Spotted at a Neighborhood Restaurant

I e-mailed the restaurant management when I saw it several months ago; they apologized, and I haven't seen the problem recur.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Still, I thought I'd pass it along as a warning:

UPDATE: Just to be clear, "Walk on the Beach" is the name of a sushi roll at this restaurant, not a highly overpriced cocktail.

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  1. Aside from the $18 “Walk on the Beach”, their math is wrong, too…

    1. I’m assuming that “Walk” is the non-alcoholic version of Sex on the Beach. I saw it often in San Diego restaurants and bars back in the 80’s and early 90’s. So, I don’t think that’s it. (Other than the offensiveness of being charged $18 for a drink with no booze in it…but that’s a different rant, I guess.)

      The math is off in calculating the tips. And wildly off for the 15% version. Not cool. Not cool at all.

      1. It looks like they were poorly calculated off of a 94-5 dollar meal and entered in manually.

    2. I think that’s the problem. The totals are correct, but the suggested tip amounts are way off (high).

  2. I wouldn’t pay more than $10 for a walk on the beach.

    1. That depends entirely on who is walking with you, and whether or not stops for entertainment are permitted. I can think of several SI Swimsuit Issue models that could have convinced me to go well into three figures for a long walk on the beach.

      1. And do I have the lawyer for you, if you need a handy NDA after certain indiscretions.*

        *Unless of course you run for POTUS, and more money can be made without the NDA.

        1. Why on Earth would I want to keep it quiet? Hell, I’d rent a billboard to announce it to the world! But then, I don’t have a wife that I’d be cheating on.

    2. Yet Robert Kraft certainly would, if it was not video taped!

  3. I figured that “Walk on the Beach” just MIGHT be the name of a dish on the menu. But the calculations of the different gratuity levels cannot possibly be correct, regardless of what total they are based on.

  4. That place is really expensive. I hope the food was good. “Pan-Asian” is not usually a good thing. I don’t mean “natural” ones like a Laos/Thai or Vietnam/Chinese.

  5. Yeah, that’s some pretty crappy math on the % tips.

    Luckily I never pay attention to those numbers.

    1. While calculating 18% to the nearest penny quickly in your head after a few drinks might present a bit of a challenge, moving the decimal point to the left and doubling should be kinda instinctual. Move the decimal and add half again if you gotta get up from the table and find somebody to refill your glass or bring you a napkin.

      1. Except they did the 20% tip on the after-tax amount (and still got it wrong). You don’t tip on the tax.
        The 15% amount seems to come out of thin air. (multiplier effect?)

        1. Actually, what they did was calculate on the *before* tax amount but then entered the rows incorrectly:

          0.18 x $85 = $15.30, but put on 15% row.
          0.20 x $85 = $17.00, but put on 18% row.
          0.22 x $85 = $18.70, but put on 20% row.

          1. Probably decided to bump their suggestions to 18, 20, and 22 but the person programming the register forgot to relabel the rows.

  6. Oy, if that’s what a *walk* on the beach costs, I definitely won’t order the *sex* on the beach.

  7. Only one alcoholic beverage for three diners????

    1. Papa the lush, mama the designated driver, kid.

      1. Actually, mother drinking wine, father waiting to have some of his scotch at home, two kids.

        1. Upper right-hand corner: “Guests: 3.”

          This place seems to be *really* bad at math.

          1. When we had one child who needed a high chair, restaurants hostesses would sometimes say to my wife and me, “Two and a half?” Maybe that makes a couple with two kids “two and two halves,” which simplifies to three.

            (In fact this never happened to us when we had two, and once the kids were at the normal-seating-but-kids-menu stage, they stopped being half guests.)

          2. Uh-oh — you’re right; must have been a day when we went there with just one of the boys (usually we go with both, but one must have been out).

  8. I had a similar thing happen, but where the tip brackets were quite a bit too low. I pointed it out to the waitress so she could bring it up with management.

  9. What’s with the “edamame*”? Extra spicy perhaps?

    1. One of Marvel’s best movies so far.

  10. You’re objecting to them printing suggested tips on the receipt? To having bad rounding errors in the math for the suggestions?
    To calculating tips post-sales-tax?

    I don’t see the complaint here.

    1. No, the tips are calculated wrong, even if they’re using post-tax (which they are).

      15% of $93.08 is $13.96, not $15.30
      17% of $93.08 is $15.82, not $17.00
      20% of $93.08 is $18.62, not $18.70.

