Morocco's Mountain View 15% service charge
Could someone who has been to Morocco's explain the 15% service charge ?
According to their website (pasted at the bottom of this post), they automatically add on 15% to the total of your bill for service. But, they are also rather vague about whether you are expected to tip the standard amount above that.
To get specific, if I see an item on the menu priced at $20, they will automatically add 15% (ie.$3) for service for a total of $23. Are they then expecting an additional 15%-20% tip (ie. $3.45-$4.60) on top of that $23, for a grand total of $26.45-$27.60 ?
Are they trying to implement the European system, in which service is essentially built in/automatic, and you just tip up to 5% extra if you like ? Or are they counting on diners' confusion to get an effective 35% tip ? If it's the latter, then the smartest thing for diners to do is to consider the prices as being 15% higher than printed, and make their decisions based on that.
Here is the wording from Morocco's website:
"The 15% service charge gets distributed among all employees of Morocco's Restaurant. We do believe in equity and justice between our cooking team and serving team in regards to revenue distribution based on efforts, performance, and consistency.
We are proud to take care equally well of the charming servers that are hosting you to the fast paced cooks that prepare your delicacies through competitive wages, salaries, benefits and quarterly bonuses.
If you feel that your front of the house serving team went the extra mile by providing you exceptional service, your tips are appreciated! (National average tip is 18.3% and we have witnessed delighted parties leaving a generous 20% to 30% tips)."
If a 15% service charge is included, no extra tip is required or expected. As they say, you're welcome but not obligated to leave more.
If you want to find out what they're thinking, ask them. Personally I'd be happy to see tipping go away in this area.
I don't think servers who work at places with a service charge expect more than maybe a 5% tip.
In California, it's illegal for restaurants to require servers to tip out to kitchen staff, so a service charge gets around that.