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Question about gift certificates

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This is the time of the year that we receive several gift certificates to restaurants. As a rule, they are less than the bill so leaving a tip is no problem. However, we just received one that is substantial, far more than we could ever eat or drink. We spend much time with people and like to go out to enjoy ourselves alone, like with this certificate.

Question: If the bill is, say, $175.00 and the certificate is for $250. Does the $75 go to the wait staff, or should we leave a cash tip?

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  1. Ask them to deduct the $175 from the gift certificate (leaving you $75 toward another meal) and tell them - and then do leave a 20% cash tip on the $175. Make sure that the transaction is written down and signed & dated by the appropriate manager so that you have something which clearly indicates your remaining certificate credit. That all assumes that the original certificate doesn't say that it all has to be used at once.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jane A.

      Thanks, good idea. No, it doesn't say it has be used all at once.

    2. If you plan to have more than one meal at the restaurant, using part of the gift for another meal is fine, but I don't think there is any reason to assume that if you specify the amount you want to tip the waitstaff, that they would not receive it. When you pay with a credit card and put the tip on it, the staff gets the tip, so why should it be any different with a gift certificate?