Splitting the restaurant bill can be a total pain, as we all know. Tipping can be a tricky part of that, but the “suggested gratuity” you see on your check may be tricking you in a big way.
In theory, it’s a handy guide to know how much to tip if you’re bad at math or just don’t feel like calculating it in your head.
But those who DO depend on it are no doubt grateful for its presence an the ease with which they can now calculate the gratuity without having to do math of any kind.
So even if you find yourself to be a very math-averse person, you might want to at least crunch the numbers on the suggestions, because something nefarious might be going on, causing you to overpay.
You should probably look more closely and see where those numbers are coming from.
If they’re doing what you’re about to read about, it’s a safe bet that less established places are as well.
Now, there’s a lawsuit taking place over the practice, and The Cheesecake Factory might not be the only restaurant chain in trouble.
Essentially, if you split a $100 tab, the two receipts for each $50 share will show the tip amount on the original total, not the split amount.
Most people notice this and are able to work through the confusion to pay the “correct” amount in tip. But some people have realized that they’ve been paying way more than their share based on these tables.
That’s the crux of the lawsuit facing the chain.
It’s based on the total with tax included.
Most restaurants calculate the amount using the pre-tax subtotal.
To be honest, if you don’t know by now how much you should tip on $40 or $20 or $60…how did you make it this far in life?
But, it’s a form of compensation nonetheless, and even though Cheesecake Factory doesn’t see the money directly, some believe they’re responsible for making sure their guidance and suggestions are on the up-and-up.
Tipping is a controversial and contested issue in the best of times. This is likely to get the blood flowing by people in food service and diners alike.
We’ll see how the case goes!
But as you can see, even if it’s controversial, some restaurants that adopt a “no-tipping” policy tend to go right back to the usual operation when customers get confused.
It certainly doesn’t seem so. We definitely can’t agree on amounts, so any widespread policy might alienate customers.
You might agree or you might not, but the points are well-argued. Many think it’s just wrong to put servers’ wages in the hands of customers rather than employers.
Until then, its seems like servers will be acting like Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire, always relying on the kindness of strangers.
It’s not a perfect system, but it’s the one we have, and it doesn’t appear that it’s going anywhere anytime soon.
Even if many feel it should go straight in the trash.