dulcius ex asperis (everlastingnow) wrote in bad_service,
dulcius ex asperis
everlastingnow
bad_service

Auto-gratuity

My boyfriend and I went to a local comedy club. I had bought two dinner+show packages online. The packages are supposed to be a slightly better deal ($27 includes $15 ticket and $14 credit at the restaurant). The service was below average and the food wasn't spectacular.

We got the check and the waiter helpfully informed us that an automatic gratuity of 15% was added to the bill. This is where the service seemed to fail. The ticket site didn't say anything about an auto-grat for a party of two and nothing was mentioned on the menu or the restaurant's site. We should have been informed earlier. I'm not specifically blaming the waiter, but the establishment as a whole should do a better job of telling customers about, as my boyfriend put it, "surprise butt sex forced tipping". It seems all the packages bought online, even if it's one person by herself, are treated to an auto-grat charge.

I wasn't too annoyed about this yet because, hey, I would have tipped more if they hadn't forced me to tip despite the shabby service. Then I looked over the check and the 15% included the price of the tickets. Why would the waiter get a tip for the tickets? He wouldn't be serving us during the show. We ask him (as politely as possible) why we were forced to tip based on the ticket purchase. He stammered something about how that's how they've always done it and they split the tips with the bar staff. That means I'm forced to tip a bartender who may not even make me a drink! (I understand this is a somewhat standard practice, but less than a year ago with the same dinner+show package, I tipped the bar staff separately. The server made it sound like the gratuity on the tickets was meant to cover the bar staff's share. I should have made this clearer.) I've gone to this club for a few years and this was the first time I've encountered this policy.

I e-mailed management, but I've also read that management handles complaints with a bitchy attitude that would make an IHOP manager look like Mother Theresa.
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