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Service charge? #267890
11/04/2021 12:47 PM
11/04/2021 12:47 PM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 160
Billings, MT
harleybuffett Offline OP
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harleybuffett  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 160
Billings, MT
Good afternoon all, just returned from the beautiful BVI smile . Trip report forthcoming! Perhaps ignorance on our part, but an 18% service charge on our dinner bill ( 7 persons ) is the tip or not???

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Re: Service charge? [Re: harleybuffett] #267891
11/04/2021 12:51 PM
11/04/2021 12:51 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,560
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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GeorgeC1  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,560
GA/NC
That is the tip. Some Restaurants list it as tax however there is no food tax in the BVI do that is a tip also.

Re: Service charge? [Re: GeorgeC1] #267892
11/04/2021 12:58 PM
11/04/2021 12:58 PM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 160
Billings, MT
harleybuffett Offline OP
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harleybuffett  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 160
Billings, MT
Thank you, that's what we were thinking.... both the captain and our server tried to tell us otherwise however. And not wanting to appear cheap we threw down a tip.

Re: Service charge? [Re: harleybuffett] #267893
11/04/2021 12:58 PM
11/04/2021 12:58 PM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 160
Billings, MT
harleybuffett Offline OP
Traveler
harleybuffett  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 160
Billings, MT
Thank you, that's what we were thinking.... both the captain and our server tried to tell us otherwise however. And not wanting to appear cheap we threw down a tip.

Re: Service charge? [Re: harleybuffett] #267895
11/04/2021 01:18 PM
11/04/2021 01:18 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 3,359
Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
JasonHelmbrecht Offline
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JasonHelmbrecht  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 3,359
Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
Unfortunately, not every place treats it the same way so it's confusing.

Most places I've gotten the service charge details from share the service charge somehow across the staff. It varies from place to place how the split is calculated.

I don't know of any places that give the service charge 100% to the server so I'll typically add a little. At least enough to bring it up to 20 or 25%. I give the extra in cash if I can unless I know the restaurant allows the server take extra credit card tips out of the drawer at the end of the day.

Some places take the service charge AND any cash/credit card tips and gross the server's pay up BUT only to a max of $10/hr. The rest gets spread across the staff in the same manner and then I guess the house gets the rest.


JasonHelmbrecht
Coconut Breeze Villas
Cane Garden Bay
reservations@coconutbreezevillas.com
www.coconutbreezevillas.com
Re: Service charge? [Re: harleybuffett] #267909
11/04/2021 02:31 PM
11/04/2021 02:31 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 16,710
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Manpot Offline
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Manpot  Offline
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Posts: 16,710
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Tax on a food bill is always a service charge and a con if you ask me. I always tip ( To Insure Promp Service) 20 % but really object to that con and anybody who tries to defend it. I know many folks who will never add any more $$ if that tax stunt is pulled. Your captain should be ashamed for defending and lying about it. We dont need to pi$$ off or ripoff folks who are jumping though hoops to spend their $$ here..Rant over.

Re: Service charge? [Re: Manpot] #267913
11/04/2021 02:50 PM
11/04/2021 02:50 PM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 160
Billings, MT
harleybuffett Offline OP
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harleybuffett  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 160
Billings, MT
Originally Posted by Manpot
Tax on a food bill is always a service charge and a con if you ask me. I always tip ( To Insure Promp Service) 20 % but really object to that con and anybody who tries to defend it. I know many folks who will never add any more $$ if that tax stunt is pulled. Your captain should be ashamed for defending and lying about it. We dont need to pi$$ off or ripoff folks who are jumping though hoops to spend their $$ here..Rant over.

Well, it wouldn't be the only thing that week our captain should have been ashamed of ...sadly.

Re: Service charge? [Re: harleybuffett] #267922
11/04/2021 04:55 PM
11/04/2021 04:55 PM
Joined: Jul 2020
Posts: 404
Bay Area
H
Husker Offline
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Husker  Offline
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Posts: 404
Bay Area
Who was your captain?

Re: Service charge? [Re: harleybuffett] #267926
11/04/2021 06:12 PM
11/04/2021 06:12 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,382
Memphis, BVI, CT
R
RatmansWife Offline
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RatmansWife  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,382
Memphis, BVI, CT
Did you choose the restaurant, or did your captain suggest it?

Re: Service charge? [Re: harleybuffett] #267934
11/04/2021 09:15 PM
11/04/2021 09:15 PM
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 41
Brookline, Massachusetts and M...
Fitzhughlaw Offline
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Fitzhughlaw  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 41
Brookline, Massachusetts and M...
There was a good discussion of this issue, and how some establishments abuse the "service charge" issue by making it appear to be a "tip" for the server, when in fact it's distributed to a wide swath of the staff and is thus merely a way for a restaurant's owner to defray overhead by deception: http://www.traveltalkonline.com/ubb...-service-charges-tipping.html#Post253445

I'm going to be spending a lot of time in the BVI after an absence for a number of years, and I am going assiduously inquire about this to the management of any restaurant that I patronize, posing some specific questions about who gets any "service charge" and if the server gets all of it, or just some of it (or none of it).

