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Nov 24, 2009 04:28 PM

Did you every hear of this?

I went to a new restaurant for the first time and when we got the computerized check, we noticed that the bill was rounded up to the nearest nickel. I never saw this before and we spoke to the owner who had no clue that this was done on the restaurant checks. It was only a few pennies, but can you imagine the extra money the place is making? Also is this legal? The owner apologized and offered us a round of drinks the next time and said the problem will be orrected. We went back and got our drinks, but lo and behold, the rounding problem was never corrected and we pointed it out to the owner again. she acted surprise, which now i really believe is an act. I was just wondering if anyone ever had this happen to them.

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  1. Why don't you report it to your state's Dept of Revenue? Or call your local news station's consumer reporter.

    1. Pennies should be done away with. The gov't wastes millions of $ on them.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Rmis32

        this is one of those falsehoods, repeated so often people think it is true.

        yes it costs more than a penny to make a penny. but they are not single use items.

        1. re: thew

          But they fall out of circulation so quickly (who doesn't have a penny jar at home?) that the goverment must constantly mint pennies. I have never read a definitive article one way or the other but I know I read that the biggest lobby for pennies are charities that do penny drives.

          1. re: KTinNYC

            they do, and yet look at your pennies at home - i bet you have more than one that is more than 20 years old

            1. re: thew

              People are allways headed to the change machine. I regularly find pennies baring the likeness off the King as opposed to the current Queen.

              Besides if you remove pennies are nickels next?

              1. re: Withnail42

                Just this past weekend there was a report on NPR about the penny and some who want it abolished.

                "About a year ago, Gary Shows, the owner of Alko Office Supply, felt pennies were no longer worth the hassle for customers and cashiers.

                "One evening, I had this idea," Shows says, "That if we went penny free and rounded everything down to the customer's favor to the nearest nickel — if everybody was four cents, I decided that we would lose about $500 a year."

                Shows says that the lost $500 is likely overcome by customers who remember the store and come back. For Shows, it was an issue of convenience. But there are other figures starting to stack up against the penny. For instance, since 2006, producing a penny has cost more than one cent due to the rising price of zinc, the main ingredient in the coin. Inflation is also an issue."


                1. re: KTinNYC

                  i repeat - costing more than a penny to produce would only be a problem if a penny was a single use item. It's a red herring, oft repeated, but does not stand up to examination. If it costs 1.2¢ to make a penny, and it is used twice, it is already getting more value from it than the metals are worth. multiply by the fact every penny is use thousands of times, and that 2 tenths of a cent has vanished into irrelevance.

                2. re: Withnail42

                  ..."first, they came for the pennies...."

        2. You didn't say whether this was an all-day or dinner only restaurant, but the places I worked for dinner would consider 400 dinners a big night. Since the average table is about 3 people, that would be less than 150 bills. Assume they mark up every bill by 4 cents. That's $6/night.

          Yes, imagine all the extra money the place is making. Six whole dollars. The mind boggles.

          9 Replies
          1. re: FrankD

            $6/night or something like $2000/year

            Doesn't matter the amount. It's flat out illegal.

            1. re: taos

              Yes, I was thinking the same thing. Would love for someone to just hand me $6 dollars a day for the rest of my life.

              1. re: 16crab

                spend a couple of million to open a place and you can implement the policy yourself.

                1. re: fourunder

                  there is NO justification from stealing from a customer, whether 1-cent or 1-million. Integrity is proven by actions you do when no one is looking. Bankruptcy is what occurs when your reputation goes out the window.

                  1. re: jfood


                    Does taking a few packets of Splenda or Sweet & Low for your next mornings coffee amount to stealing? Do you hold the same standards and opinion of those who knowingly do this or overlook when items are left off of their guest checks.... does bankruptcy of the soul then enter into the equation for the customer?

                    1. re: fourunder

                      absolutely...taking those items from the table for use later is as wrong as taking pennies from the customer. jfood has stated this numerous times.

                      Please add to your examples people who receive the wrong check (for another table) which is lower and pay that lower tab instead.

                      1. re: jfood

                        we are on the same page my friend....... I would further add the excessively extra condiments and paper napkins from take out or coffee houses too.

                        1. re: fourunder

                          at least on this topic. :-)

                          others, there have been a difference of opinion, c'est la vie.


            2. re: FrankD

              If it's a pittance, as you assert, then they should simply always round down. Problem solved, and in a way that is much more honorable and customer-friendly than how they are currently operating.

            3. Yes, I would report that. It is illegal.

              1. But do they round down if it's in your favor? If so, then you've nothing to complain about. Please!!.. We're talking about pennies. If they only round UP rather than DOWN, then you might have a leg to stand on. Chill out my Dear. adam

                3 Replies
                1. re: adamshoe

                  I don't agree with you either Adamshoe you would be mighty annoyed if Sbux added a few pennies to your check, or if your local supermarket did the same or even your doctor, insurance company or CPA. While the penny/cent is still legal tender then they have no right to round up to the nearest 5. What if every store started doing this? It would be more than just 'talking about pennies'.

                  1. re: smartie

                    I wish every store WOULD start doing this, so we could get rid of pennies in general.

                    1. re: invinotheresverde

                      They've gotten rid of pennies at all commisaries and PXs in Iraq and Afghanistan and even in Germany, and so far as I know, no one complained. Universally accepted as a good way to lighten your pockets and no one begrudged a few cents change either up or down.