restaurant bill with text circled in red (l) tip with check (c) restaurant bill (r)

D-VISIONS/Shutterstock fuck_tipping/Reddit (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

‘People shouldn’t have to “opt out” of anything’: Customer takes back the 18% gratuity that was automatically added to their check

'They figure once they've added it, you'll be too embarrassed to ask them to remove it.'


Allyson Waller


Posted on Jan 17, 2024   Updated on Jan 16, 2024, 6:48 pm CST

A customer expressed their frustration on Reddit over an 18% gratuity being added to their restaurant tab, emphatically opting out of tipping their server.

In a post made on Sunday, Reddit user u/f***_tipping shared photos of a receipt showing how he was automatically charged an 18% gratuity on a meal that cost $73.94 among two people.

“An 18% gratuity was ‘voluntary’ yet automatically added to my bill for 2 guests,” the user said. “Swipe left to see the choice I made.”

The user shared a second photo that they decided to opt out of the gratuity and not tip the server at all. On the receipt, the restaurant included a disclosure to customers about the gratuity policy.

“Please note that an 18% gratuity has been added to your check,” the policy reads. “Please feel free to increase, decrease or remove the gratuity. This gratuity will be paid to your server, is voluntary and added for your convenience. Thank you for your business!”

It wasn’t clear what establishment the user visited. The Daily Dot reached out to u/f***_tipping for more information via Reddit direct message.

According to an IRS news release from 2015, automatic gratuities are considered service charges and not tips.

“Tips are discretionary (optional or extra) payments determined by a customer that
employees receive from customers,” according to the IRS and can include cash tips and tips left through electronic payment methods.

Usually, automatic gratuities are geared toward large parties, according to financial services company Toast. Unlike suggested tips, automatic gratuities wouldn’t give customers a chance to change the tip amount and if a customer even wants to leave a tip.

In u/f***_tipping’s case, it seems that the restaurant was offering a suggested tip; however, many other users still found fault with the restaurant’s approach.

“They figure once they’ve added it, you’ll be too embarrassed to ask them to remove it,” user u/Zestyclose-Fact-9779 said. “If they don’t add it, then you might only tip them 15%! Heaven forbid!”

“You should have left a note near the ‘0’ saying it was because of the ‘automatic’ tip and the lie of it being for the customer’s convince, but actually an attempt to rob customers,” user u/Apprehensive_Fault_5 said.

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*First Published: Jan 17, 2024, 5:00 am CST