Re: Service charge? [Re: harleybuffett] #267939
11/05/2021 07:13 AM
11/05/2021 07:13 AM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 657
Panama City Beach, Florida
xrayman67 Offline
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xrayman67  Offline
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Posts: 657
Panama City Beach, Florida
I have never assumed that only the server received the tip, as a great dining experience is a team effort.

Re: Service charge? [Re: harleybuffett] #267941
11/05/2021 07:24 AM
11/05/2021 07:24 AM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 3,359
Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
JasonHelmbrecht Offline
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JasonHelmbrecht  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 3,359
Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
Even in the US, I don't think the server gets the full tip so that part should be fine. Even before restaurants set policies about distribution of gratuities, it was common for servers to tip-out busboys, bartenders, sometimes even the host(ess) more or less at their discretion. Now I think it's common practice for tips to be shared across servers, shared with other staff, etc.


JasonHelmbrecht
Coconut Breeze Villas
Cane Garden Bay
reservations@coconutbreezevillas.com
www.coconutbreezevillas.com
Re: Service charge? [Re: harleybuffett] #267956
11/05/2021 09:01 AM
11/05/2021 09:01 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,382
Memphis, BVI, CT
R
RatmansWife Offline
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RatmansWife  Offline
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Posts: 1,382
Memphis, BVI, CT
I seem to recall the BVI passed a law some years ago requiring any restaurant that imposed a service charge to set up a committee, including at least one back of house person, to determine how the money would be distributed.

They all hope tourists will miss the service charge and leave another 20% - at least I've never heard one say "Oh no, you've already paid a tip!"

In my mind, if your kitchen help should earn more, then raise their wages! Of course that would cost more, even during slow periods. The service charge is a way of paying them more when the restaurant is busier.

Re: Service charge? [Re: Manpot] #267968
11/05/2021 11:47 AM
11/05/2021 11:47 AM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 832
Manhattan Beach, CA
calsail Offline
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calsail  Offline
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Joined: May 2004
Posts: 832
Manhattan Beach, CA
Exactly what Mal said.

Re: Service charge? [Re: RatmansWife] #267996
11/05/2021 03:52 PM
11/05/2021 03:52 PM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 160
Billings, MT
harleybuffett Offline OP
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harleybuffett  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 160
Billings, MT

Our captain suggested it but we weren't opposed as we hadn't been there before.

Re: Service charge? [Re: RatmansWife] #268001
11/05/2021 04:42 PM
11/05/2021 04:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 41
Brookline, Massachusetts and M...
Fitzhughlaw Offline
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Fitzhughlaw  Offline
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Posts: 41
Brookline, Massachusetts and M...
"In my mind, if your kitchen help should earn more, then raise their wages!"

Exactly right, Mrs. Ratman! It's deceptive to the patron for the establishment to add on this mandatory fee that has an opaque distribution formula. Build into the menu prices the cost of getting my meal items prepared and brought to my table, but thereafter leave any extra amount that I choose to pay for good service as something that is just between my server and me.

A "service charge" that could be confused with being a tip should not be a way for the owner to defray overhead expenses, especially when done at the expense of working people (the servers) by way of deception.

Re: Service charge? [Re: Fitzhughlaw] #268034
11/05/2021 10:37 PM
11/05/2021 10:37 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 40
Baltimore, MD
McLovin Offline
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McLovin  Offline
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Posts: 40
Baltimore, MD
In my experience, generally, the best meals for the trip take place on the boat.

Attached Files 20211024_122836.jpg

[Linked Image]

Mike in Baltimore
Re: Service charge? [Re: McLovin] #268045
11/06/2021 07:16 AM
11/06/2021 07:16 AM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 1,233
Washington DC
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bailau Offline
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bailau  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2018
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Washington DC
Originally Posted by McLovin
In my experience, generally, the best meals for the trip take place on the boat.


How much of a service charge to you slip to the crew?

Re: Service charge? [Re: bailau] #268099
11/06/2021 02:19 PM
11/06/2021 02:19 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 40
Baltimore, MD
McLovin Offline
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McLovin  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 40
Baltimore, MD
Originally Posted by bailau
Originally Posted by McLovin
In my experience, generally, the best meals for the trip take place on the boat.


How much of a service charge to you slip to the crew?

Well I am captain and cook. The menu is to prevent scurvy and mutinies.

I don't like included "tax/service charge/tip" because in my mind, it depreciates the value of really good service. If 20% is needed to stay profitable then raise the prices. It seem charging the same fee for carryout as dine in is insulting to the wait staff.


[Linked Image]

Mike in Baltimore
Re: Service charge? [Re: harleybuffett] #268102
11/06/2021 02:38 PM
11/06/2021 02:38 PM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 1,233
Washington DC
B
bailau Offline
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Washington DC
I totally agree with you...it is BS. In fact last trip we discussed leaving a -5% tip to offset the service charge for really bad service but in the end didnt

I was just kidding you...

Re: Service charge? [Re: harleybuffett] #268106
11/06/2021 02:54 PM
11/06/2021 02:54 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 672
Redmond, WA
MrEZgoin Offline
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MrEZgoin  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 672
Redmond, WA
Maybe leave a complex tip with a real and an imaginary part :-)


M4000 "Lio Kai"

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