Restaurant's 18% service charge for party of 1 shocks social media

vt-author-image

By James Kay

Article saved!Article saved!

A service charge of 18% is sending social media into a frenzy considering it applies to parties of one and above.

Eating out is always a treat. The food normally tastes better and the lack of washing up just makes the experience a lot less stressful.

The one downside to it all is that it usually costs a fair amount more and that's not including tips - or in this case, a staggering 18% service charge.

A Vietnamese restaurant in Cupertino, California, has found itself at the center of controversy after a customer exposed what many consider an unusual dining practice.

size-full wp-image-1263229446
Redditors were left shocked at the 18% service charge. Credit: TRTL2k/Reddit

The dispute arose when a disgruntled patron shared a receipt on Reddit, revealing an automatic 18% service charge for "parties of one or larger" at Pho Ha Noi.

The customer took to Reddit's "mildly infuriating" thread to express their dissatisfaction, saying: "I've seen restaurants include gratuity when it's a large party but never for parties of 1!"

The receipt in question displayed a subtotal of $49.50, which mysteriously escalated to $62.93 after the addition of the service fee ($8.91) and sales tax ($4.52).

It's safe to say that the 18% service charge did not sit well with some viewers, who took to the comments to express their distaste.

One person wrote: "Did you ask to speak to manager and explain to them to enjoy the $8, you will never be returning again?"

A second added: "I’d be fine with it if they just raised prices 18% and said no to tipping. Either way they’re not getting the other 2% they would have gotten if I was given the choice."

While a third said: "Imagine piggy backing off customers to make up for paying staff so poorly. Servers are supposed to earn the tip, not expect it."

size-full wp-image-1263227168
Casa Bonita, the Lakewood restaurant, purchased by the creators of South Park in 2021. Credit: Hyoung Chang / Getty

In complete contrast to this bizarre story, the creators of South Park recently made headlines after they banned tipping at their Colorado restaurant and paid their staff $30 an hour instead.

Though fans of South Park will know that Casa Bonita is far from your run-of-the-mill restaurant. Spanning an impressive 52,000 square feet, this Lakewood institution offers patrons unique attractions like live indoor cliff diving and an exhilarating walk-through experience in Black Bart's Cave.

Just days before the grand reopening, staff contracts underwent a transformation, introducing new terms that guaranteed servers and bartenders an impressive $30 per hour - more than double Colorado's current minimum wage of $13.65 - while explicitly prohibiting them from accepting tips.

Stefanie Jones, a Casa Bonita spokesperson, clarified to Axios: "Casa Bonita values its employees, and based on the recent beta testing of our one-of-a-kind restaurant, we have adjusted our compensation system for efficiency and fairness."

Two different eateries with two very different methodologies...


Featured image credit: Robert Alexander/Getty

Restaurant's 18% service charge for party of 1 shocks social media

vt-author-image

By James Kay

Article saved!Article saved!

A service charge of 18% is sending social media into a frenzy considering it applies to parties of one and above.

Eating out is always a treat. The food normally tastes better and the lack of washing up just makes the experience a lot less stressful.

The one downside to it all is that it usually costs a fair amount more and that's not including tips - or in this case, a staggering 18% service charge.

A Vietnamese restaurant in Cupertino, California, has found itself at the center of controversy after a customer exposed what many consider an unusual dining practice.

size-full wp-image-1263229446
Redditors were left shocked at the 18% service charge. Credit: TRTL2k/Reddit

The dispute arose when a disgruntled patron shared a receipt on Reddit, revealing an automatic 18% service charge for "parties of one or larger" at Pho Ha Noi.

The customer took to Reddit's "mildly infuriating" thread to express their dissatisfaction, saying: "I've seen restaurants include gratuity when it's a large party but never for parties of 1!"

The receipt in question displayed a subtotal of $49.50, which mysteriously escalated to $62.93 after the addition of the service fee ($8.91) and sales tax ($4.52).

It's safe to say that the 18% service charge did not sit well with some viewers, who took to the comments to express their distaste.

One person wrote: "Did you ask to speak to manager and explain to them to enjoy the $8, you will never be returning again?"

A second added: "I’d be fine with it if they just raised prices 18% and said no to tipping. Either way they’re not getting the other 2% they would have gotten if I was given the choice."

While a third said: "Imagine piggy backing off customers to make up for paying staff so poorly. Servers are supposed to earn the tip, not expect it."

size-full wp-image-1263227168
Casa Bonita, the Lakewood restaurant, purchased by the creators of South Park in 2021. Credit: Hyoung Chang / Getty

In complete contrast to this bizarre story, the creators of South Park recently made headlines after they banned tipping at their Colorado restaurant and paid their staff $30 an hour instead.

Though fans of South Park will know that Casa Bonita is far from your run-of-the-mill restaurant. Spanning an impressive 52,000 square feet, this Lakewood institution offers patrons unique attractions like live indoor cliff diving and an exhilarating walk-through experience in Black Bart's Cave.

Just days before the grand reopening, staff contracts underwent a transformation, introducing new terms that guaranteed servers and bartenders an impressive $30 per hour - more than double Colorado's current minimum wage of $13.65 - while explicitly prohibiting them from accepting tips.

Stefanie Jones, a Casa Bonita spokesperson, clarified to Axios: "Casa Bonita values its employees, and based on the recent beta testing of our one-of-a-kind restaurant, we have adjusted our compensation system for efficiency and fairness."

Two different eateries with two very different methodologies...


Featured image credit: Robert Alexander/Getty