Locutus of Bored wrote:
Also, if Applebees is going to attach a mandatory surcharge for large parties of diners (which is perfectly fair), they shouldn't call it a tip, even if it goes to the server(s). Call it a service charge or something. That way, when the receipt asks for an additional voluntary tip (as this one did), people will hopefully be more inclined to leave one.
See, that kind of logic goes right along with the other thread about how stupid are we that we need spelled out warning labels, disclaimer, etc.
Most restaurants like Applebees have a disclaimer written directly on the menu that a mandatory 18% gratuity is added to parties of 6/8 or more. I would hope that customers wouldn't get pedantic because the receipt said "tip 18%" and not "mandatory gratuity 18%."
You should know that going in, and either choose not to eat at that restaurant or limit your group size to 5 or 7. When a gratuity is mandatory, it should be considered a service charge, and you can vote with your wallet and go to another restaurant that will perfectly allow you to stiff your server.