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Restaurant adds 'kitchen service charge' on bills alongside traditional tips, sparking debate

This woman was unhappy when a restaurant charged her a significant service charge in addition to the tips.

Restaurant adds 'kitchen service charge' on bills alongside traditional tips, sparking debate
Cover Image Source: TikTok | @marinaa.rudan

Until recently, many restaurants have been asking people to pay tips to the servers and making it a mandatory practice. Now, they are adding new charges to the bill, which sounds quite bizarre. Marina Rudan from Canada–who goes by @marinaa.rudan on TikTok–shared in a video explaining how a restaurant charged her to pay a kitchen service charge. "Have you heard of a kitchen service charge?" Rudan said as she began the video. To avoid confusion, she asked a server if she could explain what the kitchen charge was.

Image Source: TikTok @marinaa.rudan
Image Source: TikTok | @marinaa.rudan

"She told me that the owner decided that his kitchen staff should be paid more money and he automatically now has a kitchen service charge added to the bill," the woman said. So then she continued talking to the server and asked her if they still had to tip out to the back of the house when they received a tip and she replied, "Yes." "So not only are we tipping them 18 to 20 percent, but there is an automatic service charge to the back of the house," Rudan said.

Image Source: TikTok | @marinaa.rudan
Image Source: TikTok | @marinaa.rudan

Rudan was quite upset that the restaurant was charging money from the customers without even asking them. "You are adding on the automatic charge and you don't even let us know," expressed the woman. She concluded by saying, "If the owner wants the kitchen staff to make more money, shouldn't he be paying the staff more per hour instead of charging us? Or ask an option would you like to add a kitchen service charge." In the end, Rudan asked people if they would pay the kitchen service charge.

Image Source: TikTok | @marinaa.rudan
Image Source: TikTok | @marinaa.rudan

People in the comments said that they would not pay this new charge. @blondie01010 commented, "I wouldn't pay it. They are getting part of the tips already. That's double tipping for the back staff." @beneficiascriminal wrote, "In Europe staff gets above minimum wage, here we overpay for crap food and overpay and then pay the workers wage." @jackiejoseph1996 said, "No, I would not. I agree it should be an option to add that fee. Yes, it was shady. I'll pay more attention to my bills going forward." @j1234567891011125 expressed, "I've decided it's better to just eat at home, I make better food anyway."

Image Source: TikTok| @sarah72491
Image Source: TikTok| @sarah72491

@marinaa.rudan Can’t say it enough…always check your bill before you pay #restaurant ♬ original sound - Marina Rudan


In another story, a woman (@poorandhungry) shared a video, clarifying the server that she wouldn't pay any tip. They said,  "Absolutely. Let me accommodate you. You can keep the water. But, in the next 15 minutes or so, you can make your way back to the host stand and we can place a to-go order for you." So, the woman asked that they be kicked out of the restaurant for not tipping. The server told her that the tip was the service charge to sit in the dining area and have service provided.

If she wasn't going to tip, it also meant she wasn't bothered about the service and could get the to-go order. The woman shared that she found this behavior "disgusting and appalling," to which the waiter told her, "People are waiting 45 minutes to be in the dining area and for the table service." So, if someone didn't want to pay for the same, they would still be given food but through to-go order.

You can follow Marina Rudan (@marinaa.rudan) on TikTok for fashion and travel content.

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