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P-Leagle, Paralegal
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 922
Experience:  A.A. Paralegal Studies Experience in Real Estate,Internet Law,Contracts,Tax & Biz Startup,DUI
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is there any law against adding 18% gratuity to a check of ...

Customer Question

is there any law against adding 18% gratuity to a check of 50 dollars or more in a bar
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  P-Leagle replied 9 years ago.
Hi luci,

I am not sure exactly what you are referring to. If a server just decides arbitrarily to add gratuity to a customer's bill, then yes, that is illegal, as one is taking money not authorized by the credit card holder.

If on the other hand, there was an expressed agreement, and both the party and the establishment agreed to such a policy, it would not be illegal.

If you need to add some facts to get a more precise answer, please do. I'd be glad to clarify.


Should you require further clarification, please never hesitate to ask. It would be my pleasure to clarify issues related to your question.

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P-Leagle, Paralegal
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 922
Experience: A.A. Paralegal Studies Experience in Real Estate,Internet Law,Contracts,Tax & Biz Startup,DUI
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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to P-Leagle's Post: if a sign is posted in a bar stating that there will be a tip of 18 percent to tabs of 50 dollars or more, and the tab adds up to 60 dollars and the customer leaves a 6 dollar tip, can the server change the tip to the posted 18 percent?
Expert:  P-Leagle replied 9 years ago.
Hi luci,

I would have to know exactly what that sign says, word for word, and also, on what exactly is stated when the customer is presented with his check/tab. Since I will be logging out now, I will opt out of this question so that you may get a faster answer with another expert.

Best of luck,

Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 9 years ago.

DearCustomer- A restaurant or bar is a private enterprise and can set any policy they wish with regard to charges. It is a common practice in many restaurants to charge an automatic tip for parties of 6 or more and it is a simple contract so long as the customer is on notice.

If there is a sign or it is written in a menu then you know about it going in so you can choose not to patronize that establishment if you do not like the policy. In many other countries the gratuity is automatic regardless of the number of people or the quality of service. Fortunately we have not come that far here in the US.

David Kennett - JD - Attorney at Law