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If you are confident in the value of your product or service, raise the stated prices to reflect the value - and your customers will let you know if they see the value by continuing to purchase your product/service. But playing these games of putting false pricing on your paperwork and rationalizing upcharges by posting signs means you really don't believe in the value of your product. Expecting your customer to do math and read your signs - just playing games.

Be honest with yourself and your customer - say what you are going to do (charge) and then perform beyond expectations. It works for every business.

I will never return to a business that is dishonest like this. No matter how great their product /service is.
It isn't dishonest when it is brought up by the server, there are notices on the menu and you are informed when you make the reservation.

If it was just done without any forewarning - then yeah...they can take a long hike off a short cliff.
 

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I despise America's tradition of tipping at restaurants and I wish a change like this would become normalized. Our food is cheap because we discount the wages for the employees that prepare and serve our food. Our food bill needs to be inclusive of the cost of service instead of a race for the bottom dollar on the menu. We don't pay them a living wage and instead make them rely on a tip system for all and that's **** at best. I'm not diving into the minimum wage BS here, but, rather our normalized (and legal) way of doing business in the food industry.
Pay a living wage, because, I would like to tip those servers who truly deserve the money as recognition for their quality service and outstanding work ethic.
 

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The thing is...the service is as good if not better than you get at a tipping restaurant.

The demand for these jobs is very high and people want to keep them, so they work harder for you.

This is from El Gaucho website - interesting

What are the benefits of a service charge model?
Employees:
Our team is made up of professionals who have made hospitality their career -they have families, are homeowners, and active members of their community. The service charge model, combined with the ability for guests to leave additional gratuity for excellent service, ensures a sustainable model for our team to continue to receive excellent compensation and benefits. For example, our servers are paid a 13% commission plus state minimum wage which results in $40-60 hourly pay plus benefits.
The Company: El Gaucho has been successfully using a service charge model for Private Dining business for over 20 years, therefore we already have extensive experience with this model. The advantage is that we pay the state minimum wage and then a commission, rather than the city of Seattle’s minimum wage. The delta between the two saves money for our company, while ensuring that our employees continue to do well.
The Government: Because taxes are paid on the service charge, state and local government benefits from increased tax revenue. $15 million gross sales creates $3 million in service charges and $300K goes to Washington State sales tax and $60K goes to B&O taxes.
Hmmm…

Employees
Company
Government

Wheres’s the section on benefits to the customer?
 

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How many servers are actually making minimum wage? Even a Denny’s waitress is going to make more. If she does 4 tables an hour of 4 people and if the average tip is 15% she is probably going to have an average table bill of at least $50. So, $200 an hour and 15% of that is $30. That is a low end restaurant. Took the wife out to dinner last night for our anniversary. House of Prime Rib in San Francisco. $150 bill. $30 tip. There were two of us dining. Fantastic service as well as fantastic prime rib. Table around us had 4-6 diners. Those servers and bus people are making a decent living. As too eating out. Both wife and I cook well. But nice to have someone else do the prep and cleanup. We go out at least weekly. Not always the top end places, Go get a burger, or Asian. Or pizza. Nice to treat the wife. Maybe why wife has kept me for 54 years,
 

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It isn't dishonest when it is brought up by the server, there are notices on the menu and you are informed when you make the reservation.

If it was just done without any forewarning - then yeah...they can take a long hike off a short cliff.
So what do you do if the service is sub par? You can not reflect it in a tip. Call the manager and demand they remove the service charge?
 

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Here is a different model. I would think it would build on the team aspect of building a great internal culture. providing good meals, developing good service and a good experience for customers.
14 employees at $15 an hour
$800 bucks a night avg. in tips split evenly among staff.
Based on a 40 hour work week that would break out to $120 per night in wages, $57 a night in tips,$885 per week and $46K per year in total wages. Im guessing that a server may make a little less and the back of the house a little more. As noted it does get everyone on the same page to deliver quality and maximize potential dollars. Customers continue to tip as is the norm and get a good to great experience if the team is in sync. . Its nice to have a great product but having great people is even better.
Portland eatery wins $3,000 grant from the ‘Great American Tip-Off’
 

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So in my business if I advertise/sell a product for the stated price of $100 but then present a bill to the customer for $122, wouldn't that make me a crook?
Pretending you are a good person for offering a product at one price but charging a different price - you are simply a lying cheat.
If you really feel strongly that your employees deserve better (good on you), raise your prices and be honest with your customers.
I agree with the principle, but not with the implementation. Vote with your feet regarding dishonest business practices.
I totally agree. I framed custom homes in Bend and a couple of contracts were around $80,000 (just labor). Somebody will have to calculate that 22% for me. Best I ever got was a couple of free lunches for the crew. Happy to get that and never expected anything.
 

