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Thread: Service Charge at Restaurants

  1. #1
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    Service Charge at Restaurants

    I have observed that most restaurants in Aruba add on a 15% service charge to your bill. Does that mean tipping is optional? If I am not too happy with the service, can I not tip?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Jacki's Avatar
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    Tipping

    Some great answers with links to other pages of info
    Jacki ~ loving Aruba from NJ

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    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Short answer...
    if the 15% is added to the bill, you are not obligated to leave anything additional, however it is not optional.
    Also know that in most if not all establishments, the 15% does NOT go entirely to your server. It is split among everyone in the "house" including the owner.

  4. #4
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    During our past trip only 2 restaurants had the service charge added on.
    Both of those we added another 10% because service was exceptional.
    I am guessing maybe 40% or less add on service charge. I find it offensive tthat the
    restaurant owner gets a cut.

    If you go to the search bar in upper right area on this forum , enter in service charge or mandatory tip and u will get get numerous threads with the topic of mandatory service charges.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    We tend to not frequent restaurants that add a service charge;preferring instead to give our tip directly to the wait staff that said, only one of the restaurants we went to added the service charge.
    Last edited by Pegmeister; 05-21-2013 at 06:04 PM.

  6. #6
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    15% service charge or not

    click above for another thread on this topic
    Last edited by Andrea J.; 05-21-2013 at 07:24 PM.

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    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    I have to admit there are some restaurants that we could not live without so we just suck it up and pay the 15% and then just leave extra for the server when they deserve it. Service employees have a choice of where to work, just as we have a choice where to dine.

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    Senior Member Shnyda's Avatar
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    It is less than half of the restaurants --- and in my experience I have always left an extra 5% - 10% if service was superb on a %15 mandatory charge.

    I typically tip 15% - 25% so it makes no difference to me... as far as for the employees of the establishment --- they need to take it up with ownership.
    -Eric, Karen and Mia-
    Aruba New Years 2017-18 12/28/17 - 1/3/18 (18th Trip)


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    Senior Member AndyM's Avatar
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    I usually tip 20% more or less. If the restaurant decides to charge me 15%, that leaves 5% more or less where I can apply my discretion. I also tend not to believe what every server tells me happens with the service charge.

    Generally speaking, tips anywhere are shared by the server with the bartender, bus boys and kitchen. It a waiter doesn't share, they don't get great support from these people and therefore get poorer tips. So if a restaurant tells you the 15% service charge is distributed among the staff, it's really not that different. The real difference is that the distribution is taken out of the server's hands and decided by management. If an owner takes a cut that's just greedy and I have no control over that.

    I'd be happy if restaurants paid waitstaff a living wage and adjusted prices accordingly.

  10. #10
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyM View Post
    I usually tip 20% more or less. If the restaurant decides to charge me 15%, that leaves 5% more or less where I can apply my discretion. I also tend not to believe what every server tells me happens with the service charge.

    Generally speaking, tips anywhere are shared by the server with the bartender, bus boys and kitchen. It a waiter doesn't share, they don't get great support from these people and therefore get poorer tips. So if a restaurant tells you the 15% service charge is distributed among the staff, it's really not that different. The real difference is that the distribution is taken out of the server's hands and decided by management. If an owner takes a cut that's just greedy and I have no control over that.

    I'd be happy if restaurants paid waitstaff a living wage and adjusted prices accordingly.
    AndyM, I could not have said it any better.

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