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Thread: 15% service charge or not

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    15% service charge or not

    Was wondering on thoughts about the 15% gratuity on the bill.
    Would you be happier with or without the 15% added onto your bill.
    How many of you leave an extra tip if service is good.
    I am doing a poll for restaurants.
    Thanks for your answers.
    Capturing the passion and love of your special day in paradise.
    bellarubaphoto@yahoo.com

  2. #2
    Senior Member SanNic44's Avatar
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    One more time... I get to bloviate on this subject.

    Just my humble opinion...

    ... I consider the 15% "service charge" to be nothing less than a RIPOFF and an INSULT. It is twice as a insulting when the waiter says, that the "service charge" is not a "gratuity."

    FURTHERMORE, dining out in Aruba is not exactly cheap. Yes, I know all the food is shipped in, on and on and on. Then adding another 15% to the bill is really sticking it to the diner. Many first time visitors to Aruba simply look at the bottom line on the bill then add a "tip." Only later do they realize their error. Sure, this is their fault for not clearly examining the bill. That said, this is a "GAME" the restaurants have learned to play and they play it well.

    I've heard all the stories about restaurant owners keeping a portion of the 15% and that it doesn't get "spread around" properly, on and on and on and on. SPARE ME. How things work behind the scenes at a restaurant is not the customer's problem. Wait staff should go on strike like the airport workers are considering; ask for 25%, you might get it. Of course, you won't have any customers, but you'll have your raise.

    The price of having food delivered from the kitchen to the table should be included in the price stated on the menu. A gratuity is exactly that: something extra for high-quality service. It is not an AUTOMATIC, EXPECTED, or otherwise instant transfer of funds. And I'm fair to generous when it comes to tipping. HOWEVER, when I see that 15%, I'll be lucky to leave one guilder and lately have been AVOIDING restaurants I know do this.

    So, if you're doing a survey for some restaurants tell them to get into step with the rest of the world and stop ripping me off. Some places have entrees exceeding $45, many are over $30. Plus 15%, plus a tip, plus how much more do you want?

    Finally, at those friendly Colombian joints I like, the wait staff is used to getting very small tips if any at all. The service at the ones I go to is very good and especially friendly and I often go up to 20%. One nice lady tried to give me the money back because she thought I made a mistake. I told her to keep it, and if for no other reason, the bold honesty on her part deserved a reward.

    Just my opinion above and may be worth absolutely nothing. See you in the NON-15% clip joints.
    Aruba's Novelist in Residence (sometimes)
    http://www.bentpage.wordpress.com/

  3. #3
    Senior Member EHampite's Avatar
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    Well said, 44. I whole-heartedly agree.

  4. #4
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    I agree with Daniel in much of his statements.
    I am not concerned about the high prices in the restaurants though.
    It is a free market and if they go too high, they go out of business and we always have a free choice.
    Normally I "over tip", but if a restaurant adds the 15% automatically, I will never leave any tip as a principle. Like Daniel, I feel that I am being ripped off or at least they are trying to rip me off.
    So the restaurants result from me = less tip and a unhappy customer.

    Carsten

  5. #5
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    If there is 15% added to our bill, we do not tip! I agree with everything said below. Even if our wait staff is wonderful, we are not giving more than the 15% on principle. Sorry to say that.
    happiness is going to Aruba with your adult kids because they still want to come with their parents

  6. #6
    Senior Member ~Amy~'s Avatar
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    We tip 15%-20% at home. If the service is really incredible and the restaurant is already charging 15% we will sometimes throw in an extra 5% but that's it.

    I know some restaurants in South Beach (FL) also add the 15% onto your bill but the bill also states that you can deduct all or any portion of it. We've had such bad service at some restaurants there that we have deducted most of it. But at least we are given the option and are not "forced" to pay it.

    All in all, I don't like being "forced" to pay the 15% and would prefer that it be eliminated.
    ~Amy~ - 35th trip to Aruba: New Years Eve 2017/2018 -- Zihuatanejo, MX: March 2018 -- Ireland: June/July 2018 -- 36th trip to Aruba: Sept. 2018




  7. #7
    Senior Member SanNic44's Avatar
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    Amy,

    Wait a minute... you're saying that in South Beach, FL they "add" 15% to the bill then "offer" to "allow" you to take remove some or all of it?

    Do I have that correct?

    That brings new meaning (emphasis) to the term CLIP JOINT.

    I think I'll just cook at home. Anybody want some pork chops soaked in soy, garlic, and burned on the grill? Let me know. No 15% service charge but you have to listen to me for 2 hours and it may be more fun/less painful, to just pay the 15% and go home sane.

    Wow. What planet did I drop in on here?

    44
    Aruba's Novelist in Residence (sometimes)
    http://www.bentpage.wordpress.com/

  8. #8
    Senior Member ~Amy~'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanNic44 View Post
    Amy,

    Wait a minute... you're saying that in South Beach, FL they "add" 15% to the bill then "offer" to "allow" you to take remove some or all of it?

    Do I have that correct?
    That is correct. And the service in South Beach is either excellent or really, really awful (nothing in the middle) so we've subtracted alot of 15% charges from our bills over the years.

    Please set two extra plates at your table for us....we'll be over!!
    ~Amy~ - 35th trip to Aruba: New Years Eve 2017/2018 -- Zihuatanejo, MX: March 2018 -- Ireland: June/July 2018 -- 36th trip to Aruba: Sept. 2018




  9. #9
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    Keep it coming

    kEEP IT COMING, I have till Friday to show 35 restaurants the opinion on service charge. Hey I hear all of you as I am an american myself and don't jump all over me, I'm trying to solve it the proper way and that is through what guests have to say. Maybe we can make a turning point if we have enough votes.
    Well have a great Sunday and enjoy SUPERBOWL.
    Capturing the passion and love of your special day in paradise.
    bellarubaphoto@yahoo.com

  10. #10
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Do some countries, or locations, such as Miami, add the customary 15% gratuity because it is the main source of income for the server?

    Is it customary in all countries that a server be left a gratuity if it is not added to their bill?

    If the customer does not leave a gratuity, is the server working for free?

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