      The difference on the last one is minimal, but the other two are flat out wrong. Or dishonest, whichever you prefer.

      1. Maybe they were confused on rounding to the nearest 10 cents. LOL

        1. The first two are off by more than a dollar.

      2. The customer decides whether to tip, and if so, how much. You’d have a point if they were adding these to the bill, but they aren’t.

        1. Having the suggested tip amounts is a convenience. Some people aren’t good with math, but want to tip 20% (or whatever).

          The restaurant’s algorithm for printing suggested tip amounts is dishonest. Customers are free to tip as much as they like, but the restaurant is lying.

          1. ” Some people aren’t good with math, but want to tip 20% (or whatever).”

            Right. I suggest that the population that is both bad at math AND insistent on tipping exactly 20% (or whatever) is a small one.

            They offer three suggested tips. The customer is free to look at them and say “$15.30? OK” or, you know, not to do that.

      3. I NEVER, EVER calculate my tip on the after tax amount. Why on Earth would I want to tip the waiter just because the restaurant is compelled to be a tax collector for the state? On a tab like this, the before tax total, $85.00, is the relevant number to calculate a tip. At 15%, that would be $12.75; at 20%, $17.00.

        1. “I NEVER, EVER calculate my tip on the after tax amount.”

          You are, of course, free to do this. But it makes absolutely no difference whatsoever.

          To make the math easier, let’s assume a tax rate that is 10%, and a check that comes to exactly $100 pre-tax. This gives you $110 due at the cashier’s table. Toss a $22 tip on the table as you leave. Did you tip 20% on the after-tax amount, or 22% on the pre-tax? There’s literally no way to tell, AND nobody cares. Toss a dime on the table as a tip. Is that based on the pre-tax or post-tax total? Walk away leaving no tip. Pre- or post- tax?

          1. I make it clear by writing out my calculations on the credit card slip.

            I write “$85.00 * 0.2 = $17.00” and then circle the “$17” and write that in.

          2. the point of a tip is to guilt you into not being a tightwad. so calculating it on the pre-tax amount is just a nice way of fighting back.

            1. It also makes logical sense. Why should a server at a chain restaurant in Elkton, Maryland get a 6% higher tip than one right across the Delaware line in an identical chain restaurant?

              1. Because the waitress in MD needs more money, to pay the higher tax rate when she goes out to eat

  11. That’s a lot of money for a single Brussel sprout.

    1. But it was crispy!

    2. I thought that was a euphemisim for a hand job or something.

  12. Let the battle of the forms commence. Customer’s 18% is 16%.

    If memory serves, Learned Hand ate the Second Circuit cafeteria food in his chambers every day. Simplifies things.

  13. I thought it was a fee for actually walking on a beach.

  14. Plus a certain amount of padding going on with those tipping percentages.

  15. Somewhat disappointed at the math skills of Reason readers. The tips are actually 18%, 20%, and 22% of the $85.00 subtotal.

    I imagine that the software allows you customize the line description separate from the numeric percentage, maybe to allow for internationalization. In this case, though, they’re using it to mislead.

    1. The 20% was easy enough, but the custom text explanation is great, and allows for claims of innocent error. The worst part of the whole American system is that wait staff bear the brunt of justified ire at management.

    2. Does anyone ever intentionally pay a 22% tip?

  16. Also it’s “Brussels sprouts”, but that won’t fit if crispy.

  17. “… “Walk on the Beach” is the name of a sushi roll …”

    I’d rethink that name if I were them.
    Most things I find during a walk on the beach I would not want to find in a sushi roll.

  18. Someone deserves an award (the mahi mahi award?) for getting Americans to eat animal food by naming it edamame.

    1. Well, we are animals.

    2. Someone deserves an award for getting Americans to randomly denigrate Americans by claiming that when we eat so-called “Japanese” food, it’s not really something the Japanese eat; it’s really some kind of garbage feed for some kind of livestock.

      Because, actually, edamame is one of the most popular snacks eaten by the Japanese. Did you know that they also eat raw fish?

      1. Btw I also love eating corn on the cob.

        1. You beast.

  19. Bad math. But also, I don’t factor the sales tax into my gratuity.

  20. Wouldn’t it be great if restaurants paid their staff enough that they wouldn’t have to rely on tips?

  21. My initial thought was whether any of the drink or food prices were specials or otherwise discounted (since you should tip on the total cost, not a discounted price) but the tips would seem to be calculated from 3 different totals (or more likely, as another commenter noted, actually calculated for different percentages than what is displayed)

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