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Look over your food check for extra "TAXES"

Pittsburgh...
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77 posts
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Look over your food check for extra "TAXES"

Most restaurants add a 10% Service Charge(SC) to the bill and disguise it as TAX. Sales Tax is 9%. Anything else on your bill is an SC. I am telling you this is because servers are not all honest about it!

EXAMPLE: My family ate at the COCONUT GROVE. Dinner and drinks came slightly over $200 US. Then there was a 20% tax added on. We ate at a local restaurant the evening before and the tax was lower. Because I had read beforehand that a 10% SC usually was added to restaurant checks, we questioned the server if part of the 20% was actually this SC.She got very vague and confusing with her answer. So I asked point blank if there was a service charge added on and she said "Well not really". My next question was "so this 20% is all government Tax"? and she said YES !!. Now let me say: we usually tip 20% for great service and the service was great here but we were suspicious of the answer we just got and tipped only 15% on the total bill (YES including that mysterious 20% tax). So with tip our bill came to approx $750 EC.

The next day I asked our rental agent about taxes and service charges and found out that our suspicions were correct: WE WERE LIED TOO! So not only was there 11% added but the amount we tipped on meant we tipped on top of server tip! The agent just happened to be going to the COCONUT GROVE that evening and she would speak with the owner. our agent called us the next day and reported that the owner wanted us to come in for around of free drinks and that he would take off the tip amount from our charge card we used. We did not go back for our free drinks and figured the correction to the charge card would be enough. BUT, we got our statement last week and the amount was not corrected!

Beware the COCONUT GROVE staff is not the only dishonest bunch. We went to lunch at the Oualie Beach Club the next day, ask the same questions and got the same vague answers. I know that tips are their main source of income but, I do not want to go and frequent a restaurant with staff that will knowingly rip me OFF!

Dallas, Texas
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62 posts
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1. Re: Look over your food check for extra "TAXES"

Dear 1smartblond,

I want to apologies for my staff at Oualie Beach for not informing you of the service charge added to your bill. I will have a stern meeting with them right away.

It drives me crazy when I go out and people are not strait forward with me. Our menus here at Oualie do state that there is a 10% service charge added as well as a 9% government tax. I'm sorry you missed that info, I will make it more bold on our next printing.

I hope you will come again and visit us, when you do let me know and we'll try to make it up to you somehow.

Truly,

Chef Jason Bishop

869-469-5344

nevis
2 posts
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2. Re: Look over your food check for extra "TAXES"

Hello.

Sorry for replying so late to this comment.

I was not aware of the insident, but do care to let you know that the staff that was at coconut grove at the time you ate ther has been changed.

Also note that there is no rule on nevis when it comes to servoce charge, but Coconut grove has 10% service charge, and every dime goes to the staff.

it is not a tax.

Please contact me and give me the info on you card so that I may refund the expence you had.

I hope this never happens again in my resataurant and I do hope that you did enjoy the dinner.

I am gary the owner of Coconut Grove and do regret the insident.

My phone is 869 665 8058.

Saint James City...
Destination Expert
for San Pedro
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10 reviews
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3. Re: Look over your food check for extra "TAXES"

So, now I'm a little confused. Does this mean that essentially a 10% tip has already been added to the bill? Since we usually tip 15-20%, we only need to make up the difference? Or is this 'service charge' spread between so many people that the server doesn't see much of it? Thanks.

nevis
2 posts
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4. Re: Look over your food check for extra "TAXES"

Hello.

The distribution of service charge on Nevis is governed by the Nevis labor department.

Service charge is not manditory but it is recommended to have on.

The four Seasons resort applies a 10 % service charge and therefor so do most private establishments as well as other hotels.

The Nisbeth Plantation applies a 12% service charge....

The moneys collected from the service charge are totaly distributed among the staff. Not necessarely the wait staff. All the staff normaly gets a share. The entire amount of moneys collected must be distributed for the staff, not the owners.

The % going to each staff is different depending on the position held.

Wait staff at coconut grove gets the majority and shares that equaly.

A smaller portion goes to the kitchen staff.

Hope I made this easier for you to understand.

