Automatic Gratuity At Restaurants A Thing Of The Past

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You might have noticed when you go out to eat with a lot of your friends, Restaurants may add a gratuity automatically. That's no longer the case thanks to a new rule from the IRS.

At Buffalo Wings and Rings, they have never had an automatic gratuity. That's because they want servers to be held accountable for all their tables.

Jessica Phillips has been waitressing for almost a decade. While she's worked at restaurants that had automatic gratuities, she's always opted out.

"When you do good at your job you get rewarded for it, and I think customers appreciate that and I think you should want to make your income," she said.

And that's the same reason her current employers chose not to have an automatic gratuity.

"They're going to get the tip or the gratuity that they would get or should deserve for the service they give, and so that's why we've made the decision that we shouldn't have it," said Buffalo Wings and Rings co-owner Kevin Wolf.

But now, restaurants can no longer add a gratuity automatically for large groups.

The IRS has decided it doesn't fit their definition of a "tip."

While some are concerned servers will lose out on tips, Phillips finds not putting the tip on the bill often leads to a better tip.

"Nine times out of 10 you will get a better tip if you do a good job," she said.

Of course, there are always tables that don't tip as well, but Wolf said it evens out.

"You're going to have some of that, and they're also going to have some of those tables where they're going to have a tip that's probably better than most people leave as well. It's that way in life. You get some of the good with some of the bad," said Wolf.

Now, instead of the automatic gratuity restaurants, have the option to put a suggested gratuity at the bottom of the check to help make sure servers get those tips.