Jump to content

10% 'service charge' on group restaurant booking?


  • Please log in to reply
35 replies to this topic

#1 Mpjp is feral

Posted 11 August 2013 - 05:28 PM

We booked a lunch  for my mums bday at a nearby restaurant for 40 people last week and I was just reading the t&c's.  They state that there is a compulsory 10% 'service charge' on all group bookings. I've never heard of this before....in australia......has anyone else?

We are paying $135 a head so the lunch spend is $5400.....so I have to add $540 on top?!

Am I expected to tip as well?

TIA

#2 katpaws

Posted 11 August 2013 - 05:30 PM

I think it is in case you don't turn up. Some restaurants in Melbourne charge like $100 no turn up fee with bookings.

And no way would i tip with that sort of extra cost.

Edited by katpaws, 11 August 2013 - 05:31 PM.


#3 Mpjp is feral

Posted 11 August 2013 - 05:33 PM

But if we don't turn up they don't get their service charge anyway....it's not part of the deposit but is charged at the end of the day....

#4 JRA

Posted 11 August 2013 - 05:33 PM

I have heard of it before. I would not tip as well, that is the tip in my eyes

#5 Mpjp is feral

Posted 11 August 2013 - 05:35 PM

Thx..... Why don't they just include it in the per head... Ie $147.50 per head?

#6 AllyK81

Posted 11 August 2013 - 05:35 PM

Never come across it & wouldn't be happy paying it. I'd call them to negotiate this. I'm sure they'd rather waive it than lose the booking.

#7 CallMeFeral

Posted 11 August 2013 - 05:35 PM

I would not tip if paying that.
I'd baulk at going there at all, tbh.

#8 katpaws

Posted 11 August 2013 - 05:35 PM

The other day i read that restaurants are suffering because more people are eating in making their own food (damn you Master Chef!!!). Restauranteurs are saying it is too expensive to run restaurants atm ie staff costs etc - so maybe that is why the extra cost???

#9 brain

Posted 11 August 2013 - 05:38 PM

I wouldn't be thrilled with that.  A 10% deposit at booking (which is taken off the account at the end) is one thing, or on public holidays I expect an additional charge, but not just for a large booking.

#10 Mpjp is feral

Posted 11 August 2013 - 05:39 PM

Just goes to show I obviously don get out enough!!!!

I was already over my $5k budget....this wasn't something I had accounted for...they never spoke to me abut it!

I might talk to them and see what I can negotiate given the spend overall.

Lucky my mum is worth it!!!!

#11 JRA

Posted 11 August 2013 - 05:39 PM

If they hadn't mentioned it up front I would definitely talk to them.

#12 Bess Marvin

Posted 11 August 2013 - 05:45 PM

The only time I have had a group service charge was when a large group was ordering a la carte. If you are on a fixed menu, then I would question it, see if you can negotiate down a little. While the wait staff will be busy managing your party's drinks, the kitchen staff will be able to pre-prep, so I wouldn't imagine it's AS big a deal for them as it could be.

I wouldn't tip as well. Unless they do a stellar job :)

#13 Mpjp is feral

Posted 11 August 2013 - 05:55 PM

It's a 'share menu' that we've already 'designed' with the chef, so from a service perspective much easier than al la carte!!!

#14 Coffeegirl

Posted 11 August 2013 - 05:57 PM

It seems to be the standard with most restaurant bookings I've made over 10 people.

Fair enough too.  With a normal evening the kitchen and front of service staff can scatter bookings so they don't get 10 tables all ordering at the same time.

For large bookings, the kitchen normally has to have extra staff on hand to cover cooking all the meals and serving them all piping hot at the same time.  Think of 40 steaks all having to be served at the same time, rather than cooking 40 steaks over the course of 2-3 hours.  

I wouldn't tip afterwards though unless you have outstanding food and service.  The 10% is the gratuity.

#15 Funwith3

Posted 11 August 2013 - 06:44 PM

I've never heard of it. If they definitely didn't tell you about it when you booked, you should bring it up. $540 extra is just stupid - they should be offering you a BETTER price than normal because of all the money you're spending.... Not charging you extra.

#16 BornToLove

Posted 11 August 2013 - 06:59 PM

Common in Melbourne. I have booked several group (10+ ppl) bookings over the last year. All have charged a surcharge of 10% on the final bill. Two also required a minimum spend for the booking.

