August 16, 2006

Applebee’s, Atrocious Food, and Automatic Gratuities

Posted in Food, Personal at 11:26 pm by Calico Jack

Last night I went out with a large group of co-workers to our local Applebee’s. The company was great, but our experience at the restaurant wasn’t very good. After the waiter took our orders, it took a long time for the food to arrive, especially considering that the restaurant was only half-full.

I had ordered a bacon cheeseburger, but it definitely wasn’t worth the $6.99 that I paid. The bun was soggy, the hamburger patty was lukewarm, and the bacon was limp. My friend Nicole had the fiesta nachos platter, but when it arrived the melted cheese was caked over, as if the dish had been sitting out for a long time. And others had problems with their food too.

After all of us received our entrees (at the same time, which might be part of the reason why quite a few of us had crappy food), the waiter left and didn’t come back once to see how we were enjoying our food. Nicole became so disgusted with her platter that she had to flag down a passing server, because our waiter was nowhere to be seen. The server apologized and promised to return with another fresh platter of nachos, but she had to wait a while as the rest of us finished our meals.

Two minutes after the server went into the back room to tell the cook to make another platter, our waiter magically reappeared and asked us how we were enjoying our food. He said, “I heard that you guys were having problems with your food. I’m very sorry, and I promise we’ll get you fresh food right away.” I almost laughed out loud, because he had done nothing to help us out. He hadn’t bothered to check on us, and a different server had already gone into the back to fix the problem.

When all of us had finished eating, we were handed our bills. There were nine of us at the table, but three sets of couples who combined meals. However, because we were a party of nine, Applebee’s had added a 15% automatic gratuity onto each of our bills. And they helpfully provided an extra space if we wished to tip more than we had already been charged.

Now, I know that this is standard practice for restaurants in dealing with larger parties, but it still irritates me to no end. I wouldn’t mind the assumption that I owe the waiter 15% if the food had been good and the service decent, but they were neither. Why should I be required to pay a certain percentage for a bad experience at a restaurant?

Are tips not supposed to be an appreciation for quality service? I always thought that tips were dependant on the generosity of the customer. They are not mandatory; they are optional (although expected in certain situations.) For those who work in customer service industries, they should go above and beyond the minimum if they want a larger tip. And just as people are more likely to give a larger tip if the service is extraordinary, they should be able to tip less if they are displeased. Applebee’s gave us the ability to be more generous, but no matter how lousy the service was we were still going to have to pay a flat rate of 15% — standard for restaurant tipping, but only under the assumption that the service was normal; and ours most definitely was not. Short of calling a manager and becoming nuisances, there was nothing we could do.

Our culture has become so self-important that tip jars are sprouting up in the most unlikely of places. They are ubiquitous at coffee shops, although I’m of mixed mind on this. I pay a lot for a Starbucks Java Chip Frappuccino as it is, and throwing in another dollar or so can be a fifth or more of the cost of the drink. And it isn’t like the baristas are paid horribly, that they depend on their tips for income. However, I would feel guilty about not leaving a tip after the barista spent a minute or so mixing my drink, so I usually just throw my change into the tip jar. It makes my coffee awfully expensive, though.

However, I have now seen tip jars at everything from bookstores to gas stations. I’m sorry, but selling items in a store to a customer doesn’t warrant a tip from anyone. Employees should expect tips for providing exceptional service, not for merely fulfilling their job functions. And I would be more likely to give a tip at a store if I’m pleasantly surprised with the attention paid to me, a customer. However, to think that I’m going to leave money in the jar just because the person behind the counter rings up my book and puts it in a bag is ridiculous. However, if they help me find a book that I’m looking for, or go out of their way to assist me, then I’d be more willing to leave something if they had a tip jar out.

I’m not anti-tipping — not at all. In fact, I’m a pretty generous tipper normally. I give a good tip to my hair stylist, although I don’t understand that practice whatsoever. I mean, if I’m paying sixteen bucks for a haircut, and she’s given me exactly what I paid for, why do I give her an extra three bucks? Still, I never fail to do it. I always leave my change at coffee shops, and I give anywhere between 15-20% at restaurants — even more if the service is excellent. What I am against is being forced to pay a gratuity, even though the food was poor and the service lazy. Automatic gratuities, although meant to protect waiters against stingy patrons, completely go against the point of tipping in the first place. It’s a voluntary apprecation for good service. Our waiter didn’t even say “Thank you” as he took our bills…and why should he? He’s guaranteed a decent tip no matter what he does.

