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Pineapple Pete tax/service #39034
02/10/2015 07:50 AM
02/10/2015 07:50 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 993
Pittsburgh PA
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plequerre Offline OP
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We had dinner at Pineapple Pete Sunday night and as usual, food was excellent and reasonably priced. Try their Lobster Thermidor if you haven't had it yet. It's awesome and $40 is a very reasonable price for a 1 1/2 pounder animal.

I wanted to give everyone a heads up as I didn't remember how they deal with service there.
The check came with a "Tax 15%" line. Knowing that tax in SXM is not 15%, I asked our waitress if this was a tax or "service", she said it was for service which is shared between all waiting staff. She was very honest about it and didn't try to mislead us, but I asked another waiter and he gave me the same answer.
Our waitress was so nice, I gave her a extra tip which she told me, will be for her only, not shared with her colleagues.
So bottom line is, Pineapple Pete charges a 15% service fee, so there's no need to tip the personnel, unless you're very pleased with the service and want to show your special appreciation.

SXM Sponsors
Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: plequerre] #39035
02/10/2015 08:06 AM
02/10/2015 08:06 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,519
Massachusetts
boucharda Online content
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I think the point of the recent thread on the same subject was that it should NOT be listed as a tax but be listed as a service charge or, at least, noted on the menu.

Yes, it is very up front when they confirm the actual purpose of the extra charge but the issue is with those who just add a tip routinely to a number on a bill. Those vacationers new to the Island and those who do not read this forum would have no reason to ask...

Last edited by boucharda; 02/10/2015 08:07 AM.
Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: boucharda] #39036
02/10/2015 08:12 AM
02/10/2015 08:12 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
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Pittsburgh PA
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plequerre Offline OP
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I didn't want to badmouth Pineapple Pete because they are great people, their food is excellent and their prices are very reasonable. They could make it clearer for the patrons, I agree, but when asked, the staff is honest about what the 15% charge is for.
So now, everyone reading the posts here will know what the 15% tax line is for and ....... well, ...... too bad for the others, everyone going to SXM should join this Forum anyway <wink>.
I've been going to SXM for 15 years and I learn new things each time I visit the Forum.

On a related subject, the baggers at Grand Marche in Philipsburg are not paid by the store so it's suggested that patrons tip them if they use their service. There is a sign on the wall confirming that they are not paid employees.

Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: plequerre] #39037
02/10/2015 08:34 AM
02/10/2015 08:34 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,519
Massachusetts
boucharda Online content
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everyone going to SXM should join this Forum anyway <wink>.


<img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Thumbsup.gif" alt="" /> Agreed!

Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: boucharda] #39038
02/10/2015 08:37 AM
02/10/2015 08:37 AM
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This drives me crazy. This IS for service whether it is shared between ALL the servers or just for YOUR server.
Divi's restaurants try to say that too. It is STILL for service. Call it what it is.

As for the baggers at Grande Marche, they were more than a little demanding with a customer who had no idea. They said that she HAD to tip them.

Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: lcote] #39039
02/10/2015 08:48 AM
02/10/2015 08:48 AM
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Massachusetts
boucharda Online content
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It is STILL for service. Call it what it is.


I don't think anyone here feels differently...

Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: lcote] #39040
02/10/2015 09:04 AM
02/10/2015 09:04 AM
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Pittsburgh PA
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plequerre Offline OP
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With all due respect, it doesn't drive me "crazy" as you put it. I understand your point but I'm on the island to relax, enjoy the weather, the beach, the food and the company of friends we've known for years, not to get aggravated over stuff like this and start cruisades against businesses.

Let's continue to inform Forum members of our discoveries and that's pretty much all we can do.

Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: plequerre] #39041
02/10/2015 09:33 AM
02/10/2015 09:33 AM
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Toronto Canada
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When we questioned a 15% charge at Big Wood on the boardwalk yesterday the waitress said it was a 'cruise ship charge' and as if to prove it she pointed to the 'C' that she had written in front of it. She said that all the restaurants on the boardwalk have to charge it-not true. I was told that the owner also owns the Driftwood so we'll check there later. We did leave her a tip because I'm pretty sure that she wasn't going to get part of the cruise ship charge. I do resent this kind of rip-off.

Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: moxie] #39042
02/10/2015 09:45 AM
02/10/2015 09:45 AM
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Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
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I'm sorry, but the waitress told you that so that you would leave her an additional tip. There is absolutely no such thing as a cruise ship charge! If there's a charge added to your check, it's the service. Period.

Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: moxie] #39043
02/10/2015 09:53 AM
02/10/2015 09:53 AM
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I also feel that it is a rip-off. But I also feel that it is not the clients responsibility to make sure the waitperson gets paid. That is the responsibility of the owner of the business. I also feel that an additional payment to a waitperson only perpetuates the life of a not so good business practice establishment. It reenforces to the owner that what they do is ok. I feel the if the waitperson is "under paid" should look elsewhere for employment. And a business that treats the waitpersons ( and clients) badly should have a short life. Then another business could take it's place which hopefully has better business practices.

SXM??? Wendell

Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: SXMWendell] #39044
02/10/2015 10:34 AM
02/10/2015 10:34 AM
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Brookfield, CT.
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Quote
SXMWendell said:
I also feel that it is a rip-off. But I also feel that it is not the clients responsibility to make sure the waitperson gets paid. That is the responsibility of the owner of the business. I also feel that an additional payment to a waitperson only perpetuates the life of a not so good business practice establishment. It reenforces to the owner that what they do is ok. I feel the if the waitperson is "under paid" should look elsewhere for employment. And a business that treats the waitpersons ( and clients) badly should have a short life. Then another business could take it's place which hopefully has better business practices.

SXM??? Wendell


Couldn't be more in agreement with you on this, Wendell. I resent the fact I'm forced to play the 'tip game' and made two decisions quite a while back.

1. Not asking what the additional percentage is but if it's there on the check I'm assuming it's a tip.
2. Not playing the sympathy game either. We tip and tip generously at that but not tipping double and it doesn't matter how cute or friendly or whatever the server may be.


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: pat] #39045
02/10/2015 10:37 AM
02/10/2015 10:37 AM
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Not even a cute French guy with a French accent?

SXM??? Wendell

Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: SXMWendell] #39046
02/10/2015 10:48 AM
02/10/2015 10:48 AM
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Brookfield, CT.
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Nope!!

Now if you were talking about one of those tall blond Dutchmen with the huge smile and the throaty deep voice......perhaps I could be persuaded! NOT!! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/jester.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/jester.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: SXMWendell] #39047
02/10/2015 11:07 AM
02/10/2015 11:07 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 11,212
Auburn, WA
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Quote
SXMWendell said:
I also feel that it is a rip-off. But I also feel that it is not the clients responsibility to make sure the waitperson gets paid. That is the responsibility of the owner of the business. I also feel that an additional payment to a waitperson only perpetuates the life of a not so good business practice establishment. It reenforces to the owner that what they do is ok. I feel the if the waitperson is "under paid" should look elsewhere for employment. And a business that treats the waitpersons ( and clients) badly should have a short life. Then another business could take it's place which hopefully has better business practices.

SXM??? Wendell

<img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Thumbsup.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Thumbsup.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Thumbsup.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Thumbsup.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Thumbsup.gif" alt="" />

Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: SXMWendell] #39048
02/10/2015 11:08 AM
02/10/2015 11:08 AM
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SXMWendell said:
But I also feel that it is not the clients responsibility to make sure the waitperson gets paid. That is the responsibility of the owner of the business.


I couldn't figure out how to say this without sounding callous and uncaring. You expressed it perfectly.

Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: GaKaye] #39049
02/10/2015 11:12 AM
02/10/2015 11:12 AM
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Auburn, WA
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Last May at PP we asked about the added 15% on our bill knowing full well what it really was. Waiter said 10% was service and 5% was the TOT. I just scratched my head and didn't leave more. Figured he said it was 10% to get us to leave more. I hate this practice.

Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: plequerre] #39050
02/10/2015 04:58 PM
02/10/2015 04:58 PM
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That is how we handle it at PP also. We usually have a larger group, service is good and a few more $$ is added to the included 15%.

PP is one place that can handle a larger group and do it well.

They have been adding the 15% for some time now and it is good to know the servers were upfront about it. You will not always get that at many places.


J.D.
Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: SXMWendell] #39051
02/10/2015 05:46 PM
02/10/2015 05:46 PM
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To make things even more confusing at the Blue Fin there was a Service Charge line and below it said: Tip Not Included. Well I left a little extra but not another 15%.
I figured the tip is only for the waitress.

Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: SXMWendell] #39052
02/10/2015 07:40 PM
02/10/2015 07:40 PM
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By a coincidence I spoke to the owner & a manager to day who appeared not to be aware of this practice and sounded pretty upset and said that they would be speaking to the staff involved. Also spoke to someone who said that the staff were very well paid at these two places so lets see what happens.

Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: moxie] #39053
02/10/2015 07:58 PM
02/10/2015 07:58 PM
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Auburn, WA
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moxie said:
By a coincidence I spoke to the owner & a manager to day who appeared not to be aware of this practice and sounded pretty upset and said that they would be speaking to the staff involved. Also spoke to someone who said that the staff were very well paid at these two places so lets see what happens.

