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Lots of opinions, but what's the LAW???

trichards - you have WAY over-thought this, and I disagree with you completely. The server is not an independent contractor. A server isn't "selling" anything.

If you are given a $100 GIFT card, that means $100 cash was given to the restaurant upfront. For a restaurant to expect a gift carded patron to stick their hand in their own pocket to pay $15-$20 (or more if they go over) is simply wrong. Being in their restaurant is no longer a gift.

BTW - I am the person who started this thread and when I contacted the owner who gave me the "flat NO" regarding tipping on the card using this logic, he quickly apologized. He said I could use any excess towards the tip, and that he thought I was originally talking about a Groupon type deal. In that case, I totally understand.

Jan 09, 2012
LAfoody in Not About Food

Lots of opinions, but what's the LAW???

An excellent point was made in that when you give a restaurant gift card - no matter what the amount, but especially $100 and up - you don't want to obligate the recipient to stick their hand in their pocket at all. If a restaurant does allow the tip to be included I'd be sure to get that stipulation IN WRITING before giving it to someone. Other than that, the AMEX/MasterCard/Visa gift cards are the only way to avoid this problem.

Jan 08, 2012
LAfoody in Not About Food

$100 Gift Certificate Tip Included?

Is it the LAW that a restaurant can set its own policy regarding tipping with a gift card or is it mandated that they must allow the card holder to apply excess GC money to the tip. No one is addressing this in legal terms, only lots of opinions.

I have a friend who is a server @ Morton's and says people add the tip to the gift card all the time, but I just got a flat NO from a local restaurant saying I cannot. Can someone please set us all straight as to the legality of this - particularly in California.

Jan 07, 2012
LAfoody in Not About Food

Lots of opinions, but what's the LAW???

Is it the LAW that a restaurant can set its own policy regarding tipping with a gift card or is it mandated that they must allow the card holder to apply excess GC money to the tip. No one is addressing this in legal terms, only lots of opinions.

I have a friend who is a server @ Morton's and says people add the tip to the gift card all the time, but I just got a flat NO from a local restaurant saying I cannot. Can someone please set us all straight as to the legality of this - particularly in California.

Jan 07, 2012
LAfoody in Not About Food