restaurant bill with money (background) '18% service charge will apply to all checks tendered after 5:00pm' (inset)

MargJohnsonVA/Adobe (Licensed)

‘The check came with a line for a tip too!!’: Customer says restaurant charges automatic 18% service charge after 5 p.m.

'That kind of anti consumer action should just be illegal.'


Stacy Fernandez


Posted on Feb 7, 2024   Updated on Feb 7, 2024, 4:51 pm CST

These people are calling out a restaurant that tried to be sneaky about their 18% service fee. Users are urging them to be upfront with their policies.

A post is gaining popularity on the r/EndTipping subreddit which, as you can probably figure out from the name, is staunchly against tipping culture, calling it “toxic & and frustrating.”

“The U.S. should move towards a transparent, up-front pricing culture–e.g., the prices you see on the menu are what you pay in total. Posts here include action plans, info on cool service-included restaurants and other tipping-related news, and yes, even (reasonable, non-hateful) rants,” the group description read.

Many people feel similarly to those in the Reddit group, frustrated by the fact that tipping is seemingly expected at more and more places now and the default tip (at least when places use electronic touchpads) is getting more expensive. We’re sure you’ve seen the places where the minimum tip option (aside from entering a custom tip or no tip) is 20%, which used to be what you paid for really good service and can go up to 25% or even 30%.

One of the thousands of members of the Reddit group is now gaining traction online after posting a tipping policy listed at the bottom of a restaurant’s menu.

In the post, user u/hard-bruh-moment explained that he went out to dinner yesterday with his girlfriend and noticed something in the menu’s fine print.

The menu stated that all checks processed after 5 p.m. would have an automatic 18% service charge. While it’s not shown in the picture the user posted, they added that this charge is specifically for tables of two or more. So if you’re sitting alone, you won’t have the automatic charge.

“The check came with a line for a tip too!!” the user pointed out, frustrated.

Based on the rest of the fine print, the restaurant appears to be affiliated with one of the Marriott hotels, but it’s unclear since the user didn’t call the place out by name.

The post has gained more than 85 upvotes and nearly 100 comments since it was posted yesterday.

Several people in the comments pointed out that the restaurant should list the policy in regular-size print to be upfront about the extra cost instead of trying to hide it from customers.

“It should be printed in fonts that are the same size as the rest of the receipt. If it is smaller, it clearly shows the desire to deceive the customer,” the top comment read.

Now this is just insane
byu/hard-bruh-moment inEndTipping

“I would definitely not tip anything if a service charge like that is included. But it would be nicer if they just included it in the menu price instead of hiding it in small print at the bottom hoping people won’t notice. That kind of anti-consumer action should just be illegal,” a person wrote.

This seems to be a reasonable take, after all, if there’s already an 18% charge, a tip on top of that would seriously bring up the bill and likely be more than what you were expecting to pay.

Other commenters suggested ways to fight against this kind of fee.

“I’d actually dispute that service fee with my financial institution and never dine there again,” a user said.

“When you stumble upon a restaurant with extra fees, please consider writing a Google review and list all the fees (service charge, health and wellness fees, anything else). Be sure to put the word “surcharges” in the review so it is searchable,” another chimed in.

The Daily Dot reached out to u/hard-bruh-moment for comment via Redditt direct message and to Marriott International via email.

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*First Published: Feb 7, 2024, 9:00 am CST