Beware! This Popular Restaurant Scam is Spreading Through Boise
Leaving a gratuity (otherwise known as tipping) has been expected from guests who go out to restaurants for many years.
Many locals have said they generally leave 18-20% of their bill’s total, depending on a number of factors, such as the quality of service.
You might be surprised to hear though that Idaho actually has the lowest average tipping percentage, with an average rate of 16.71%.
However, one thing that we’ve heard a lot about these days is something we believe we should discuss further: auto-gratuity.
What is auto-gratuity?
Many restaurants have a general rule that if a group or party has 8 or more people in it (some places are even 6 or more), then your server or bartender can automatically add a gratuity to your bills of 18-20%.
This is completely understandable, because larger groups require far more energy and time to take care of, and their bills are naturally going to be much higher… so these restaurants have this rule in place to make sure that their staff is taken care of accordingly.
Basically, they don’t want a big party to take up so much time and space, only for their server to be stiffed (don’t be cheap, people).
What’s the problem?
However, the phenomenon that’s been sweeping throughout Boise is that some places have been putting auto-gratuities onto people’s bills without telling them.
It has been especially common with places that use the handheld computer systems called “Toast,” because everything is done digitally and oftentimes they don’t print your receipt out.
So then your server hands you their Toast to get your signature, and customers are tipping extra, on top of a total that already includes a tip without realizing.
This was brought to our attention after several people started complaining that they thought their bill was higher than it should have been…
But once enough people all started saying the same exact thing, they all realized that they were probably taken advantage of.
So this is just a friendly reminder to be aware of what your bill should be, to ask if there was an auto-gratuity added to your bill if you’re unsure and if all else fails, you can always ask for a printed receipt.
Stay smart out there, Boise!