Author Topic: 18% Service charge - Destination Seafood House in Westminster  (Read 1102 times)

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Offline shadyoc

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Went to a seafood place in Westminster called Destination Seafood House.  They said they only accept cash or Zelle payments.  That raised a red flag.  Then they said they don’t offer free water.  You have to pay for bottled water.  That was another red flag.  When the bill came, I noticed a 18% service charge applied.  Isn’t this for groups of 6 or more and aren’t they supposed to print this on the menu and tell you about the charge beforehand?  We had less than 6 people.  Business felt a little shady.

Do you know if legally, you have to pay the service fee?

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Offline CalBears96

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Re: 18% Service charge - Destination Seafood House in Westminster
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2022, 05:23:56 PM »
Thanks for letting me know what restaurant not to visit.

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Offline momopi

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Re: 18% Service charge - Destination Seafood House in Westminster
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2022, 09:49:22 AM »
That restaurant use Clover point of sale system which does accept card payments.  They probably chose not to accept card payments to save on the % fees, but doesn't have an issue charging 18% service fee on customers.  ;p

https://www.clover.com/



Offline shadyoc

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Re: 18% Service charge - Destination Seafood House in Westminster
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2022, 09:12:47 AM »
So I am curious,  can we refuse to pay the 18%?  What if we didn’t feel that the service warranted 18% tip?

That restaurant use Clover point of sale system which does accept card payments.  They probably chose not to accept card payments to save on the % fees, but doesn't have an issue charging 18% service fee on customers.  ;p

https://www.clover.com/




Offline DrTravel

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Re: 18% Service charge - Destination Seafood House in Westminster
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2022, 10:17:00 AM »
So I am curious,  can we refuse to pay the 18%?  What if we didn’t feel that the service warranted 18% tip?

Unlike tips, the customer must pay service charges if they were made aware of the service charge prior to services being performed. Did the restaurant put a note anywhere in tiny print on the menu, or on a wall/front door, or mention it etc? If you don't pay the service charge and the restaurant can demonstrate this was mentioned somewhere (even if you didn't see it) you would be guilty of theft. Of course, taking you to court to collect this amount would be a waste of their time.

I would consider is it worth the hassle to not pay the service charge, maybe some chef with a knife would come after you or your car tires? What tip would you have left? So how much money are you really talking about? Note that tipping is always optional, even if they add a 20% gratuity for parties greater than 6. Service charges are never optional and is just a way for merchants to increase their income without increasing their prices. I remember going to a restaurant where the menu prices were cash only. They added a surcharge if you used credit cards - but this was mentioned in their menu.

Sounds like you should have just left when you found out about no credit cards or the charge for water. At least they charged you 18% on the pre-tax amount. I've seen cases where they charge on the after tax portion!

Check out their recent Yelp reviews. They charge 18% “Because people like you don’t tip” said the owner!
« Last Edit: May 10, 2022, 11:05:53 AM by DrTravel »
Do ordinary things extraordinarily well.

Offline shadyoc

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Re: 18% Service charge - Destination Seafood House in Westminster
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2022, 09:52:41 PM »
We were not made aware of the service charge prior to service being rendered.  It was poor service at best.  Anyone know if reporting this bad behavior on lack of communication about service charge (which seems like it’s on purpose?) or zelle and cash only when they use clover to BBB or IRS will do anything?
« Last Edit: May 11, 2022, 05:56:09 PM by shadyoc »

Offline HMart

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Re: 18% Service charge - Destination Seafood House in Westminster
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2022, 05:01:43 PM »
I think the best thing to do is to alert other potential customers. As distasteful as the mandatory service charge is, or not accepting CC payments, it's not illegal and I don't think these kinds of things should be overregulated.

Offline daedalus

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Re: 18% Service charge - Destination Seafood House in Westminster
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2022, 10:24:39 PM »
So does the server get that 18%?  Because I'm not leaving an additional tip if I'm paying an 18% service charge, since, uh, tips are for service.  And any place that does that will probably end up with less money from me, since I normally leave more than 20% as calculated on the total bill, including tax.  And I wouldn't go back.

Offline irvineboy

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Re: 18% Service charge - Destination Seafood House in Westminster
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2022, 12:38:20 AM »
https://www.yelp.com/biz/destination-seafood-house-westminster?sort_by=rating_asc

Lot's of customer's not too thrilled with this unadvertised surprise 18% service charge and Zelle system.  Oh yeah, the food sucks also.

 

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