A Los Angeles eatery has been called out for its controversial ‘water contribution’ and health insurance fee.
Silver Lake restaurant Alimento adds a 4% service fee on top of tax and tip to help cover the cost of health insurance for their staff.
An angry reader asked why they, the consumer, had to bring up health insurance with the employees. That needs to be handled discreetly and by the boss.
A receipt shared on Twitter indicated that customers might request that the service fee not be added to their bills by informing wait staff.
Another social media commenter noted that this could cause customers to dislike their waitress, which in turn decreases the tip.
Alimento’s executive chef and proprietor, Zach Pollack, has been recognized for his work in the industry with many awards and honors, including a spot on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list.
The Silver Lake Reservoir Conservancy (SLRC) benefits from the restaurant’s “water works program,” in which a part of the $1.50 payment for still or sparkling water is donated.
And in 2014, the restaurant introduced a section for ‘kitchen gratuity’ so that customers could also leave a tip for the chefs.
This comes at a time when the American habit of tipping seems to have gotten out of hand, to the point that customers feel obligated to leave gratuities even in cases when they were provided with subpar service.
A tipping system is now being discussed by employees at Apple’s first unionized store in the United States.
The Maryland store’s unionized staff is considering asking customers if they want to leave a tip of 3–5 percent of the total or a different amount.
The most recent MacBook Air costs $1,199, so a 5 percent tip would be $59.95.
Customers have been harassed by requests for gratuities at self-service checkouts when they have had no human interaction.
Apple’s current regulations specify that any employee who accepts a gratuity from a client will be fired on the spot.