hey all, i just got back from tour in chelsea. after a night of disco fries and drinks, i got our bill and noticed that an 18% gratuity was automatically added to the bill--even though we were only a party of 2. i asked to speak to the manager about this practice; i felt that it was a very ungracious coda to an outing and quite inappropriate for such a small group. the manager argued that all restaurants in manhattan (e.g., cafeteria, pastis, 7A) charge this automatic 18% after midnight to keep their waiters from getting stiffed by drunken patrons. i disagreed and asked why was it arbitrarily set at 18% versus 15%? (moreover, it's not noted on the menu) anyways, i'm usually in LES or East Village and i've never ever encountered that practice.
so, what do you guys think of that practice? the manager was completely unapologetic for the practice. my fiancee actually just thought it was an opportunity for the restaurant to get people to double tip.