After a story in the NY Post that several pricey New York City hotel bars are automatically adding an 18-20% gratuity to patrons’ bar tabs, Consumerist reports that the Gansevoort has eliminated its automatic gratuity.
The policy was instituted, according to these hotels, to deal with foreign tourists who don’t realize or care that tipping is customary at American bars and restaurants.
Are automatic gratuities just one more way for overpriced eateries to milk their customers? Or is it a legitimate response for venues worried about maintaining their waitstaff? And if a waiter doesn’t have to work for his or her tip, doesn’t that diminish his incentive to provide good service? Would you return to a restaurant that tacked 20% onto the cost of your bill?