It’s time to stand up against automatic gratuities. Adding to the cost of the food would be more honest than getting a bill and seeing an extra 15% added on without your consent. I don’t care if it’s meant to ensure that waiters get a decent wage; removing mandatory tipping would simply encourage waiters to provide excellent service to their patrons. Being a waiter or waitress isn’t without risk; there’s always the chance that they will run into a patron who simply refuses to leave a tip. But if they consistently provide good service, the tips they receive should more than make up for the times when they get stiffed.

And for the record, we won’t be eating at Applebee’s anymore. They just lost nine customers.

Edit: I think I was a bit unclear about my disgruntlement with Applebee’s. I didn’t mean to say that I’m putting a ban on them for life, only that my coworkers and I won’t be eating there anymore as a group. Every Tuesday, we go out for dinner after work, but we’ve decided to patronize other restaurants. A few weeks ago we went to Outback Steakhouse and had excellent service from our waitress; and she received a large tip from us as a result. With so many restaurant options available, we just don’t see ourselves coming back when we have better food and service at other places.

And I’m more than willing to go to a different Applebee’s; I would just prefer not to eat at that particular restaurant again. It isn’t a hard and fast rule, though; if I am invited to dinner with a group I’ll come. But it won’t be my first choice.


Captain Morgan adds: I go to Applebee’s a few times a month, and have never had bad service. Or bad food. While I don’t discredit your experience, I hardly think one bad time is worth a lifetime of self-banning.

And also… stylist? That’s the gayest thing you’ve ever said. I’ve been going to a barber, the same one in fact, since I was 10. And up until last month, he’s always charged $9.50. Now he’s up to $10.50, but that’s still better than $16. And I’ve never tipped him. Probably never will.


Edward Teach adds: Tipping of the hair stylist is entirely dependant upon the type of establishment. In a shop where the person cutting hair is the owner, tipping is unnecessary, since all the income is his alone. In a chain hair salon or a salon with multiple stylists, often stylists are paid a smaller flat rate and use tips to bring their income closer to a decent wage much like a waiter would. This is where you would tip.

On Applebee’s, I agree that one negative experience hardly qualifies a life banning. Also, it sounds like a situation where a manager should have been discreetly contacted. That is why they are there, to ensure good service and quality. Talking to a manager can be done without becoming a nuisance.


  1. vargas said,

    I’ve gone to Applebees in the past a few times and I’ve noticed the slow service as well. Maybe it’s a problem with the chain?

  2. Jane Doe said,

    “I wouldn’t mind the assumption that I owe the waiter 15% if the food had been good.”

    Since WHEN does the food being “GOOD” have to do with “SERVICE”, unless the food was cold due to the server forgetting about your food?

    “They are not mandatory; they are optional (although expected in certain situations.)”

    This is where you don’t know it’s the LAW, when a menu states “Automatic gratuity is added to paries of x or more.” Some restaurants even have went as low as only 5 people in a party to add automatic gratuity. So if you don’t pay it, you would be in trouble with the law. That is the ONLY way it’s mandatory. If you have a smaller party that automatic gratuity is NOT added to, then NO, it’s NOT “Mandatory.” In this case, it is VERY MUCH MANDATORY. You don’t like it, DON’T eat there. READ YOUR MENU CAREFULLY NEXT TIME!

    “I had ordered a bacon cheeseburger, but it definitely wasn’t worth the $6.99 that I paid. The bun was soggy, the hamburger patty was lukewarm, and the bacon was limp.”

    Honestly, this could be the “COOK’S” fault if the server took the food as SOON as it was done to your table. HOW does the server have control over a “SOGGY” bun? TELL ME THAT? What the heck that has to do with the “SERVICE” is beyond me?

    “Adding to the cost of the food would be more honest than getting a bill and seeing an extra 15% added on without your consent.”

    READ YOUR MENU NEXT TIME! On menus, even though I hardly EVER go out to eat with a larger group than 2, I have NOTICED the automatic gratuity on the menus. READ YOUR MENU, because it SHOULD STATE “HOW MANY PEOPLE” you can have before you reach that point that they add automatic gratuity to your bill. IT’S NOT WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT UNLESS IT’S NOT STATED ON THE MENU!

    “Why should I be required to pay a certain percentage for a bad experience at a restaurant?”

    I AGREE COMPLETELY, but when you go to a restaurant with a large group, that’s the CONSEQUENCES you have to deal with. READ YOUR MENU!

