Service charge for a table of only 4?

Last week I met up with a few friends to celebrate a Birthday. I arrived after dinner for to toast my friend and came just in time to sing “Happy Birthday” and for cake!  We asked for the check and noticed the bill was high.  Upon reviewing the bill, we realized that they added a 20% gratuity to the check for only 4 people!  What? If we didn’t review the bill, we would have tipped an additional 20%!  They never mentioned to us that they included a service/gratuity charge on our check.  Just wondering what your take on this?

We were a little perplexed, and didn’t understand why they would automatically add gratuity, when we were only four people. The service wasn’t very good but still shouldn’t we get to decide what we want to leave as a tip?

After, I discussed this with a friend, she then saw this post online. I just find it very assuming for a restaurant to include gratuity and NOT mention it to us.  I understand it for large parties but for table of only four people?  I usually don’t look at my restaurant checks and just hand over a credit card.  It may be time to start looking at our checks more thoroughly.

 

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