Bennigan's Decides To Tip Itself $5

A little tale to remind you to keep an eye on your credit card statements from reader Rebecca. What you’re charged may not always be what you signed.

I was recently at the Bennigan’s on Route 22 in New Jersey for dinner with some friends. I had never been to this particular Bennigan’s but my friends had warned me that the service was extremely bad their last visit. I enjoy Bennigan’s the most out of the fast food chains and it was the closest one so we decided to give it a shot anyways.

We were seated right away and the waiter was nice but the service was pretty bad. We were surrounded by 3 or 4 other tables with customers so there was no reason for us to be neglected. Our food took extremely long to get to our table. A lemonade took almost as long as our food to arrive. We needed our server but he was not around so I asked another waiter if he could kindly ask our server to come by. He asked for our server’s name and none of us remembered, which he probably did mention but we couldn’t recall. I told the other waiter that I couldn’t remember his name but I figured they would be able to determine our waiter by the section we were sitting in. He completely ignored my request and we continued to wait.

One person ordered a dessert instead of a meal planning to have it while the rest of us ate our entrees. That dessert still hadn’t arrived after we finished our meal. She canceled her order and waiter was glad to do so considering how long it took. A few minutes later, out came another server with the dessert By this time we already asked for the check so she didn’t want to take it if it was removed, so we sent it back.

The check arrived, I paid the bill by credit card and left the tip on the table in cash. I crossed out the tip section in the receipt and just rewrote the total. I had a feeling that something would go wrong with that charge so I checked my transactions on my card frequently. To no surprise, I found that Bennigan’s had charged me around $5 more than what was the on the bill. It was not the amount that bothered me since it’s only $5 but the fact that they added a charge after I signed the receipt and turned it in really bothered me. It’s one of either two scenarios: the waiter decided to give himself a better tip or they decided to add on the dessert anyways. Either way, the restaurant should not have changed the amount.

I called my credit card company and within 10 minutes it was resolved and they credited me the difference. It just angers me that Bennigan’s will not get penalized for their actions. Many times I do not confirm the exact amounts that I am charged on my credit card, especially at restaurants, but I’m quite sure this is the first instance it’s happened to me. I just wanted to let people know to beware of the bad service and shady business practices going on at this restaurant.

Hmmmm. How very mysterious. We’re just glad you caught it.

(Photo:William Holtkamp)