    “it took a long time for the food to arrive”

    Think about 9 people’s orders having to be cooked, plus, if it was packed, think about how LONG it takes to cook 9 entrees. Big parties usually take a LONG time to get your food. Think of how many more entrees they got to make than if you are just dining with one or 2 other people than yourself. I’ve waited normally 25-35 minutes just between my husband and myself for entrees. I think you should think about HOW MANY PEOPLE there are in the restaurant and HOW MANY people are at your table, BEFORE you talk about “It took a long time”, well 9 people, what do you expect? Can you think of let’s say 2-3 cooks making entrees for 9 of y’all plus a packed restaurant. Also, maybe one of those people got steak and you got that sandwich, so they may have timed things off a bit to get the ALL the food out at the SAME EXACT TIME. So think hard about these things. IT’S THE TRUTH!

  3. chasz said,

    I’ve been to Applebees and will never go back the service was good but the food I didn’t like. There seems to be an issue of you tipping more than the food or service and if you don’t like to tipp stay home and don’t go out, you ignorant piece of trash. The audacity you have to complain on the net and you probably never said a word to the manager cause your too chicken people like you hide behind a wall and make life rough for those who get out and try. I am a very successful in my Profession I’m out all the time and see people like you everywhere your filth and you discuss me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. […] It’s always fun to realize just how strongly some people react to innocuous things. Today, a reader named “Chasz” wrote a comment about my experience with Applebee’s a few weeks ago. I was a bit disgruntled that I had to pay a 15% automatic gratuity, even though the service was lousy and the food terrible. I explained in some detail the reasons for my unhappiness, and I was careful to point out that I am not against tipping at all — but I believe that tipping should come as a result of good service, and not be automatically added on to my bill. Although I was a bit firm, I also tried to be fair. So let’s take a look at Chasz’s comment, shall we? I’ve been to Applebees and will never go back the service was good but the food I didn’t like. There seems to be an issue of you tipping more than the food or service and if you don’t like to tipp stay home and don’t go out, you ignorant piece of trash. The audacity you have to complain on the net and you probably never said a word to the manager cause your too chicken people like you hide behind a wall and make life rough for those who get out and try. I am a very successful in my Profession I’m out all the time and see people like you everywhere your filth and you discuss me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! […]

  5. tipping them selves said,

    I had ate at a local applesbees the other day. And left a cash tip and paid for the meal with my credit card. After a couple of days I had noticed that the amounts were different on my bank account then the receipt. I had called the local store and the corp. office and no one will do any thing about the fact that a waitress decided to double tip them selves. I keep gettign the run around.

  6. Jane Doe said,

    tipping them selves:
    “I keep gettign the run around.”

    DID you sign the credit card receipt and total it? For instance, if you left $5 on $20, did you actually fill out the credit card receipt and total it as well as SIGNED it?

    Did you have more than so many to a party? If so, read the menu next time. Menus have to state if so many to party like I’ve even seen 5 or more or added *AUTOMATIC GRATUITY* to the check. I had that happen one time in 1999, when I NEVER heard of that as I was 22 yrs old, now I’m 29yrs old, and I realize that the MENU states automatic gratuity of huge parties, which the owner of restaurant decides HOW MANY to a party to add automatic gratuity for. I have been knowing about that for years, but NEVER had to pay that. I WASN’T being a RESPONSIBLE ADULT ABOUT, because I had not gone a lot to KNOW or realize about it or bother to read the menu as I SHOULD have done. If you are TOO STUPID to see that WHO’S FAULT IS THAT REALLY? It”s YOURS! I was STUPID NOT to read the menu BEFORE HAND. My advice, READ YOUR MENU! I’ve noticed automatic gratuity on menus and 99% of the time, I NEVER get that, because I have a party of less than 5 normally. I MOST of the time have my husband and I.

    If you don’t fill out your credit card receipt, even if it’s $0.00, because either bad service or someone else is paying the tip as well as SIGN the credit card receipt, YOU DESERVE the extra charge! PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST THEFT YOU IDIOT! TAKE SOME *********SELF RESPONSIBLITY************** DUMBASS! Fill out EVERY LINE NO MATTER HO MUCH YOU LEAVE! READ YOUR MENUS CAREFULLY if you have a LARGE PARTY, because they WILL ADD AUTOMATIC GRATUITY just as they did to me with my nursing school lunch group in 1999, when I was only 22 yrs old. Did I complain? HELL NO, I KNEW that because we were a LARGE group, that I’d probably get that. Did I add any? HELL NO! The service wasn’t that good, if it was though, I would have.

