10% service charge for groups of 8 or more.

cricket

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Friend ( foreign ) has been asked to organise a lunch for about 15 people in Cork. When shopping around he has come across this charge. When he asked one restaurant why it was there he was told they always did this , no other reason given. He asked me , I haven't a clue and would have thought that , especially at this time , restaurants would be glad of a group booking. Anyone know why there's such a charge ?
 


rockofcashel

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Friend ( foreign ) has been asked to organise a lunch for about 15 people in Cork. When shopping around he has come across this charge. When he asked one restaurant why it was there he was told they always did this , no other reason given. He asked me , I haven't a clue and would have thought that , especially at this time , restaurants would be glad of a group booking. Anyone know why there's such a charge ?
Apparently, I was told once, that there is more work in getting food out to larger groups "at the same time", but personally I think it is simply a scam that people were foolish enough to pay for, so restaurants charged it.

I seen a French guy simply refuse to pay it one night in a restaurant at a table of around 15 people as well. They were looking for around 80 euro extra and he told them no way, he wasn't told before they ordered, and if he had been told, he wouldn't have eaten there.

He was completely adamant, and they didn't get the money.
 

gijoe

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Two likely reasons:

When you book for a group of 15 how many will actually turn up on the night? 10, 11, 12? Anyone who has ever organised anything knows that a percentage of people will swear blind to you that they are going but when it comes to the crunch they bailout without even having the courtesy of letting you know. But the restaurant may have turned down other bookings leaving wasted capacity.

Secondly, there will be higher damages and general messing with large groups with alcohol on board that impose a range of costs on staff and management.
 

Fides

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Two likely reasons:

When you book for a group of 15 how many will actually turn up on the night? 10, 11, 12? Anyone who has ever organised anything knows that a percentage of people will swear blind to you that they are going but when it comes to the crunch they bailout without even having the courtesy of letting you know. But the restaurant may have turned down other bookings leaving wasted capacity.

Secondly, there will be higher damages and general messing with large groups with alcohol on board that impose a range of costs on staff and management.
Boo Hoo, more customers means more work. I run my own business and am delighted to get larger orders, in fact in normal business larger orders usually get a discount.
Here's a marketing tip for a restaurant - advertise that you don't charge service charge for large groups. Give them good service and you'll get a tip anyway. It is the presumption that you have to pay that annoys most people.
 

b.a. baracus

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I have seen this in loads of places. It's a joke - there should be a discount for bringing in large numbers of customers!
 

Interista

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I think gijoe's point about the possibility of a large group cancelling at the last minute does have some merit, but I don't agree with the rest. As others have said, of course more paying customers bring more work, but that is to be expected - and in the case of just about any other business - welcomed and actively encouraged rather than penalised.
 

collina

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Interista

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With regards to the concern that a large group might cancel at the last minute and leave the restaurant owner with a load of empty tables, couldn't they approach it in a similar manner to booking a hotel? ie take someone's credit card details on booking, and charge them some sort of 'no show' penalty if nobody or an agreed number - let's say more than half - of the group fail to show up.

It might be a bit awkward in some ways: which of the group is going to be the one to give his/her credit card details, and what exactly would you charge a no-show - it's not like a hotel where there's a fixed price for a room. But with a bit of thought, something along those lines might be made workable.
 

Odyessus

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Boo Hoo, more customers means more work. I run my own business and am delighted to get larger orders, in fact in normal business larger orders usually get a discount.
Here's a marketing tip for a restaurant - advertise that you don't charge service charge for large groups. Give them good service and you'll get a tip anyway. It is the presumption that you have to pay that annoys most people.

Well said. I totally agree.
 
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Booking of 8 plus people take the card and be clear that in event of no show you charge them €80 as cost of holding the tables.

You paying for food and service charge is not complulsory so can refuse to pay it.

Not sure what exact court position is but feeling it would go on consumer side.
 


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