Legal Question in Business Law in Georgia

can gratuity be added to restaurants tabs

I am a bartender in an atlanta area. When a customer wants to run a tab we take a credit card and hold it untill they are ready to pay up. On rare occasions a patron may leave without paying thier bill.... Go figure. I was recently told that adding a tip to orphaned credit cards is illegal, even if you post a sign that states ''All tabs left overnight will have 18% gratuity added''. I am under the impression that adding tip to forgotten tabs is the same as saying ''18% gratuity added to parties of 6 or more''. My boss claims that this is ''stealing''. Every bar I have worked in for the last 10 years has added tip to credit cards left at the end of the night. Who is right? Is it illegal to add a tip to a forgotten tab, or must we run the card for the base amount of the bill and forfeit any tip.....

Thank you,

Shawn

Asked on 11/05/06, 4:52 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Scott Riddle Law Office of Scott B. Riddle, LLC
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Re: can gratuity be added to restaurants tabs

The answer depends on more facts, and how the customer understands the agreement when they order (not when you later charge them). It looks like a moot point, since the boss has spoken.

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Answered on 11/06/06, 7:42 am

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