Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Does anyone on here use to help pay for dinners out?

    There are almost NO restaurants here that take the certificates but I keep hearing advertisements for it. Something about buying a $10 gift certificate for $3 or $6, and similar discounts on $25 and $50 GC's. But there are requirements when you go to the restaurant. With the $50 GC's I saw it all said you have to buy $100 worth of food.

    for hte $25 GC it seems to be about a total $35 purchase.

    Anyway, I wondered if anyone had any experience with these.
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I just bought four of them ($25 value each) for $2 a piece during a special promo they had. One is for my sister in law -- found an Italian place near her house that I thought she could go to for her birthday. One is at a restaurant at a hotel near my mom's house I thought I'd take her to. And the other two are for ME! I've been to one of the restaurants and only driven past the other.

    I haven't used any of them yet. They all say a minimum purchase of $35, which shouldn't be too hard to do. The only part I DON'T like is they say they automatically add 18% gratuity to the bill. Ahem, I think I should be the one to decide whether or not the service merits a gratuity, don't you?

    I plan on using one of them in the next week or so for my birthday. I'll let you know how it goes.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Thanks for letting me know. I think the gratuity is added because that is the major portion of the server's wages. some people, like you, would calculate the tip on the total bill, and would tip according to service performed.

    Sadly, many people will calculate the tip based on the $2 they paid for the gift certificate and the $10 or so over. This means the server does the work for a $35 or $40 dollar meal and gets the tip for a $10 dollar meal. It has a BIG impact on the server, because servers are charged income tax on 18% of the total of the tickets for their tables, regardless of how much they actually earn in tips.

    Restaurants find it hard to keep good servers if they consistently are shorted on tips because of gift certificates.

    It is also one reason that many restaurants automatically add a tip to any group over 8 people. Often with groups people assume that someone else gave enough of a tip to cover the entire bill. Then the servers end up actually LOSING money because they earn so little and are taxed on the totall of the bill. Servers can end up PAYING to serve a meal to a group or someone with a gift certificate, no matter how good the service is.

    If you have really bad service, say something to the manager. If you can give concrete examples of bad service, the manager can take the automatic tip off in many cases.

    Can you tell I have working in restaurants quite a bit?? LOL!
  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Oh, I completely understand the whole issue with tipping on gift certificates. We make a point of always basing our tip on the total of our bill prior to any discounts AND the quality of service. I'm just old fashioned in not wanting something like this forced on me. If they're going to do that, they should just factor that into the menu price and pay their people accordingly, in my opinion.

    Anyway... have you looked at the site to search for establishments near you or within a certain range? I looked by zipcode and then you can expand the radius from there. I'm sure a lot depends on whether you live in a populous area. You may have to widen your search to a major city.

    Maybe if you have a trip planned for some place this year, you could choose a restaurant in the city you will be visiting and use the GC that way?
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I checked our entire state and there were not that many restaurants. I am thinking of using mycokereward points to get one for my aunt and uncle. They live near a large city that has lots of places. This is for the aunt who came out to help me. She and my mom worked so hard. Today was my last day to see her. She flies out tomorrow morning. But she helped so much, and so has my mom. It is just incredible.

    My aunt wouldn't take a gift certificate if I bought it with cash, but she will if I use the mycokereward points. She is funny that way.

    Thanks for the info though. and I do understand how you feel about having the tip forced on you. It is one reason I love the restaurant I worked at in college. And plan to have my daughter work there. EVERYONE is paid minimum wage. And tips are shared, based on how many hours you worked that day. It motivated us to learn to do more than one job and to help each other if someone needed help. And it was just more fun.

    Thanks for the info, I appreciate it.
  6. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    NO PROBLEM, MY PLEASURE, YOU'RE WELCOME! :rofl: (Hope nobody gets offended!)