Meaning of ‘service charge’ comes as a surprise

To my surprise I learned the new meaning of “service charge.” Apparently it also means “tip.”

I recently took a few members of the family (eight) to a well-known restaurant for breakfast.

The bill had the total amount typed in and a blank space for “tip.” I wrote in what I thought was generous amount, close to 20 percent tip.

Upon walking out of the restaurant I finally took notice of an expensive breakfast. Reviewing the receipt details, a service charge of 18 percent had been already included in the total.

So I wound up paying a 45 percent tip.

My daughter, recognizing my confusion, went back in the restaurant and explained my dilemma and explained to the cashier my incoherence and that she should have verbally explained to me that the tip was already in the bill.

So, in the end, I’m still learning the ways of the world in my 70s. Read the fine print.

Paul Dean