Can a restaurant include a gratuity in the bill?
First, the manager said it was in the menu. I did not see it.
If so, can this be enforced selectively. I am sure this was not enforced with other diners.
I was a party of 5, and the waitress knew the service rendered was awful and not deserving of a tip, so the manager added an 18% gratuity (which I refused to pay anyway)
2 Answers from Attorneys
If the 18% really showed on the menu, I could argue the issue either way as a matter of law. I have no idea how a judge would rule.
As a practical matter, whoever has the money now is probably going to keep it.
Non-legal comment: On the few occasions when I have received poor service, I haven't been bashful about politely asking the manager to assign another server. They always do, and they all get the point.
Re: Mandated Gratuity
Gratuity is optional unless the restaurant makes it clear that a condition of service is a mandatory gratuity. Your options are to proceed civilly or even criminally if they in fact imposed a gratuity upon you and collected upon it.
If you left and did not pay it, then the issue is largely moot. I hope that helps.
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