Tips for the mandatory added tips - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Tips for the mandatory added tips


Recent headlines tell a story of a couple locked inside a restaurant for refusing to pay a gratuity for a large party.

How do restaurants decide that added gratuity number?

"Any time we have a larger party of 8 people or more, we charge 18 percent gratuity as company policy," said Michael Potter.

Potter is a server at Buckner Restaurant and Brewery in Cape Girardeau.

"The larger the party, sometimes it can be overwhelming," said Potter.

As a waiter for a number of years, Potter said servers work extra to earn that extra gratuity.

"The server has to pay more attention to detail, and meet the needs of a larger crowd," said Potter.

"A large group requires a lot more work, it takes a lot longer to put in their ticket, it takes a lot longer to get their drinks and such things like that, so you're not able to take as many tables," said Natalie Wolfenkoehler.

Wolfenkoehler is the General Manager at Tractors in Jackson.

"We like for them to earn their tips," said Wolfenkoehler.

But even though bigger tables take more work, Wolfenkoehler said Tractors does not charge the added gratuity for larger groups.

"They definitely put forth a lot more effort whenever they know they're not guaranteed that 18 percent," said Wolfenkoehler.

"They're able to tip us at their own discretion," Michelle Bryan, the assistant manager at Tractors.

At both restaurants, they said tips are important.

"It's mostly just because a server's minimum wage is $3.63 an hour and were just trying to look out for our servers," said Potter.

"What the tips do is bring them up for beyond minimum wage, it's you know the way they live, and a lot of people don't realize that," said Wolfenkoehler.

That's why Tractors adds that extra percentage on to Catering events.

"They're off site, they're at different locations and so therefore our servers are spending their entire night there, taking care of that group of customers," said Bryan.

Potter said the extra tip is their standard, but they're not going to lock you up if you don't like their service.

"The 18 percent gratuity is company policy, but we're not going to enforce that upon anybody if they have an issue with it," said Potter.

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