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autograt n. a tip that is included as a charge on a restaurant bill rather than left to a diner’s discretion. Etymological Note: From automatic gratuity. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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  • I am part of a large group of Kansas City fans that gets together once a month or so for a new adventure in dining, someone suggests a restaurant and we either go “no way” or “yes, I’m coming.”

    We tend to field an average of 20 people for the event. 

    We have been treated very crappily by waitstaff.  BUT the big caveat:  a lot of us have HAD jobs like that. And we appreciate good waitstaff totally and completely.

    If we get treated normally or above normally well, we TIP MORE THAN THE ‘AUTOGRAT’ RATE.  Some waitstaff figure that out—we’re really appreciative if they’re good—and don’t add the tip to the bill—and earn quite a lot more than usual. Others don’t and sometimes get left a few dollars more at the table BUT we tend to figure if your establishment insists on a set tip, you won’t get more than that from us.  Tips are earned and we resent it if we’re forced to tip, especially when we get really bad service (the guy who complains to the manager is in Puerto Rico right now so some waiters should count their blessings….)

    Our favorite place a diner that we hit after every monthly meeting, fields an extra waitress/waiter that night for us.  They hit the jackpot, despite the fact that there is nothing on the menu more than $10. Because even the people who might just buy a drink (non-alcoholic) or a dessert leave a dollar at minimum.

  • Okay, so you have worked in the food industry.  So how often have you waited on a large group, to have them only leave you a couple of dollars?  Less than 10%?  It happens more often than not.  Also, if you work in a establishment that has a lot of foreigners that just do not tip, then what?  Servers make less than minimum wage in most places & in a lot of places the customers do not think of this.  There are occassions that groups leave additional tips or extra, but do not think you are of the norm.  Don’t get excited or upset that there is an automatic tip on large parties.  HOWEVER if they service is horrible, then you have a legitamate complaint.  But the fact is, not everyone tips & working a larger party is not easy.

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