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So what do you do if the service is sub par? You can not reflect it in a tip. Call the manager and demand they remove the service charge?
You have lots options. Just give the same feedback like any other service job where tips are not customary. You can talk to the manager or server and give them that feedback. You can never go back.

Tips do not ensure consistent good service. The manager might reverse the charge or comp a portion of the meal.

I'd be just fine if the expectations of tips went by the wayside. I don't tip retail establishments.
 

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So what do you do if the service is sub par? You can not reflect it in a tip. Call the manager and demand they remove the service charge?
What do you do when you don't like that you didn't get the help you wanted at the big box store? You just don't go back. Maybe send a message to the manager. Maybe post on Yelp. Why does that business model have to be different than any other business model?
 

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What do you do when you don't like that you didn't get the help you wanted at the big box store? You just don't go back. Maybe send a message to the manager. Maybe post on Yelp. Why does that business model have to be different than any other business model?
I've done just that. Ask for the manager, explain the problem with the uninformed or inattentive help, and explain that if it happens again, I won't be back and everyone I speak with will hear about it.
It gets good results. Don't threaten, just explain.
Smart business people WANT to know when they are lacking, and they will thank you for bringing it to their attention.
I've even gotten job offers because I did it.

Managers/owners can't fix things they don't know are wrong/broken.
 

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BTW, smart restaurant owners don't keep waiters/waitresses that consistently complain about lousy tips.
If they've been in business very long, they know what's wrong and why it happens.
 

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If you don't like their policy, frequent another business that has policies you like. If it catches on and you don't have access to a restaurant that you can support, eat at home. Wouldn't take too long at those prices to buy a very sweet grill.
 

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I have never liked tipping (too big a topic to expand on) and as stated in some places it is considered "almost" an insult. Like parts of Europe, New Zeland, and others. But, also in some places you pay extra for a napkin, a glass of water, or bread with the meal. Where tipping is expected I understand why restaurants automatically add a tip requirement for large groups but I don't like it for a small group or individuals. If they want me to return they should provide good service as well as good food....or products. As far as employee income; if they want good employees they have to pay them and that is their problem not mine.
I also have to think that the government(S) have their hands in the pockets of businesses more and more every year. city, County, sate, federal. and every years they ad a different "Fee", or increase the percentage of the "Fee". Like everything else we do for entertainment. Out of control regulators/administrators taking more and more. That's why i quit buying a salmon tag four years ago. I can well afford it. I can well afford to eat out a couple times a week, or more. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth now so home cookin' it is. Well, a Mc Double and fries in the comfort of my own car happens every now and then.
 

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What do you do when you don't like that you didn't get the help you wanted at the big box store? You just don't go back. Maybe send a message to the manager. Maybe post on Yelp. Why does that business model have to be different than any other business model?
I don’t expect a lot of help in a big box store. I expect service in a service environment. I have left a nothing tip and explained it to the server and restaurant. If you are adding a service fee, you MUST ai sure your people are giving great service. Otherwise make a stink.
 

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A lot of people have knee jerk reactions to change. They don’t like it. Including myself.
However , the restaurant industry does need to change. Covid has decimated (sorry dog, ) wrecked havoc, on this industry. Amongst others, they are hurting bad. Needing workers. Maybe this is exactly what is needed to stay open.
I for one would be cool with no tipping and a proportionate rise of menus prices. The lack of incentive for good customer service will just play out differently, like the business will not survive because people won’t tolerate poor service.
I don’t support a surcharge at the end of a receipt though. Been places where they do that and that percentage fluctuates wildly. Just put the prices down like everywhere else and we know what it’s going to cost


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