Rob and I took a trip to Fort Lauderdale in August, and while they were down there we thought we would check out some local breweries. Rob and I have an affinity for beer; we actually do a blog for the beer we like to drink – http://www.craftbrewblog.com.
We visited 4 breweries while in Fort Lauderdale, and this blog post is about just one of them. It was the 2nd brewery that we visited – we went in to try their beer, so we ordered a sample of all their beers. Rob and I each ordered a pint of the beer we liked the most. When I received my beer, it looked and tasted different than the sample I had tried. When I asked her about it, she responded that she must have mixed up the samples when we tasted. I was not too happy about that, since it meant that my tasting for the blog would not all be usable. While I waited, thinking that she would be replacing it with the beer I originally ordered, when she came back by, she kind of laughed and said I could have that for my next beer since it was buy one get one free for happy hour. I went with it, decided it was not worth arguing about, asked to buy a sifter glass, as it was a shape I needed and did not have.
I asked for the bill, and when I received the bill I was shocked to see 18% gratuity added on to bill.

I asked the bartender, after looking on the menu to see if it was an automatic gratuity (it was not); she replied that they usually do that on out of town customers.
I was floored, I have never heard of a place choosing to charge 18% tip for two people’s beer. Plus, she was charging me a gratuity on the glasses we purchased.

The Result: She actually got less of a tip than she would have if she did not put the gratuity on bill.

Being that I am not a local, I won’t be back anytime soon. Does that make it right?
It certainly leaves a bad taste in my mouth for that brewery, even though the beer was good.

What are your thoughts on automatic gratuities?
Would you have paid the tip that she put in there, ignored it, or asked for it to be removed?
What would be the impact on you revisiting this establishment?

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About Tiffanie Kellog

Tiffanie loves to help people make more money while saving time, so they can hopefully have more fun!

6 responses »

  1. Automatic gratuities are acceptable on large parties in my opinion. But to charge an automatic gratuity because someone is from out of town? You never know who that person may know locally that they could recommend your establishment to. I would have asked for the manager and asked for the gratuity to be removed, and then to make the point, would have tipped her my usual 20% gratuity.

    • tiffaniekellog says:

      I get it on the large parties, and when large party bills are split (and even on those it can be removed usually)
      This was just weird!!!

  2. bill says:

    I do not believe in “automatic” gratuities. Tips are earned based on the quality of service provided, why should I tip someone who does a poor job? And there is no way I am going back to a place that requires an extra 18% just because I am “out-of-town”

  3. I was upset when she didn’t care that you had the wrong beer. I would have paid for what I purchased up to that point with 15% gratuity and a note that I would have loved to pay more for the service but that there seemed to be none. I’m surprised that you did leave the name of the brewery out. You’ll never go back there, but what if I wanted to go taste beer in Ft Lauderdale? I’ll gladly skip that brewery and double my spending at the ones with better service.

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