UnderCover Waitress: Round Numbers

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Round Numbers

I hate pennies. Waitresses in many establishments carry their own banks. I prefer it this way; it gives me control and nobody else is holding my tips for me.

When customers pay in cash, it is a pain to make penny change. Some waitresses prefer to simply round down the bill to the nearest quarter to make change easier. For example, if your meal came to $6.56, and you hand me a ten dollar bill, I am going to give you $3.50 in change because it is easier for me. Some people leave extra tip, others let me eat the 6 cents for my convenience.

But rounding the bill up, instead of down, is illegal no matter how the customer chooses to pay. This fact is not stopping some establishments from doing it, however.

In my last Tilted Kilt post, I quoted a review from another site. Here is it again; the Tilted Kilt in question is located at 3480 Financial Center WayBufordGA 30519

Went to eat lunch after a conference with some co-workers. Should have known better due to not many cars in parking lot. First of all we were greated by almost naked young girls. I felt like we were in a strip club! We decided to stay and ordered our food. 45 minutes later we asked the waitress about our food and she gave some lame excuse. I will say that when the food finally came, it was good. We did not realize that the establishment rounds your bill off for you to the next dollar. We all had to have a receipt for our expense report and was surprised to see that not only the waitress gets what we tip but also gets more money from our rounded off bill.

Illegal activity should never be company policy. 

Here we see it again at Ogden Sports Bar. They "only" rounded up the bill 2 cents. Not enough to cause a customer to make a stink, but 2 cents per receipt can really add up over the course of a busy shift. 

One diner did decide to complain about his bill being rounded up by 4 cents at a sushi bar. After filing the complaint, the restaurant offered to return the 4 pennies, but it is understandably not worth the guy's time to trek back over there to collect. I think the restaurant should be required to send him a check for 4 cents. The check itself probably costs more than the amount of the check, plus the envelope and stamp to mail it. However, being required to do so may deter any future "mistakes." 

It's the principle of the thing. The bill, before you add tip, should be correct. Always look at your bill before paying and leaving the restaurant. If there is a discrepancy, talk to the manager and get it resolved before you leave. 

If you are paying cash, however, and your bill comes to $19.87, please don't make the waitress make penny change so you can leave it on the table. Just leave $24 or $25 and say, "no change, please." You will make her busy day. 


  1. I would generally pay in cash, and not worry about the change.

  2. Happening to me all the time. Happened last week - expect it again tonight. I complain and they make it right but I want a card to hand the server at the outset saying I expect my darn change back. I will tip generously but it is my money and my change.


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