2/22/2013 10:32:00 AM

Tipping Debates: Does SoBe Get the Auto Gratuity Right?

Tipping policies always get the debates going here on the Zagat blog, and the automatic inclusion of gratuity is always one topic that gets readers blood boiling. People constantly complain that the auto grats are hidden, and they end up double tipping by accident. But servers feel they get shafted when they serve a busy table and end up getting a big fat zero. So, maybe Miami has found a good system?

While travelling for SoBe, we noticed something. Almost all the restaurants in town include a gratuity on the pre-tax total of the bill - at some it's 18% and at others 20%. The thing here is that servers verbally announce this when they present the check, so there's no sneakiness involved. There's a line for additional tip, so you can leave more if you feel so inclined.

A few servers we talked to claim it's due to the influx of tourists in the city, many of whom don't tip. What do you think - does this make for a fair balance between server and patron, or would you still be peeved about having to pony up?


  1. Substantially the article is really the best on this laudable topic. I concur with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your future updates.Just saying thank you will not just be enough for the wonderful lucidity in your writing.

  2. There are so many people out there that grievously under tip their servers... it's ridiculous! I think all eateries should do this.
    3 Kids that "wait"'s Mother

  3. I got $6 on a $81 check because yelp says we were byob. We have never been a byob. They were extremely rude and I wish them a serving job so they can feel the loss that I've felt because I tried to win them over with great service. They also wrote in my check that ill get a bad yelp review and that they weren't coming back. There's more to this story but it'll take too long to type. Oh and yelp is a terrible thing.

  4. Right now I am in Panama, Central America on our sailboat in a very nice marina/resort. Last week the marina was full of 26 very expensive sailing yachts of a particular make....each boat had a crew of 4 to 10 people from all over the world. The resturant here did very well and the reports from the around the world rally of these boats were all quite positive. There were many special events and the staff had been at least doubled for all shifts. The waitstaff on the other hand suffered. One boat hosted a 60th birthday party and a server set the entire thing up...their drink tab for 2 hours was over $1,200.00 and he drew a line through the space where the tip goes...being the sassy Aussie lass that she is she took him aside, he claimed not to know about tipping .....even though they had bee informed in their info packs...she told me that he grudgingly gave her $10.00.00.....I come from FL and I think what SOBE eateries are doing is spot on!!!! This hard working folks need to make a living!