This is also very common in North America. Group bookings often get a surcharge of 15-25%. I have seen as high as 35%. This is in lieu of a proper tip.

Edited by BornToLove, 11 August 2013 - 07:02 PM.


#17 Mumsyto2

Posted 11 August 2013 - 07:06 PM

Standard but I just look at it as an inbuilt tip. I usually tip 10% and its always 'the done thing' when with a group anyway unless something goes hideously astray so I just I would not have spent it anyway just the name is different - tip, service charge.

#18 Lim Lam

Posted 11 August 2013 - 07:06 PM

View PostFunwith3, on 11 August 2013 - 06:44 PM, said:

I've never heard of it. If they definitely didn't tell you about it when you booked, you should bring it up. $540 extra is just stupid - they should be offering you a BETTER price than normal because of all the money you're spending.... Not charging you extra.

Yep

#19 Fright bat

Posted 11 August 2013 - 07:17 PM

Do they just mean GST?

#20 c.sanders

Posted 11 August 2013 - 07:18 PM

that's ridiculously expensive. are they serving everyone lobsters? lol. :) i would try to negotiate or go elsewhere.

#21 Therese

Posted 11 August 2013 - 07:22 PM

When booking a group of ten or more people it does seem quite common. I don't think you are expected to tip then though. ( thankfully)

#22 Shellby

Posted 11 August 2013 - 07:31 PM

Where I live we don't have it, but once a year I have dinner out with a group in Sydney and found it was very common - normally we will search around until we find somewhere that doesn't have the charge.

I was told one reason for the charge was large groups tend to stay longer or take the table for the whole night, whereas a group of 2-4 would only stay long enough for a whole meal and leave whereas a group over 10 tend to stay past that all chatting and getting around to each other meaning they lose money on those tables not being free for new diners - so it kinda means sense when you look at it that way.

#23 seayork2002

Posted 11 August 2013 - 07:43 PM

I have heard about that for years but never understood it if you have, for example, 5 tables with 2 people on each how is that different to a table of 10?

#24 HubbaBubbaMumma

Posted 11 August 2013 - 07:51 PM

Sorry but it's a blatant rip off.

Your 'service charge' at a restaurant is what you pay for your meal - it's all costed to factor in wages, food costs, linen, power etc.

I'd personally finding a restaurant that doesn't charge it.



#25 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 11 August 2013 - 08:07 PM

Ive seen it a lot in Sydney.  From the restaurants POV the reasons are:

Big groups take ages to get organised and order, as some people are always late and then there is a lot of dithering.  Then they stay late chatting.  So the restaurant may lose a second sitting.  

Often big groups don't actually tip, as there are usually some people who don't put in enough and what other people put in for a tip gets used up just paying the bill.  

Even if the whole restaurant is not booked out, other diners might not come in when its clear there is a big group booking, as they feel overwhelmed as a couple or small group, so they lose tables.  

It's a pain getting all the courses ready on time, and they might call in extra staff.  

But you aren't expected to tip on top.  






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

11 things that will happen when you're breastfeeding

After having three children and various degrees of success feeding them all, there's one thing I can tell you: virtually nothing will go as planned.

Surgery for baby born with a tail

A baby born with a tail has had it removed after doctors feared the birth defect might cause long term damage to his lower body.

When 'skin to skin' becomes a family affair

An adorable photo of a little boy and his dad enjoying skin to skin contact with newborn twins is melting hearts everywhere.

35 hilariously weird 'top tips'

Who would have thunk it? We never knew there were so many uses for feminine hygiene products. 

Pregnancy skin woes: acne, dry skin, itchy skin

Here are some of the most common skin complaints in pregnancy and how to tackle them, face on.

Watch this fun dance class for babywearing dads

Is there anything sexier than a babywearing dad?

Parents, this is how to cut grapes to avoid choking

One mum has learnt a harrowing lesson about the best way to cut grapes to make it safe for toddlers and little kids to eat.

When your kids have totally different temperaments

Sometimes it has felt like whiplash parenting. She perches watchfully while I vacuum; he tries to climb on and go for a ride.

How do our stress levels influence our baby?

Since having my second baby a number of people have commented on how placid, content and settled he is and, similarly, many have commented on how this is a reflection of how I am with him.