Which establishment as various ones have been mentioned?

Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: GaKaye] #39054
02/10/2015 08:11 PM
02/10/2015 08:11 PM
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Quote
GaKaye said:
Quote
SXMWendell said:
But I also feel that it is not the clients responsibility to make sure the waitperson gets paid. That is the responsibility of the owner of the business.


I couldn't figure out how to say this without sounding callous and uncaring. You expressed it perfectly.


The French side waiters have a decent livable minimum wage the Dutch side does not. If I am up to date I think the minimum wage is NAf 7.65 or $4.29 an hour. Want to try to live on $8900 a year on Dutch Sint Maarten?

Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: transplantsxm] #39055
02/10/2015 08:29 PM
02/10/2015 08:29 PM
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Posts: 12,592
Brookfield, CT.
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Transplant,

With all due respect, most of us with any island ties know about the different wage and salary structures on both sides of the island, but that's really not the point of this discussion at all. Heck, many here spend near to that amount on their annual trips.....so I can't imagine how the people of the island can live on those annual salaries.

But it's the deception over the tipping/ service/tax/gratuity/etal that literally drives everyone crazy.

A wise lady once stated here on this forum the best thing is assume if there's an add-on, you're covered unless you're absolutely inclined to leave more for whatever your reasoning. I'm good with that. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: transplantsxm] #39056
02/10/2015 08:32 PM
02/10/2015 08:32 PM
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No, I don't, but I choose not to live there, and I am not a server. If the establishment adds a 15% service charge to my check, then that's at least most of the tip/service. I'll add enough to being it to 20% or more if I feel that's warranted.

Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: pat] #39057
02/10/2015 08:35 PM
02/10/2015 08:35 PM
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Auburn, WA
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Same here Pat. In some cases I'm sorry to say with the lousy service some give, and many have witnessed that, don't deserve the 15% add on. While others deserve more.

Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: SXMScubaman] #39058
02/10/2015 08:45 PM
02/10/2015 08:45 PM
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Posts: 12,592
Brookfield, CT.
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Scuba,

I'm inclined to agree, the fifteen percent add-on in many cases has done absolutely nothing to promote good service from some wait staffs but since there's nothing we can do to change the practice, we need to come to terms with it and accept it as one more island idiosyncrasy.

And again, for those service people who do go the extra mile, we are all at our own liberty to reward their extra efforts, and I'm inclined to think most do show their appreciation in this way. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: SXMScubaman] #39059
02/10/2015 08:59 PM
02/10/2015 08:59 PM
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Computerwise Offline
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It's a slippery slope of taxes, surcharges and service charges/tipping that restaurants, car rental and condo rentals charge. Cheri's, a restaurant with a long history, charges a 5% tax. Tell the waiter to take it off, it's illegal. They know better but 90% of the patrons don't know. Went to rent a condo, wanted to add 9% tax, told them it's 5% and they said of course, yes you are correct. Ask if the 15% fee is the tip and they say it's a service charge. Car rental "tax" is anywhere from 10 to 16 pct. It's very simple, be diligent when you are about to purchase a service or get a bill and make sure it's correct. If it's not correct, ask to have it changed. If you like your server, tip them in cash an amount you feel appropriate if there is a service charge also.

Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: Computerwise] #39060
02/10/2015 10:34 PM
02/10/2015 10:34 PM
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Is listing the 15% at Pineapple Pete's as a tax a new practice? My checks there have always listed it as "service."

As has been mentioned in this forum a number of times over the past few years, there appears to be no law against adding the turnover tax to any bill. While definitely discouraged by the island administration, there is no indication it is "illegal" to pass the charge on to the end consumer.

Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: Computerwise] #39061
02/10/2015 10:43 PM
02/10/2015 10:43 PM
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Article 6 of the TOT ordinance states: “The tax is calculated over the turnover the entrepreneur has realized for his company in the area the levy applies to.”

That is clear: if a company sells a product for 1 guilder it has to pay 5 percent turnover tax to the government – but it is not allowed to add that 5 percent to the guilder it charges to customers.

Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: dane] #39062
02/10/2015 10:56 PM
02/10/2015 10:56 PM
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It is not legal. Nor is it enforced. But if you question it with authority it is removed by some and not others. If they don't than just use it as 5% of the tip and tip the rest.

Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: plequerre] #39063
02/10/2015 11:34 PM
02/10/2015 11:34 PM
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They have used this scam for years-we spend 6 weeks annually here and none in our group fall for this-we have spent many days at a local beach bar where we always tip in cash - checking our CC bills we found that after the fact they added 20% to the CC charge-we confronted them and they said sorry it is the bank-however they did comp us the $40 they punched in after we left. When we are at PP's or any other restaurant we hear the same story about who gets what-sorry if the service is good we give 20%....

Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: dane] #39064
02/11/2015 07:20 AM
02/11/2015 07:20 AM
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I don't remember if it was Pineapple Pete, but we were told at a restaurant on the Dutch side that the service was placed on the tax line because there was no other place to put the tip if you want to add it by credit card.

Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: GaKaye] #39065
02/11/2015 07:25 AM
02/11/2015 07:25 AM
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Massachusetts
boucharda Online content
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A restaurant next to Lee's gave us a handwritten bill with the word "tax" WRITTEN...it was 15% of the bill of course.

They will catch quite a few patrons with this ploy....

Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: boucharda] #39066
02/11/2015 07:27 AM
02/11/2015 07:27 AM
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Is the restaurant you mentioned known for ribs?


J.D.
Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: GaKaye] #39067
02/11/2015 07:28 AM
02/11/2015 07:28 AM
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"because there was no other place to put the tip if you want to add it by credit card."

This one has a very good chance of winning the award for lamest explanation of the year <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" />

Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: ruralcarrier] #39068
02/11/2015 07:55 AM
02/11/2015 07:55 AM
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Massachusetts
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No, I mentioned it in the other thread...it is the Caribbean restaurant to the left of Lee's

Food was good....my tip was the "tax" plus a bit more to get it near 20%

Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: transplantsxm] #39069
02/11/2015 07:56 AM
02/11/2015 07:56 AM
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a little right of center
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Quote
transplantsxm said:
Quote
GaKaye said:
Quote
SXMWendell said:
But I also feel that it is not the clients responsibility to make sure the waitperson gets paid. That is the responsibility of the owner of the business.


I couldn't figure out how to say this without sounding callous and uncaring. You expressed it perfectly.


The French side waiters have a decent livable minimum wage the Dutch side does not. If I am up to date I think the minimum wage is NAf 7.65 or $4.29 an hour. Want to try to live on $8900 a year on Dutch Sint Maarten?


Hi, I'll have a cheeseburger and a pepsi.
Would you like fries with that sir?
Yes, please.
20 minutes later she shows up with my cheeseburger and fries.
Is that a skill set that deserves more then minimum wage?


"It's 5 o'clock somewhere!"

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Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: 2fingers] #39070
02/11/2015 08:17 AM
02/11/2015 08:17 AM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 7,266
SXMWendell Offline
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SXMWendell  Offline
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and sometimes you get a cheeseburger and onion rings

SXM??? Wendell

Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: plequerre] #39071
02/11/2015 08:45 AM
02/11/2015 08:45 AM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 12,190
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
GaKaye Offline
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GaKaye  Offline
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Quote
plequerre said:
"because there was no other place to put the tip if you want to add it by credit card."

This one has a very good chance of winning the award for lamest explanation of the year <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" />


Actually, I think the explanation was legitimate, as it is not normal in European countries to add the tip to a credit card, but it is in the US and many Americans want to do that. When it was added to our check, and I'm almost positive it was at Pineapple Pete, the waiter pointed it out and told us it was the service, without our asking.

Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: 2fingers] #39072
02/11/2015 11:28 AM
02/11/2015 11:28 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,517
Manhattan
W
weeks5051 Offline
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Quote
2fingers said:
Quote
transplantsxm said:
Quote
GaKaye said:
Quote
SXMWendell said:
But I also feel that it is not the clients responsibility to make sure the waitperson gets paid. That is the responsibility of the owner of the business.


I couldn't figure out how to say this without sounding callous and uncaring. You expressed it perfectly.


The French side waiters have a decent livable minimum wage the Dutch side does not. If I am up to date I think the minimum wage is NAf 7.65 or $4.29 an hour. Want to try to live on $8900 a year on Dutch Sint Maarten?


Hi, I'll have a cheeseburger and a pepsi.
Would you like fries with that sir?
Yes, please.
20 minutes later she shows up with my cheeseburger and fries.
Is that a skill set that deserves more then minimum wage?

That may or may not be the fault of the kitchen and not the waitstaff.

Re: Pineapple Pete tax/service [Re: boucharda] #39073
02/11/2015 04:51 PM
02/11/2015 04:51 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 14,760
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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Quote
boucharda said:
No, I mentioned it in the other thread...it is the Caribbean restaurant to the left of Lee's

Food was good....my tip was the "tax" plus a bit more to get it near 20%


Ok and thanks. I was pretty sure it was the one I alluded to or the one going the other direction. We ate there 2 years ago. Decent but nothing memorable and have not been back.


J.D.

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