Double Gratuity: An Ethical Dilemma
Over the weekend I attended a birthday party at a restaurant that shall remain nameless. There were about 20 of us, and the checks were all split – which I’m sure was a nightmare for our server.
Most people know that on large parties gratuity is automatically included. Experienced diners usually look at the ticket before paying. However, some of my fellow partygoers didn’t notice that the tip was already on the bill and tipped twice. That’s a 40 percent tip for our server.
So here is my question to you, readers: Is it ethical for restaurants to accept double gratuity? Should our server have informed us that the tip was included? Or is it the diner’s responsibility to check?
My personal feeling is that servers should always point out if the gratuity is included. Most people don’t tip 40 percent, so I think it’s an obvious error. I debated a friend of mine who is a bar tender, and she holds the very Darwinian opinion that if a person doesn’t look at his or her bill, then they deserve to be overcharged.
So what say you, Weekly readers?