  7. Jane doe is smart said,

    clearly, you are a moron. i think you might need to get your computer fixed, because your shift key seems to be capitalizing words when there is no need to. it has nothing to do with automatic gratuity, he is saying that the waitress wrote in her tip, because he didnt sign it and total the bill. THE waitRESS basically stole from HIM. stop commenting, and go out to dinner with your 3 friends in the world. as for your first comment, he exactly said the food was bad due to it sitting somewhere for a while and the waiter clearly forgetting about it— the soggy burger and the cracked over nacho cheese. bacon doesnt go limp, buns dont get soggy, and burgers dont become lukewarm on the way to a “TABLE” right after the cook is done with it. the fact that the restaurant is packed has nothing to do with his food sitting somewhere getting cold. next time you decide to try to make someone look dumb, make sure that you have an IQ of more than 60 then.

  8. marilyn said,

    There were 6 of us at a restaurant last night and we were charged l5% gratuity. I resent being forced to pay this and I also resent the free ride that restaurants are getting by not paying their employees a livable wage. They raise the price of their food and we have to pay the wages of their employees. I find this grossly unfair and this has been troubling me for a long time.

  9. Chief said,

    I am just curious as to if any of you who commented have ever worked in a restaurant?

  10. Kelly said,

    Hey, I work in a restaurant as a server. I know you guys hate haivng gratuity added to your check–and believe it or not, most servers hate adding a 15%-18% gratuity to your check. We know it offends you and that we potentially could have gotten a 20% tip but now because you are mad, our good service doesn’t matter anymore and you are going to only leave us 15-18%. why do we do it? .. because of people who hate to tip, or think that even though the bill is $300, and the tip should be $45-$60, that is WAY too much money, we didn’t earn that much etc. .. so we do it to protect ourselves! Do you know how many times i’ve had a huge check that I then only got a 10% tip on (of course preceded by a verbal tip: ” You were the BEST server we’ve ever had! We appreciate your service so much! “)… enough to warrent taking a potential 2% hit on my tip because it ensures I get paid for the work I do.

    How would you feel if every day you went in to work, your boss paid you differently depending on how many emails you had to read/send, how many copies you made, if his coffee tasted right.. or if he was just in a plain bad mood??? What if you thought you were making $3,000 a month, but because taxes were due soon, or you were just getting your christmas receipts, that he docked your pay–not because of anything you did, but just because he’s feeling the pinch more?

    .. think about that next time you want to tip less–and I dont really care what you say about the fact that you tip usually 15-20%, sometimes 25%–the exact people that brag about what great tippers they are are usually the worst..

  11. Trish said,

    Here’s the thing:

    Being a server:
    I agree that tipping should NOT be expected, however, when you receive exemplary service and you feel your server went out of his or her own way to make your dining experience enjoyable, THen you should leave a tip. (Most people do) NOw,
    because it’s become expected by servers to receive tips, other people in the restaurant such as the bartenders and kitchen staff demand a portion of it. Since they contributed to the diner’s experience by preparing food or drink, they (in most cases) are now automatically given a cut of the server’s tips after every shift. SO
    When you tip a server, 1% of their sales for the entire night goes to the bartender ($10 on $1000 sales), 2% to the kitchen staff, and 1% to bussers and hostesses also. And this all comes out of the server’s tips at the end of their shift. So if you only tip 10%, they are potentially walking away with 6% at the end of the day.

    With regard to the automatic gratuity on large parties, it is to protect the server and ensure they make enough to end up tipping out the kitchen staff and whoever else helped them with that meal. Many times in a large party, people throw in what “they think they owe” and often barely covers the bill and is sometimes short. The automatic 15% is just a security measure.
    At the place I work, I always ask the party first…and usually if it is a party of 20 or more…It is up to the customer. Most don’t have a problem with it, and those that do, I would ask that you realize that the server who helped you out will not be pocketing all of it and since they only make minimum wage, to just go easy on them.

  12. Joe said,

    Good supporting arguements, but the restaurant industry is difficult work. Have any of you worked in one? Yes, there are exceptionally poor servers, but there are great one too.

  13. ray andrew said,

    So here’s the deal, I’m a college student working in the restaurant industry using it as my main source of income to pay off my tuition and costs of living. As everyone earlier stated somehow above, that good and excellent service should be expected—so should a tip of 15-25%.

