Woman Upset 10% Gratuity Was Added To Her Restaurant Bill — She Only Planned To Tip 5% For Good Service

She thinks they should have asked before adding the tip.

Last updated on Oct 17, 2023

Restaurant server bringing check Rido / Shutterstock

A woman took to Mumsnet to find out if she did the right thing when asking that a 10% tip be removed from her dining bill.

The woman posted to the "Talk” section, "AIBU" (Am I Being Unreasonable), to ask if she was wrong for asking the restaurant to remove the optional gratuity that had been added to her check.

The restaurant did not give her the option of choosing to tip.

The woman starts by telling readers that she went to a seafood restaurant in a small town called North East. She was accompanied by three friends and says, “our bill came to about £230 and a £23 tip was automatically added to the bill.”


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Admittedly, there was text at the bottom of the menu that stated an optional charge would be added. The problem is that she never actually got to decide about paying the charge.


“They didn't ask me before actually adding it,” she wrote.

She recalls that the waitress pointed out the gratuity and offered to remove it if she and her friends preferred.

According to the woman, however, the fact that the tip was added to the bill without permission didn’t sit well with her. She would have preferred the restaurant ask her before adding the additional charges instead of requiring the patron to request removal after the fact.

“It was quite embarrassing to ask for it to be removed,” she recalled. But despite her discomfort, she had the charge removed.

According to the woman, the waitress, probably accustomed to the charge being paid without protest, seemed surprised but remained polite.


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In the end, they decided they wouldn't leave a tip at all.

The woman told readers that the food and service were good, but also says, “I would have left £10 but it soured the evening a bit, so I left nothing.” She ends her story by opining that she doesn’t think tips should be expected.

One reader responded, “It's fairly standard nowadays - but yes I agree it always annoys me and I have sometimes asked for it to be removed. I want to decide what to tip not have it automatically added on.” Another commenter agreed that tipping should happen and had no issue with the amount.

“It's pretty normal and standard and has been for a long time. I prefer this, instead of sitting and calculating especially if the bill is being split. 10 after spending 230 is measly op, unless you received poor service.”


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Others clearly sided with the waitress. One person thought the waitress had acted unreasonably, stating, “You soured the waitress' day too. You should have just paid it!”

Another person added, “Is this the first time you have been to a restaurant? It has been standard practice to add a service charge to bills for at least a decade.”

The responder continued, “When I was a waitress 20 years ago, it was standard for tables of 6 or more. You would have to be living under a rock to be surprised at this.”

Tipping culture seems to have gotten out of control in the United States — and there's a divide in opinion tipping customs in general.

This woman's experience raises an important question about tipping customs, particularly in countries like the United States where servers rely heavily on tips for their livelihood, which is not always the case abroad. The tipping culture here in America has gotten a bit out of control, with many sharing that the owness for paying servers a living wage should fall on the businesses who employ them and not the customers. 




Despite there being a divide in opinion — tipping is currently the norm and some prefer the convenience of automatic gratuities, while others feel it should always be a personal choice. While the woman's choice to request the tip's removal is valid, it's good to remember that tipping, though customary, should ideally be a voluntary and considerate gesture reflecting the quality of service received.

But it’s just as important to be mindful of the impact your personal tipping practices can have on those working in the restaurant industry, who — just like the rest of us — are doing what they can to make ends meet.


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NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington, and the author of seven books. She covers lifestyle and entertainment & news, as well as navigating the workplace and social issues.