This complaint rolled into the Eater inbox last night from a diner at the Mina/Katsuya prix fixe dinner at XIV:
"shhh...the folks at SBE pulled a fast-one on all the diners that night. since it was a fixed price menu, a 20% gratuity was included. but rather than taxing on the bill BEFORE the tip, they taxed EVERYONE on the food/drink AND the tip. shhh...another secret? management was TOLD to do this by the corporate offices. what scumbags. but are you surprised?"But as it turns out the "scumbags" may just be the people who automatically assume the worst. According to the California Board of Equalization when gratuity is mandatory (i.e. when part of an inclusive prix fixe) the business is required to tax on it "whether or not the tips are paid to an employee." That settles that, no?
· Read the BOE Letter [PDF]