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Thread: 15% service charge or not

  1. #41
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    I agree that we do not like it! Like you said it is the consumer's fault when we do not realize it was added. But it took us 2 yrs of returning to Aruba to realize the add-on charge. We always just took the bill added 20% and then split it with the other couple we travel with. Talk about a double whammy. Not only then did we give a 35% tip - but now most charge cards are charging an additional 3% fee for international charges.

  2. #42
    ash
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    Angela, your original post states you are doing a poll for the restaurants. Here is our opinion to send to them ---

    Put the breakage fees, etc. into the price of the food and stop messing around with the tourists! Let the good folks decide if they want to tip. This is stupid of them to create such a brew haha over something so simple. The 'good' restaurants do this already!!! Those are the ones that are doing well regardless of the # of tourists on the island.

    We don't want to pay a service charge on the meal, including liquor and the BBO and THEN an additional 3% on international charges from the Credit Card companies.

    Thanks for listening

  3. #43
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    As promised, We had our Friday meeting with 28 restaurants and we discussed the 15%. I was told that this is a difficult subject and that removing 15% off the bill at almost all restaurants that do include it would be impossible. Ike Cohen (may he rest in peace) started this many years ago to make sure that all waitstaff is tipped accordingly. By starting this gratuity on the bill, it made the patrons understand that the service was included and divided equally. Throughout the years many restaurants added this to the bill and now the B.B.O too. I believe that if your service was not to standard than the manager should know about it and they would kindly take care of the situation. Many restaurants add the extra % to their menu's and pay their staff accordingly but in a sense you are leaving an extra tip anyway because they do not tell you this info.Many restaurants especially AGA have a standard to meet starting with a strict back and front of the house standard inspections, everything meeting to code, coolers & refrigerators (freezers) at right temperatures & high standards in guest service including classes and special programs. (From the website)AGA is recognized because they are Committed to culinary and service excellence, AGA restaurants make food safety a priority by participating in training programs and inspections with local and international facilitators throughout the year. They are also visited routinely by “mystery shoppers” who evaluate all aspects of the dining experience that you will enjoy.
    Many restaurants add on a service charge which is an amount shared among kitchen and dining room staff.
    Many restaurants make sure that they meet all guest satisfaction, those that don't are well known and will be the ones hurting. The tip is shared amongst the waiter, staff personnel, hostesses, reservation deesk, bartender and it benifits in order to make sure the staff gets the 15 % they worked for and split fairly amongst them. Yes I know you are saying that service may not be at standard at most establishments but as I said recently it should be brought up to manager and let them decide and know that service was not up to par. Many restaurants remove the 15% because they know that the customer is always right and want to make sure that their patron returns happy. I do disagree if the waiter says that it is not added on the bill and I find that it's wrong, many of them try to get away with it and many of them get a warning. Stamping a receipt which says no gratuity while it is on the bill should be brought to everyones attention on this board and also the manager. Believe me some people will do anything to get a few extra bucks and the managers are not aware, but this forum opens eyes and we thank you for keeping up with updates good or bad.
    I will bring up many comments at our next meeting that you shared and get back with you. Great ideas and wonderful people who took the time to express their concerns. Thanks
    Capturing the passion and love of your special day in paradise.
    bellarubaphoto@yahoo.com

  4. #44
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    So just to clarify...does that mean that as far as the AGA is concerned, the policy of automatically adding 15% stays the same?

  5. #45
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    Unfortunately Lisa I have to say Yes to the 15% still on bill. It is not an AGA thing that we can change but a government thing that if one does everyone has to do it; to make that change is drastic not only AGA but all restaurants who have a 15%. Increase in salaries is just the begining of where it would start because as in the U.S they do not make much , they count on the their tips. Those who add the 15% on the food cost still have to pay taxes on it. I hate to say it Lisa but it is a no win situation. I tried my best in all of your interests but as an American I guess I do not know the law that well and don't care to get in over my head.
    Sorry it did not pan out, I hope all of you forum friends undertstand it is unfightable. We are coming in with a special from AGA that I think everyone will like. I will inform everyone on this matter later
    Capturing the passion and love of your special day in paradise.
    bellarubaphoto@yahoo.com

  6. #46
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    We nornally tip anywhere from 15 to twenty five percent depending on the quality of service. When I see a service charge built in, if anything, it inhibits my tipping!

  7. #47
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    El Gaucho and their 15% charge!

    Just read this on restaurantsaruba.com, adds a new dimension to this debate!

    Reviewed By bob apitz, posted on Feb 12, 2009

    Im surprized no one has mentioned that they put a service charge of 15% which a lot of restaurants in Aruba do. Then when the charge is presented for you to sign there is a space for a tip to be added. On two occasions I have crossed out the tip part only to be followed from the table to the reception area where the waiter pleads his case that the management take part of the service charge and therefore an additional tip should be left!So in his mind you should leave between 15to 35 % over and above the bill.If you stand your ground the manager comes over and confirms the waiters plea. I dont buy this scam. They have done this two years in a row--Otherwise the veal chop is very good. Im not going back again to take this abuse.!!!
    happiness is going to Aruba with your adult kids because they still want to come with their parents

  8. #48
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    Do not add the 15%, leave it up to the paying customer! I agree with Mark 100%. We just returned from our first trip to Aruba and I learned about this custom on the forum. I watched the bills for it carefully. Passions charged a 15% service charge. The Westin charged a 17% service charge. Both of their receipts said, ".. service charge is divided among ALL service employees. Additional gratuities are optional but appreciated." Personally, I like the locations which said "no service charge included." They got the bigger tips from me.

  9. #49
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    The 15% SC a rippoff ?, might be ,but it's the policy of the restaurant owners,NOT the employees, the waiters don't mean to insult no one they're just telling the thruth.
    A charge is mandatory, so it can NOT be a tip.
    The Restaurant owners can say whatever they please in order to justify this but logics tell another story.
    Since when is it the prerogative of the Restaurant owners to decide wether a customer should tip or not?
    Tipping is voluntary ,so there's NO obligation in tipping no one if you don't wish to do so.
    This is absolutelly normal,the waiters know very well that they will not receive a tip from everybody.
    Check the"Aruba Experience" magazine on the dinning section,it explains everything abouth this charge.
    I do occationally visit some of our restaurants ,it's not something I can afford all the time but on special occations I do visit some and if the service is great I ussually leave $5.00 to $7.00 on top of my bill regardless of the mandatory 15% SC ,for after all if I can afford to dine in a 5 star restaurant I can afford to leave a 5 star Tip as well.
    But this is my opinion of course.
    Last edited by Cyrilo Croes; 02-17-2009 at 09:48 PM.
    Cyrilo Croes aka "Serry",Taxi service and private Island Tours

  10. #50
    Senior Member SanNic44's Avatar
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    Angela,

    Thank you for taking the time to express many visitors concerns and opinions with the restauranteurs.

    However, I take exception to their explanation. The idea that all staff get tipped "fairly?" Sorry, bad job=bad pay. Who can determine this? The customer. Any other scheme is exactly that, a scheme.

    But, best of luck to all of them. It's their place of business and they are free to operate it as they please.

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

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