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Marigold Cafe & Restaurant - Charge They Tip Themselves With 18.5%

Lunch - Complaint
Review by gise on 2013-03-05
Rating: StarStarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO -- I was today with my daughter and husband at the Marigold Cafe & Restaurant. We were 3 couples, I ate the French Onion Soup (Panera is better). As we got the Ticket (3 sep. Tickets), we found out they automatically charged an 18.5% tip.

This is not right, 15% is the normal service tip. We would probably give even 20%, but don't tell me what I need to give for a tip. Put the price at the menu higher, but don't give me the Ticket with 18% or more. This is not the way and I don't think I'll be there again. I found on their website a lot of complains. We're not the only ones.

If they are German, I'm not surprised for this custom. Edelweiss Restaurant dos the same. It happen there to us too, but we've never been there since. I was not impressed.
Comments:7 Replies - Latest reply on 2013-03-06
Posted by clutzycook on 2013-03-05:
Ethnicity had nothing to do with this. A lot of establishments are automatically adding a tip of about 16-18% for larger parties, although a party of six is a little on the small side (it usually starts with 8). I think this is because larger parties mean more work for the server, and many times they've been stiffed by these large parties with large checks.

As to 15% being customary, that used to be the case yes; but nowadays 18-20 is more common for good service, with more or less being given for better or worse service.
Posted by madconsumer on 2013-03-06:
many restaurants add 18% gratuity for parties over a certain number.
Posted by Anonymous on 2013-03-06:
15% is actually the minimum tip these days, with 18% in between and 20% being the recommended amount. It is possible they added the tip because of the number of people in your party. And it is a French bistro, not German. If the service was good and you were happy with everything but the automatic tip, then I don't see what the big deal is. Did you ask them about the tip?
Posted by Nohandle on 2013-03-06:
At least you caught it gise. Some individuals actually double tip, not realizing a tip has already been automatically added. I don't know of too many diners who were thanked for the 30 or 40 percent gratuity they ended up paying. I expect all menus somewhere in tiny letters at the bottom of the page state a gratuity will be added.

Some of the larger parties who have stiffed the wait staff might have thought the gratuity was included in the final bill. I've never really thought of that before but it might be a possibility unless they are downright cheap. Best to ask the individual presenting the bill if a gratuity has already been included.

The cost of a meal has gone up; thus, the tip has also increased. Why change the percentages? I'm a very generous tipper but I've wondered about the increased percentage as well.
Posted by Cwazychicken on 2013-03-06:
I dont mind tipping but if its mandatory and the waiter is lazy then i have a problem. Do your job well and be tipped accordingly. Do nothing and expect little.
Posted by leet60 on 2013-03-06:
I was somewhat disturbed by the reference to the proprietors perhaps being "German". In Germany, a VAT and gratuity is included in the menu price of all items. While it is considered courteous to leave a tip if you have excellent service, the customary amount is 10%, it is not generally expected as wait staff are paid a living wage in Germany not like in the U.S.
Posted by clutzycook on 2013-03-06:
I agree, Cwazy. I've heard tell that if that ever turns out to be the case, you can have a word with the manager and perhaps get the tip reduced or removed entirely; allowing you to put whatever you see fit.

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