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.
So, you agree with me that it should be considered a service charge and you should also leave a voluntary tip if you received quality service, but the mere suggestion that the restaurant chain make an effortless programming change so their receipts distinguish between the two is indicative of incredibly stupid logic and on par with disclaimers like "Do not attempt" in car commercials where they're jumping cars off of cliffs and out of planes?
How many tipping threads have we had where people have been confused by, irritated by, or unfamiliar with tipping customs in the US? To many foreign visitors it's bizarre, and even many people in the US dislike or are confused about the etiquette. So why not make it a bit simpler and avoid confusion when it's such an easy change and probably won't cost anything to implement?
Personally I think it's stupid logic to associate minor beneficial business policy changes with bringing about the dumbing down of society or to think it shouldn't be done to draw some kind of needless line in the sand against encroaching stupidity. But hey, that's me.