Sneaky! The New York Post caught several restaurants in NYC sneaking a gratuity on to the bills of unsuspecting customers. Tsk, tsk. That’s not allowed.
The NYP says that consumer laws prevent tables of less than 8 people from being automatically charged a tip — and no one can be charged a tip without a warning on the menu. That’s not stopping some restaurants, however.
From the NYP:
Rebecca Christian, a resourcing manager from Manchester, England, who visited the swanky River Café in Brooklyn over the holidays with her boyfriend, said she was hit with an unannounced 15 percent gratuity on a $400 check.
In fact, the menu said, “Gratuity and sales tax not included.”
Despite being “absolutely shocked,” she said, she paid the bill because she thought it was an American custom.
The eatery denies adding on secret gratuities.
The paper offers several more anecdotes and says that the city Department of Consumer Affairs can issue a violation if a restaurant is caught sneaking a tip on to your bill. The fine is between $50-$500 per instance.