tip requirements on the menu.

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  1. I haven't been back to this place since the redo, myself. Sorry that was such a terrible experience. Tacked-on service for two is very unusual; I'd find it off-putting, too. But I'm frankly amazed that you waited 40 minutes for a drink. I'd have flagged someone down after a few minutes, and without swift satisfaction would have been walking out much sooner.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      We were enjoying ourselves the whole time, chatting and stuff. We didn't time the server, BF just happened to pull out his cell phone and was appalled at the time. Like I said, there were 2 b-day parties there. It's still not OK for them to delay our stuff because of that, especially when they take reservations so seriously, but whatever.

    2. Why would you give any tip that is demanded? Than its not a tip. It is understandable on large parties but for two... I would insist on an explanation.

      1 Reply
      1. re: maggie may

        We tip 20% everywhere we go... So, to us, tipping 18% felt like we're disgracing them already lol. We usually round our total to the dollar, hence we had a little painful pleasure of writing every single digit to the cent on the bill LOL (not sure if you understand).

        But yea, I agree, the more I think about it, the more ridiculous it is. The fact that they're tagging the tip to the bill for 2 ppl is unacceptable. I'll update the post if I hear anything back from them.

      2. Well, their online dinner menu says the 18% gratuity is added for parties of 6 or more. Unless the printed menus you saw said something different and clearly applied the automatic tip to all parties or parties of 2 or more, then what your waiter did would merit termination in many places.

        1. My guess is that the waiter knew he had screwed up and to save himself a tip he added the 18% large party grat hoping you two would let him get away with it.

          You should call the manager, tips should reflect good service, clearly there wasn't any service here. Any money the manager has no idea that this waiter is doing this.

          1 Reply
          1. re: joellita

            My guess is that he was shooting for a double tip. Half the work for twice the pay...

          2. I have the same personal tipping philosophy as you do: at least 20% is the norm for me.

            I also understand that you may have waited another hour to discuss and correct what the waiter did, so here would have been my solution: mark out with pen the automatic tip amount and the resulting total, write in what you think is appropriate (15%, 10%, zero, etc), total it by hand, then sign.

            Since they weren't paying any attention to you the entire night they probably also wouldn't have noticed this appropriate maneuver until you were long gone. But in case they'd have flagged you down on your way out the door, you'd have had a great opportunity to discuss the matter with the manager.