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Aug 8, 2012 08:03 AM

Cash only for gratuity!!

I recently had an expensive business dinner at a local restaurant.
When the bill came there was a note: "all gratuiies in cash!" Most times this is just a suggestion/preference and when I get the credit card receipt there is a spot for a tip. I'll apologize/explain and include the tip on my card if it is a business meal or I am low on cash.
I gave the server my business credit card to pay. The credit card slip has no place for the tip.
I explained that it was a businees expense and was told the dreaded: "It's our policy!" Somehow I thought I should have been forewarned!
Getting reimbursed for cash is a nightmare with our company.
I had enough cash for a generous tip. I could not see punishing the server for the "Policy!"
Otherwise the meal and service was fabulous.
I know all about "cash flow" and the economy of the food industry.
I.M.H.O accepting gratuities on credit cards is one more cost of doing business.

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  1. Yes, of course you should have been forewarned. This is bad business, and I'm sad to observe that I bet it's the servers who lose.

    3 Replies
    1. re: pinehurst

      I've seen signs on the entrance of restaurants: "Cash only!" but never a sign stating Cash for Tips only.

      1. re: Motosport

        I've run into "Tips: cash only" at several local places, but only on the menu after you sit down; or even sometimes not until the bill is actually presented. Never before you enter though, so I'm sure some people are caught short. So far I've managed to scrounge up some kind of tip despite the surprise. I always assumed it was for the waitress' sake, if it's a credit card charge they might have to wait til the end of the week to get paid out, as was done at the restaurant I managed. But tax issues and bookkeeping headaches are other possibilities, not that they would ever admit the tax angle.

        1. re: Motosport

          "Cash for Tips"

          I've been a couple of places where I've seen little signs on the table, about the size of a "Reserved" placard. of course, they said "Please" too.

      2. Similar problems exist when the credit card machine is programmed not to ask if you want to leave a tip. I reckon that's about half the time we eat out. You never know if it's going to or not.

        Problem is then if you havnt got the cash for a tip (although now we usually make sure we are carrying enough cash for that, but not always). Nothing you can do except not tip.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Harters

          Or scramble around for an ATM!! Yikes!!

        2. That restaurant must have a hard time keeping good servers cause it is going to reduce the tips for sure.

          1 Reply
          1. re: redfish62

            I could also see that it was torture for the server to have to deal with this issue. Better to have them focus on serving.

          2. I haven't seen that in restaurants around here yet but I have seen signs for cash-only tips in hair salons and day spas.

            1. If the restaurant is going to enforce their policy then they should also have an ATM/cash machine close by.

              10 Replies
              1. re: latindancer

                Oh please do not suggest that!! Those kinds of ATM machines have huge service charges to use them and are a profit maker for the location that has one.

                1. re: Quine

                  Yes, true.
                  I don't always carry alot of cash on me. It's either that or the server doesn't get a tip and I would feel horrible about that.

                  1. re: latindancer

                    True, faced with this, I would come back (I'd ask the server what times/days they worked) with cash for the tip. I know a few places that use this sorta (well it actually is) scam. This way, they make a profit on the ATM and don't have to do the proper record keeping.

                    1. re: latindancer

                      Sometimes all I leave the house with is a credit card and house keys. What an unfortunate policy.

                      1. re: babette feasts

                        I know, I lead a pretty much cash-less life. So I get tweeked when I am forced to use cash in a simple non-cash situation.

                        1. re: babette feasts

                          I agree that not carrying cash is an unfortunate policy to hold.

                          You never see that kid with the lemonade stand that you just have to give some business? Never want to stop and have a quick beer or soda on a hot day?

                          1. re: FrankJBN

                            I can't imagine NOT having a fair bit of cash on me, even in this day and age. *Especially* when I go on a trip, I would try to have at least $200-300 or so in cash in my wallet.

                            1. re: FrankJBN

                              Actually, no kids with lemon aid stands, don't drink soda, nor beer if I am driving. I do keep some change in the car (quarter for the shopping cart), I very seldom use a purse, and since I now use a smartphone, not even a date planner. Yep, keys and wallet. Travel light. Any "cash only" I run into unexpectedly, has been few and far between. And I have been doing this for quite a good number of years now. Heck I know people out in the Midwest that as far back as 20 years ago paid in check at McDonalds!

                              1. re: FrankJBN

                                I normally carry some cash, but if I know I will be charging dinner and am only going out for that, not necessarily.

                                1. re: FrankJBN

                                  I work at a place where nearly everything you need can be purchased with payroll-deduction. They aloso hav e a bunch of vending machines. Not carrying cash around eliminates that temptation, meanwhile I can swipe my name badge for food or pharmacy purchases (it's a hospital, that's why the pharmacy LOL) . It really keeps me from nickel-and-diming myself to death. A while back I changed departments, and my current coworkers go out for lunch or order in occasionally so I've started keeping enough cash for that, plus i've sort of gotten out of the habit of using vending machines and fast food places for a quick iced tea.