I personaly prefer no service charge, but habits here make it that the staff like it and it is difficult to find staff willing to work with no service charge. Thanks to the Four seasons we al are subject to these habits.

Dallas, Texas
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62 posts
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5. Re: Look over your food check for extra "TAXES"

Also as a note, you can add if you'd like but it is not a rule. I have instructed my staff to reply in the following, especially after this last posting.

"Yes a service charge has been added, but we appreciate any extra if you feel the service was exceptional."

I find that most American visitors add a bit more. As Gary has stated all service charge monies go to the employees. The disbursement is up to the management. As well hand written, "extra tips”, in our hotel, go to the wait staff working that night. We find this to be the fairest way to do this.

I hope we have helped you out. I know Gary and I were shocked over this post and both of us have made major changes to ensure our guest get the best and most honest service in Nevis. Come visit us and we'll show you a great time.

Great eating,

Chef Jason

Saint James City...
Destination Expert
for San Pedro
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15,729 posts
10 reviews
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6. Re: Look over your food check for extra "TAXES"

Thanks for the additional information. We'll be on Nevis in January. Look forward to meeting everyone. Jean

Hendersonville
4 posts
1 review
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7. Re: Look over your food check for extra "TAXES"

My family vacations in Nevis frequently. We eat at the Coconut Grove at least once during our stay and have always found the food to be good and the servers pleasant. We have never had a problem with the service charge which is posted on the menu.

Pittsburgh...
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77 posts
22 reviews
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8. Re: Look over your food check for extra "TAXES"

Just by what has been written the last few months, obviously the ORIGINAL point has been lost ……….. Was the food bad … NO ( never stated), was the service bad ( as a matter of fact I think I said it was great) ……… IT doesn’t matter whether it’s “posted on the menu” (duh), or for that matter whether the service charge is 10%, 15%, 20% … or 30% …. make it what you want! THE POINT IS, YOU DO NOT STATE IT SEPARATLY ON THE CHECK. You lump it in with the taxes, which by your own declarations it is not a “tax”. You are allowing your employees (in our case) to take advantage of YOUR customers. I been to other restaurants in the Caribbean and it is declared as a Service charge but for what ever reason not in Nevis.

Thank you Gary for your offer but at this point Ive already chalked it up to lessons learned.

Sidney, Canada
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274 posts
24 reviews
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9. Re: Look over your food check for extra "TAXES"

Sounds like the invoice/bill/tab that a patron receives in a restaurant needs a re-print to show itemized meals/drinks purchased, then separate lines/columns for the 9% tax, a separate line/column for the stated 10% "service charge" and a further line/column for any additional tip/gratuity. But this begs the question of where the tax and service charge is calculated. On a $100.00 meal/drink purchase, is it:

$100.00 $100.00

Tax 9.00 S/C 10.00

s/total 109.00 110.00

S/C 10.00 Tax 9.90

Total $119.00 or $119.90

I would suggest that restaurants spell out the correct calculation for the benefit of the patrons and the staff...on both the menu and the bill. I would also suggest that the "service charge" be spelled out to the extent that it is: "a customary but arbitrary amount that recognizes the attentiveness of the staff and over-all enjoyment of the meal...and that a patron may decline this charge if dissatisfied or increase the amount for exceptional service and over-all satisfaction."

Restaurants, failing to enact some sort of written policy of the above are clearly not acting in the best interest of their business, the fairness to their staff and placing less than a positive reflection on the tourist/hospitality industry.

Having been responsible for more than a dozen food and beverage outlets, in another life, I am a big supporter of industry and feel qualified to rant when these types of complaints tarnish what should be a "profession"...not something you do until you get a real job. This applies everywhere! Not just SKN.

Cheers, Richard.

Dallas, Texas
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62 posts
1 review
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10. Re: Look over your food check for extra "TAXES"

Hello again 1smartblond,

I'm glad you had the chance to respond to this forum again. It seems that you were not the only person experiencing this as well. There was a thread started a few months ago here:

tripadvisor.com/…3194043

I hope others have read it and implemented a standard. We have and I thank those who contributed to these forums. Our guest appreciate this little line on our checks.

So thanks and good eating,

Chef Jason

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