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"If that is to become the norm, do away with tips altogether and pay the staff a decent wage. "

I know wait staff who make hundreds of dollars in a 5-10 pm shift on a good night. No "decent wage" is going to be that high.

A friend of ours from Europe complained about this, saying that tipping is uncommon in Europe - that you don't need to - because they are paid better. She also said the service is much worse in Europe, save the very be$t places, and the prices are much higher.

So.... in Europe the servers get paid about the same in the end, you pay the same in the end, and the service is worse? How is that better?

But really, this note was not just explaining the "need" for a 17% mandatory tip. It's basically setting the zero-point at 17% and asking you to pay more, with some kind of rambling social justice message behind it.

Land O Lakes FL
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I agree with rewarding good service and giving a greater reward for exceptional service. I am opposed to the service industry automatically including a tip on my behalf. If that is to become the norm, do away with tips altogether and pay the staff a decent wage.

Poland OH
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If you're getting less than 20% from me, it's because I'm quite unhappy. It's not common.

However, forcing a 17% tip on me (or ANY tip) is not likely to move me to pay any more at all. If I was surprised by this at the end, I would pay it as-is and never go there again.

Land O Lakes FL
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I went on a LS cruise a couple of years ago who also designated the amount of gratuity for the staff. I don't know if that's customary as that was my first and last cruise.....I mentioned this to someone who cruises a lot and she told me that's because some people are so stingy and don't tip the staff appropriately. I know for a fact, and have seen it down here quite often where people leave little to nothing for the server. I think that is outrageous. Even if I am not totally satisfied with the level of service, I always leave something. I do the double the tax thing and add a little extra. Although the cruise ship had already charged for the gratuity, I still gave the person who attended to me an additional tip. He was so ever gracious and grateful. Service industry people really depend on the tips.

Vero Beach FL
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VA - was this little "gem" disclosed beforehand? I would have fought that one. Especially if the service was not up to par.

Traditionally I'm a 20% tipper for average to good service, I've known too many people in the service industry to give any less unless it's totally deplorable service directly related to the server (IE: not food quality, understaffed, piss poor attitude, etc) and more for great service.

Jacksonville FL
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Mrs VA went to San Francisco last week. While out at a restaurant, this little gem was tucked in with her check when she went to pay.

"Alfred's Steakhouse adds a 17% taxable service charge to every check for all items served. Alfred's distributes this service charge between the entire staff. The servers receive about 45-50% of this service charge. If you wish to leave any additional gratuity, it will remain with your server. This allows us to not only reward all of the Alfred's team for their hard work, but to correct the disparity that has been created between tipped and non-tipped employees.

The balance of compensation standards was traditionally maintained by the restaurant industry; however, that balance has been altered by government mandate. Legislation emanating from local (indexed minimum wage increases, health benefits, and payroll tax) and state (no tip credit, sales tax, control of distribution of tips) government has widened the income gap between the tipped and non-tipped employee. Although this policy is not standard in San Francisco, other restaurants have started to adopt this same principle in an effort to combat the ever increasing costs of running a business in our beautiful city.

We appreciate your understanding and patronage.

Land O Lakes FL
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PG:

You can answer the question "Why would someone do that?" with "Because people are stupid" about 90% of the time.

Land O Lakes FL
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I did that to two puppies born the night before the 2000 election: Al Gore and George W Bush. It's weird enough taking Al Gore to the vet, I'd never want to try to register Barack Obama for Little League.

Pittsburgh PA
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WTF???? some woman had twins on Election day and named them Barack Obama and Mitt Romney??? Why would you do that to a child?

Louisville KY
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we need to have all these people in our prays

Tupelo MS
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