I made a post on Facebook about black restaurants telling people how much they have to spend or how much they have to tip. I’ve made post about forced tipping also. But at 656 Sports Bar and Grill you have to spend $25 per seat.
My friends and I went to 656 to watch a game (I don’t watch the games or even care for the NFL right now). I got there first to secure a table (my friends are on CP time). I was asked how many people were in my party (normal). I told her 4. She then explained that $25 has to be spent in order to sit there. Not just $25 at a table but $25 per person sitting at the table. But there is a catch. Gratuity is added to any bill of $50 or more of 18%. Parties 5 or more are 18% gratuity as well.
Where do my problems begin? First problem, don’t tell me how much money I have to spend. I find it tacky and insulting. Second problem I have is someone telling me how much to tip . Problem number three, the high priced drinks with no pricing. Their drink menu didn’t have any pricing on them. This isn’t a high end bar nor a gastro pub. It a neighborhood bar in Atlanta, that serves the neighborhood (Mechanicville). If you don’t know where that part of Atlanta is located, Google is your friend. My fourth problem is that I only see this at black establishments. Not all but only (maybe in time I will experience this at non black establishments).
Let’s discuss why establishments might do this. On my post many people kept saying that people sit in seats and don’t spend a lot of money. They buy fries, two beers, and sit for 3 hours. My answer to this, So!!!!! If that is all I want to order, that is all I want to order. I am a patron once I order 1 beer or 1 order of fries. It should not matter how much I spend. If that is a problem, charge an entrance fee, have sections, or have specials that encourage spending. I personally like the idea of having specials.
Don’t tell me how much to tip you. Once again, people were saying people don’t tip. Well it’s called gratuity. Well what is gratuity?
- the waiter accordingly. I have also noticed that when tip is automatically added, the service sucks big time.
I don’t have to tip. I tip based on your service. If my food sucks and my service is good… guess who is getting a good tip? I have find that establishment that automatically add the tip, have poor service. This has happened to me at Puffs and Petals, and Escobar. I will say I had good service at Escobar. At 656 my service was not that of 18%. If people are not tipping, check on the service you are rendering. If there is not a problem there, pay your waiters more. If need be raise prices, if your customers don’t want to tip.
I don’t believe they would have to raise prices because their cocktail menu was a little high for the establishment. Here is the catch, there aren’t any prices on the menu. Which can be misleading. I personally don’t see why their drink prices are not listed. Do they think no one would order a drink with the price listed? Just weird and kind of sneaky. This isn’t a high end bar nor a gastro pub. It’s a neighborhood bar in Atlanta, that serves the neighborhood (Mechanicville). If you don’t know where that part of Atlanta is located, Google is your friend.
I have only noticed things like this at black establishments. I caught some backlash from people on Facebook again. Some try to argue that this happens at a lot of non black locations as well. But if you check my resume, I visit a lot of places. I must say I have only noticed this at black locations. I have never went to a bar where I have to spend X amount of dollars to have a seat. I have never had anyone tell me how much I have to tip and add it to my bill automatically (with large parties it happens but not as a single person). I have experienced this at Puffs and Petals and Escobar (tip added). I was told BQE charged per seat at one point. Their customer service is sketchy. They also have a note that you may not sit at your reservation time. Then what is the point of having a reservation?
I’m not saying all black establishments do this. But a lot of them come up with crazy rules and people deal with them. Tom Dick and Hank don’t do this. They are also next door to 656. They don’t automatically add gratuity, or tell you how much you must spend. Their food is really good and they have good service. I just thought I would put that out there.
Every time I experience these things I have to wonder why it happens. These establishments need to know how to implement positive spending habits with their customers. Knowing your customer is very important. Your menu and price points should reflect whom your intended target customers are. Insulting customers by automatically adding tip, or charging them per seat are not good business practices. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth and that is not something you don’t want before you eat.