    Look, in the state of AZ the average server gets an hourly wage of a little over 3 dollars an hour. YEAH 3 DOLLARS. So lets do some quick math for those who like to complain about auto grad on large parties. At an average 5-6 hour shift for a server your base pay for coming in is 3X6= 18! Dollars.(Not including that we get TAXED on it!) Now a party of 6 or more could easily tally a bill 4 times that amount. So when that auto grad gets slapped on that tab, its for those reasons of ensuring that at the end of a given night, we as servers can walk with more than $20 dollars!

    People need to open their eyes when they come out to eat and realize that when they step out that door either by themselves, with family, or friends, be ready to TIP. Its not that hard. TIPPING CAN MAKE OR BREAK ANY SERVER’S DAY

    And if there is a problem with the food service, request that manager to fix the problem and to deduct certain items from your bill. If the food quality was awful, make the restaurant pay for it. Its a better way of compensation to pull from a large chain industry, than from the pocket of your server.

    Truly it takes a lot of skill and patience to be a server, so on behalf of those in the industry, try not to make assumptions on how easy it is or how we shouldn’t be tipped. Just think KARMA.

    “What comes around, goes around”

  14. Roger said,

    My girlfriend and I ate at Applebees the other day, The Sevice was worth a tip, I left 20% tip on the table, and totalled the bill, didn’t leave an extra tip, and paid with credit card, I notice that on my credit it shows an extra 4.75
    This is rip off

  15. Keith said,

    I stumbled on to your page accidentally and did not read the other comments so forgive me if I steal another’s thoughts. I don’t pretend to know exactly how your situation was handled or if you considered all aspects of the server’s faults, i.e. the restaurant was half full but he had 8 tables because everyone else was cut which is why he wasn’t as attentive as you would have liked, or they work on a buddy system that allows one person to multi-task and more people to be served better, that may have just fallen through on your table, but I would like to point out one thing, the auto gratuity is there to protect servers. You obviously have never worked as a server and do not realize how many times we get stiffed or 10%-ed when we give outstanding service. Especially on parties because people tend to be big spenders in front of friends and clam up financially when the bill hits the table. A tip is not optional it is mandatory. We do not go to work in that stressful of an environment because we enjoy burning our hands on hot plates. We do it for money. If something falls short in your business you still get paid the same amount be it salary or by the hour, the server does not. You can argue the “thats your line of business so get out if you don’t like it” side but capitalism is there to protect us from that. Where I’m from KFC has horrible service and long ticket times but their food is so good that I keep coming back and paying the price they ask for. You do not get to choose just because you happen to have a slave for an hour and a half whether or not you get to pay less than is expected. Just remember that when you are getting served the person doing it is making next to nothing so that the $6.99 burger can be $6.99 and not $10.99 to cover the restaurant’s overhead. You not only get a reduced price but also better care and all you have to do is tip 20% (thats $1.40 if you don’t have a calculator handy) and that my friend is a deal, regardless of one bad time. One last point, you were irritated that you had to pay the gratuity event though the party was split up. Most groups split checks and they back up a server for 5 minutes because of the time it takes to get it processed, hell maybe thats why your server wasn’t able to check on you, he was splitting and cashing out another 9-top when they could have just as easily paid together, with credit or cash.

  16. naisioxerloro said,

    Good design, who make it?

  17. KC said,

    I think that the raging read the menu people are servers or are former servers of the industry. I worked in this environment before as well and I know where they are coming from. However, I have noticed that once this extra charge is add the servers no longer care and do the minimum it takes to get the table out of the door and most times with taste of bad service in their mouth. I have been on both sides of this. That being said, the “Automatic Gratuity” is just another charge, and if you are very unhappy with the service or lack thereof, request a manager and you can explain the situation and the manager is usually more than happy to wave this additional charge and give you the ability to leave what you feel is just, in accordance with the situation.

  18. Mac said,

    For all you people complaining that “servers only make $3.00 so tip me more so I can make a decent living”….get salary job that pays a steady rate. Just as patrons eating a restaraunt should expect to tip, PROVIDED that the service was at least satisfactory….waiters should walk into work every day knowing FULL well that, in their industry, their earnings aren’t guarenteed. I had the same situation where an 18% gratituity was added when all that our server desreved was a swift kick in the ass. Why should I have to pay a GRATUITY when I was not greatful for anything that night? So we didnt we ony signed the receipt for the amount of our meal. When my bank statement showed that I had been charged the full amount, I went back to the restaunt, spoke with the manager, and explained to him how terribly the night had gone. I actually got that server fired…and I got my 12 bucks back.

