Recently my wife and I went to The Craftsman with another couple. Never having been there before I made reservations online. Upon arriving I realized that was probably not necessary. It was a Saturday night and was not busy. We sat on the patio. I ordered the strip steak and my friend ordered the other steak. The ladies ordered the special pasta of the day. Service was VERY slow but we got the appetizer cheese plate and drinks. The cheese was awesome! The main course eventually came out and I was surprised with the small portions of pasta, but it was excellent. My steak was pretty tough. Actually, they knife provided would not cut the steak and I could not chew it either. Strange, but whatever, I just waited for the server to come back so I could get something else. I waited, and waited. While everyone else finished their meals, I still had a plate of uneaten steak. The bus boy finally came around and started clearing plates. He looked at my full plate and asked if I wanted a box. I told him I really just wanted something else to eat. He took my plate and must have gone to the kitchen to inform somebody. A few minutes later the server came back and apologized, I ordered a spaghetti. Another 20 minutes and that came, it was pretty good. Then we all had different desserts. NOW! Here is where I actually get to the point. The check came and each couple paid with a separate card. We calculated it out and I told my buddy to include the tip on his card. I did not put any tip on my bill. Due to the long waits and the one bad dish, and an overall lack of attention and care, the tip ended up being just over 10% of the bill. Now, don't jump on me yet!, My usual tip is at least 20% (just for breakfast this morning I tipped 25%) But I felt this experience justified 10% and it probably should have gone to the bus boy. JUMP TO ONE WEEK LATER---- I am reconciling my bank card statement and find that The Craftsman charged my card 18% more than what I signed for! I thought maybe it was a mistake and gave them a call. I talked to the owner and he said that when receipts were lost it is possible for them to add a tip to the bill. I asked it the receipt was lost because I had my copy. Turns out he was looking right at the receipt for mine and the other couple's card. He said the other couple left a tip and I did not. I told him that I was aware of that. He then said it is industry standard to tip 18% and although tipping is discretionary, they are within their rights to add a tip. He stated that 10% on the meal was low, and repeated that although tipping is discretionary, 18% is industry standard. He did offer to put the money back on my card. I told him just to keep it if that is the way he felt. I still don't know how I feel about this. The more I think about it, the more I think I should have had him refund it. I realize that the bad meat was not the servers fault, but the speed and the lack of any caring about anything was. The food was very good overall and I feel the whole experience is muddied now after finding out they decided to just take what they wanted off my bank card. You can razz me if you want, I just wanted to see if this has ever happened to anybody else.
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