Tonight, DH, DD, and I went out to dinner in a nice Italian restaurant in a hotel (but no associated with the hotel). DD is 9. I'm trying to lose weight but wanted to enjoy a nice meal without overeating, and you know how restaurant meals are large enough for 2-3 diners, right? Well, we ordered two regular entrees and 1 iced tea; this is what we normally do no matter where we are - we share with DD so that we don't overeat (cuz I can eat my meal AND some). We don't drink alcohol and again, in keeping with trying to lose weight, didn't want added calories from ordering soda, hence iced tea, which my DH doesn't drink. Our waiter was efficient but was not especially friendly (not surly, but used no more words than he had to). The food was great; my pasta had about 50 small tortellinis (as an example of the large entrees).
At the end of the meal, I hand him my Entertainment card - for those who are groaning, let me just say that we always tip on the full amount and then some. He takes the card and says, "there's a $6 sharing fee." While he was gone to get our check, DH and I discussed this "sharing fee," so when he came back, I asked if this was disclosed on the menu. He said, "It's not, but it is our policy. For pasta, we charge $6 and for steaks, we charge $10. There's nothing I can do about it." I replied, "It would have been good to know ahead of time because we could have ordered her something instead." He said, "oh" and did look surprised as if he hadn't thought of that. BTW, a grill cheese (yes, Italian!) was $8. Oh, and he didn't split the order - he gave us an extra plate (that cost $6 to wash, I guess).
We tipped our normal, based on the total AFTER deducting out the fee. We thought about not leaving as much for tip, but my daughter said, "no... we asked for more bread two times!" And in case it matters, we were there for no more than 1 hour, and there was no other diners waiting for a table.
What are your thoughts on what, if anything, I should have/could have done about this fee? We're not going back. My DH is a little upset... he told me to remember to post on Chowhounds! He thinks the waiter added it after seeing the Entertainment card (possible, since he said it right after he took my card); I thought he might have forgotten to say anything when I said my DD wasn't ordering anything. Thanks for your feedback.