Separation anxiety isn't just for kids

Despite its prevalence, most doctors tend to be reluctant to diagnose adult patients with separation anxiety.

A charm bracelet, a boy, and my beliefs questioned

I was staring at the face of my son, realising that my once steadfast decision to be open minded was quickly unravelling at the seams.

Why I'm so grateful for Hayden Panettiere's PND honesty

There are baby steps and giant leaps forward. But there are steps backwards, too. And, oh, how they can hurt your heart.

The heartbreaking story of little Moko

The mother of 3-year-old Moko Rangitoheriri said she should have picked up on the signs. {Warning: distressing content}

Kate Beckinsale and teen daughter recreate birth photo

Kate Beckinsale has recreated her daughter Lily's birth photo, 17 years after she was born.

The adult-size stroller you'll want to test drive

It's one of the biggest baby related purchases they will make, so it makes sense that parents-to-be get a chance to road test a stroller.

Pregnancy announcement shows the reality of IVF

It's a long way from baby booties or bump shots people have become accustomed to in social media pregnancy announcements.  

Soleil Moon Frye welcomes fourth baby

"Punky Brewster" is a mom again, for the fourth time. Soleil Moon Frye announced the birth of her baby boy, Story, on Instagram Wednesday.

Mum breastfeeds baby found abandoned on the street

A woman has been praised as a "beautiful mother" after breastfeeding a baby which had been abandoned at the side of a street. 

A birth with a difference: the 'natural caesarean'

We've shared stories of gentle caesareans before, but a new video shows a new option called a 'natural caesarean'.

Baby name inspiration by music genre

If you're all about the music, then you'll need a musical name for that baby. We've got all the lists for you by music genre.

Giving effective instructions to toddlers

One of the most common errors made by parents is in how they give instructions to their children.

 
Advertisement
 

Top 5 Articles

Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

The babies who are one in 70 million

Bethani Webb was excited to find out she was pregnant, but the first time mum did not realise she was carrying four babies not one.

Cafe offers breastfeeding mums a free cup of tea

A Sydney cafe is offering breastfeeding mums free cups of tea in a bid to show support for the right of women to nurse their babies wherever they choose.

To snip or not to snip? When the decision is not clear cut

Jamie Oliver, who considered a vasectomy, is to be a father again. A fellow dad reflects on his own decision 11 years ago

Doctors stunned by rare twins born almost six weeks apart

To everyone's surprise, Kristen Miller "kept doing better each day", keeping her second baby safe.

Baby book ideas for modern parents

Before my son was born I was given a lovely baby book full of blank pages waiting to be filled with weights and heights and first words.

The adorable smile of a baby seeing his mum clearly for the first time

There is no doubt seeing their child smile for the first time is an unforgettable moment for parents everywhere.

Mum tells how toddler 'nearly hung himself' in cot mishap

When Alison Johnson put her 18-month-old Caleb down for a nap, she had no reason to believe her son was in any danger.

Babies are still switched at birth? Yes, it can happen

All my panic and tears aside, my biggest question looking back is about the kind of security measures used in the maternity ward.

Doctors slammed for taking selfie with newborn

Everyone who visits a mum in hospital in the days following childbirth wants to get a photo with the new baby.

ergoPouch Twosie Sleepsuit for winter breastfeeding

Finally, there's a way to keep warm while breastfeeding through winter.

Health check: How long does sex 'normally' last?

What to do with this information? My advice would be to try not to think about it during the throes of passion.

When breastfeeding sucks: fixing common problems

From niplash to tight boobs, biting to milk supply issues, Pinky McKay looks at common breastfeeding issues and how to solve them.

10 things I've learnt in my first six months with twins

Six months on we're all still alive, and the more we get to know each other the easier the days become.

Mum's loving kiss leaves baby fighting for life

Kirsty Carrington thought nothing of giving her newborn son a kiss, little did she know it would leave the baby fighting for life.

When doing chores is your new 'me time'

After children, 'me time' looks a little different.

Get going: 14 travel strollers for families on the move

A stroller can make or break travelling with a baby or toddler. Here are 15 great single travel stroller options.

10 ways toddlers are terrific

It always pays to remind yourself of how terrific toddlers can be - they're little like this for such a short time

 

Vintage Toys

The toys of your childhood

Take a trip down memory lane with these vinage and retro toys that you may have had in your childhood or your parent's childhood.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.