Article: “When restaurants exceed the tipping point” (Jun.2006)

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excerpt:
“By now, tip overage preauthorizations should be a thing of the past. In 2004, Visa U.S.A. established a 0% tip-authorization policy for restaurants. Likewise, MasterCard International stipulates that restaurateurs must not add a tip without the cardholder’s prior knowledge and agreement.

Yet the issue still arises, with misinformation abounding, particularly in the case of a newspaper blog where some discussion participants last August thought restaurants were actually billing extra for tips that were never left. Their ire illustrated the downside of the practice, particularly for debit card users who keep their account balances low. A one-week hold on funds never spent can be frustrating…”

source: “When restaurants exceed the tipping point” (The Green Sheet, Jun.28,2006)

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Article: “Turning the Tables” (Jan.2005)

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excerpt:
“A pair of local waiters is blowing the cover on tricks that a restaurant employee might use to boost take-home pay. But who’s scamming whom?

“There’s a lot of money in iced tea,” counsels Scam Bible author R. Chip DeGlinkta.

“If I were to use these yuppies in a scam,” says R. Chip DeGlinkta as he eyes a table of six professionally dressed women sitting across the restaurant, “I might pad the check there.”

The women look relaxed, but on the job. They could be a group of co-workers celebrating a successful sale or conventioneers expensing a meal between meetings. Would they notice a few extra iced teas added to their tab?

“If they decide to pay separate, that’s good, too,” DeGlinkta says. “I’ll split up the checks and recycle items from different checks….”

source: “Turning the Tables” by Todd A. Price (Gambit Weekly, Jan.1,2005) [Google cached copy]

related links:
Ask the Scam Oracle
“Bar Scams – you snooze, you lose” (FHGI.com)

Article: “Merlot To Go” (Jun.2006)

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excerpt:
“Ohio wine lovers will be able to take a partially consumed bottle of wine home with them from a restaurant or winery beginning Sept. 20. Gov. Bob Taft signed the new law, dubbed the “Merlot to Go” bill, June 20.

“The law is a tip of the hat to common sense,” Winchell said. “Its provisions are clear and straightforward so that wineries and restaurants can easily comply, and consumers will clearly understand their responsibilities.”

Prior to allowing a patron to leave with an open bottle, the seller must securely reseal it so that it is “visibly apparent if the bottle has been subsequently opened or tampered with,” according to the bill’s text. The buyer may then place the bottle in the trunk of a vehicle or behind a back seat – out of the driver’s reach.”

source: “Merlot To Go” by Justin Maynor (News Herald, Jun.27,2006)

To find out if your state has “Merlot-To-Go” Laws, click here (provided by WineDoggyBag.com)

Article: “Doggie dining gets governor’s stamp of approval” (June 2006)

excerpt:
"Surrounded by yapping hounds and yapping politicians, Bush signed a bill that allows cities to grant permission to restaurant owners who want to open their patio dining rooms to four-legged customers.

…Like other restaurants downtown, Sam Snead's had built a loyal following of furry customers on its outdoor patio. Dog owners could browse from a "Furry Friends Menu," including chicken and kibble and bow-wow pizza served on a complimentary Frisbee.

…Under the new law, which takes effect immediately, cities may enact ordinances allowing restaurants to apply for permission to open their patio doors to dogs."

source: "Doggie dining gets governor's stamp of approval" by Mark Schlueb (Orlando Sentinel, Jun.3,2006)