Let Me Explain the Auto-Gratuity on Groups
Many restaurants add an automatic gratuity (tip) on groups of 6 or more. I will explain why.
First you have to understand that most restaurants require servers to pay the kitchen on every order they take (this money is split between the cooks and dishwashers) and us usually 3% – 4%, but I have heard as much as 5%. Even if the server is not tipped they are expected to pay this. If one table doesn’t tip, the assumption is that others will. In the end the server should still go home with some tips.
Now, imagine you have a big group. A big group is a lot of work. A server might not have other tables while looking after the group. Imagine if the group tipped $50. Seem great? But the server maybe has to pay $40 to the kitchen. So on a big group the server only made $10. Now imagine if the group didn’t tip at all! The server still has to pay $40 (for example) to the kitchen. The server is paying to serve the group. This $40 comes from tips they made on other tables. So they might even go home with no tips. *The restaurant cannot make them pay more than the total amount of tips earned for the night however.
As such restaurants started adding automatic gratuities to bills because otherwise the risk to the server is too high to take for all that work.
A restaurant in Calgary tried doing away with all tips. It didn’t go so well. They raised the prices on the food because the cooks and servers were not willing to work for minimum wage without any tips. It’s not worth it. Customers complained. They preferred to tip, and the restaurant went back to that.
Whether you tip or not is up to you. Just remember that person has to pay to serve you either way. You can always ask them how much they have to pay. If you don’t like it don’t get mad at them, they are just trying to make a living.
And before you complain about having to tip somebody for doing their job. Remember EVERYTHING has a cost. You don’t tip your garbage man but he isn’t making minimum wage. You don’t tip the guy who got the oil out of the ground for you to use in your car, but he probably isn’t making minimum wage either. Look at what you pay for garbage pick up? Look at what you pay to drive? Then maybe shut up about having to pay a few bucks to somebody else who is working hard for minimum wage!