I have been a customer of the casino BUFETT for a while. While food is good, not extraordinary by all means, the Saturday evening buffet which starts at 4 PM called Endless Seafood Buffet, ( small crab legs and shrimp mostly) costs $29.99 + tax+tip. Includes a beer, wine or soda, three of the one you choose upfront.
In my recent visit, yesterday (Saturday August 9th, 2014) I went with a group of 7, including myself. Lines were long as usual. The cashier told me that since we were seven, if we wanted to seat together, I needed to pay upfront an 18% tip, otherwise we could seat at different tables.
I was very surprised since as a world traveler, tips everywhere are based on service received, not mandatory. I requested to speak to a manager. I asked why I needed to pay the tip upfront.
COMPANY POLICY she said, NEW POLICY she added. I asked to let me know the reasoning of such policy and she could not came up with anything but IS MANAGEMENT.
I went on and sat with my group and forgot about it, the idea was to have a good time and those that like to give their money away to the casino playing cards or slot machines, it's their preference.
Service by the way was very bad. We figured that they may want to charge customers upfront because some may not leave enough tip for the waiter (to pick up empty plates and bring drinks only, since it is self-service buffet), maybe because service is not too good or because some people cheat the waiter with a group tip.
Today, I was notified by my credit card that I have been overcharged another 12% on top of my tax and 18% tip, making a $29.99 buffet into a $45 cost.
I authorized my credit card company to pay exactly the amount I signed in my receipt.