The polite staff greeted us and sat us by the window. The AC froze me, but the restaurant had a really nice atmosphere. From where we were sitting, I could see another section of the restaurant (the place was shaped in a L shape) with blue-teal lit walls with a wave decor on the wall which made it look very cool.
We had a Groupon for $20 (which I paid $11 for). We ordered the Mixed Platter $10 which was much larger than I expected to the point that I became a bit full after sharing the dish with Sheepie. It was delicious. I really like the dish and the variety.
Everything was going so well. The service was great, the food was delicious, the restaurant was very comfortable. Then came the payment. Our server dropped off the bill saying she would be right back with the transaction machine. As I picked up and glanced at the bill, the next staff was right there ready for my card. I knew that the total was around $30. Since I was happy with everything, I gave her $4.50 in tip.
After all that, I felt something wasn’t right. The math didn’t add up. I checked the bill, this time looking at it closely and found out that they had put in the gratuity of 15% already into the bill. I am aware that some places add the tip when there are groups of more than 6 or 8, but have never been to a restaurant where they added it for just 2 people. Is it because it was a Groupon deal? Is it because many people calculate the tip based on the discounted total and so the servers are losing out on their tips? So I ended up paying close to $10 tip on a $28 bill!! So the Groupon deal was a bit pointless.
*Edited* So, after ranting on about that, thanks to a nice reader, Dick pointed out to me that it was written in the fine print. Oh…ok, I guess it’s my fault then, but at least they could have just mentioned it as it isn’t usual. I still wonder if we didn’t have good service or food? Would we have to argue with the staff to reduce or take it off? I have read of reviews where people were pretty much forced into paying a tip for really poor service. That doesn’t make sense. I believe tips are earned, not required.
Now I don’t really want to get into a heated debate, but Sheepie and I both come from countries that don’t have tip because it’s not part of the culture or the servers are paid well by the employees. I also have worked in all retail, fast-food and restaurants. Working in a fast-food is as busy and hectic as working at a sit-down restaurant, most often times requiring one to have multiple responsibilities/positions, yet there were no tips. Retail was the same, no matter how hard one worked, tips were zero. It depended on the restaurant, but some places would pool the tip so that when I worked in the kitchen, I got a small portion. Other places, only the front-end servers did. They were all minimum wage except when I got a raise from the employer.
I sometimes feel the tipping system is unfair but since it’s there, I guess it’s there to stay. I do tip according to the service received and am well aware for gratuities to be added to large groups. I guess with all this voucher deals these days, it does screw up the tip system as most could easily tip on the total after the discount, resulting in only a small tip.
Anyways, I think I’ll stop my rant now So the food and service was really good. Lesson learned – always read the fine print!!