I just went to the Cricketer Arms Pub in Orlando's Mercado center. I wasn't expecting great food (nor did I get it), but I was shocked when the bill came. They had added 15% to my bill as a tip, which is becoming more common these days and doesn't bother me in and of itself. However, it was clear that they were trying to disguise that fact to get an extra 15% plus. Here's what they did:
- on the "itemized" bill that the waitress used to take my order, she had just written down what I had ordered, without putting the prices. At the bottom she simply put, "35.25" as a total. This sounded a bit high, but I wasn't yet sure; I had had a steak ($18.00) and 2 beers, price at that time unknown. Since I am from California, I figured that the beers could have been $7 or so each, which would have been correct
- I found out that the beers were only $4 or so; after asking a busboy, I learned that they had in fact added a 15% tip. The waitress never told me, and I didn't see it on the menu (of course that doesn't mean it's not there).
- What really convinced me that they (or she) was running a scam: when the credit card receipt came, there was a "helpful" tip table. It showed that to tip "15%" I could add $5.28; to tip 20% it would be $7.05, etc. There was no indication that they had added in the tip already, and so she was clearly expecting another tip for some percentage of the meal, plus a percentage of the first tip! Since I would have normally tipped 20% or so, this would have given her a 38% tip. Since I almost didn't notice, I bet many people fall for this.
I can't say that this is their policy or simply a scam perpetrated by my waitress, but BEWARE! Either way it was clearly a deliberate larcenous act.