    And just for the record….I was a server for 5 years. I never once EXPECTED a tip. It’s called a TIP for a reason…it’s when the server goes above and beyond their JOB. I was a damn good server and my tips reflected that. Days that I was out of the groove, my tips showed it but I knew that I’d received what I deserved.

    If you expect to make a GUARENTEED “decent” living….get an education, get a real job…and stop working in an industry thats full of chance.

  19. TeliMilmenO said,


  20. Kyle said,

    Before I comment, I would just like to say that there is no need to be condescending, rude, or coy, with your comments. Disagreement is what makes us human, but we can, at the same time, conduct ourselves with tact and respect. My opinion is no better than yours, and resorting to petty name-calling is the hallmark of someone who is speaking from a position of ignorance. In my experience, those who choose to conduct themselves in this fashion usually have nothing productive to contribute, and ultimately it is those who have an unjustified opinion.

    For the most part, I agree with Jack’s original post. I have worked in the restaurant industry for the better part of the last ten years. And as far as the poor service goes, there is absolutely no excuse for it. As a general manager of an Applebee’s, if I ever found out that one of my servers conducted himself in the way that Jack’s server did, I would consider swift and severe consequences. There are simply too many other options available to potential customers, and the loss of nine dissatisfied guests equates to a loss of about $2,500 annually. And that’s assuming the party of nine only visits once a month. A loss of a weekly party of that size is a serious blow to that particular store, no matter how you slice it.

    The server needs to be dealt with. It sounds like the server was either inept or simply didn’t care. Either way, it speaks volumes about the management staff.

    As far as the gratuity goes, once I was able to cut through all of the crass comments, I generally agreed with them. Gratuity is in place to protect the server. This does not give the server, however, the right to wholly neglect the table. And disregarding the table all together is completely unacceptable.

    I don’t blame you for being upset that you were required to pay for service you didn’t receive. In most cases, once the guests are informed of the gratuity they happily agree to it. After all, it is a standard across the industry. But, if the server didn’t earn that 15%, he is in no way entitled to it. I would, in a heart beat, take that 15% away from the server if it meant the difference between losing and not losing a weekly party of nine. He will be upset, but it is a small price to pay. Furthermore, if you didn’t earn it, why should you expect to receive it? Customer service drives the restaurant industry, and servers know this. If you give bad service you’ll get a bad tip, but give great service and not only will you score this tip, you’ll get the tip again next week, and the next, and the next. It is win/win for everyone and again, the servers know this. I don’t blame you for not going back, I wouldn’t.

    However, it most likely was not the servers fault that the food was unacceptable. Back in the kitchen, all the server does is grab it from the expediting line and bring it to the table. The fact that the burger was soggy and cold, and the nachos were old speaks to the kitchen staff. Which again speaks volumes about the management staff. Perhaps that store needs an overhaul, and if it were me, I’d start from the top down.

  21. Ashley said,

    If you’ve never had to wait tables to pay the bills then you don’t know what it’s like to have to wait on people hand and foot. Servers have bills to pay just like you do. Get over yourself, it’s not all about you.

  22. Travis said,

    I have worked in the restaurant industry for a while and because of this I believe leaving a gratuity is important. on the other hand a server is employed by the restaurant and not the customer. It is the responsibility of the owner that the staff are doing their jobs and being compensated accoringly, this is never the case but this is also not the customers fault. It is the servers choice to work there and provide a level of service. If that service level is not met then it should be the right of the customer to not to pay as much. In many countries the cost on the menu includes the tip therefore it is even nesacarry to leave a tip. If a server is not making what they think they should be making maybe they should be looking at the service they provide or the type of establishment they r working in. I know several servers that make 200 to 300 per shift on a bad night. It was their choice n wher to work and to put themselves in a position to deserve the tips they receive. If a restaurant wants to be sure their staff makes enough money just include it in the price of their food and pay their servers accordingly. Dont force the customer to pay.

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  31. george puckett said,

    You can also just cross out the auto-gratuity and write in the actual total on the bill. They can’t charge you more than you agree to pay with your signature. Unless you’re paying cash, in which case just leave the amount of cash plus tip you think is deserved and cross out the auto-gratuity.

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