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Cienfuegos Large Party Auto Tipping Policy Gone Awry

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Another week, another tipping controversy. This time it's at the popular East Village cocktail bar Cienfuegos, where a tipster reports being stunned after getting socked with an automatic tip charge just for ordering a few cocktails. Our tipster says:

Two friends and I met up with a large group of other friends at Cienfuegos. The group had already been seated when we arrived, and there was no room for my group to join them, so we ordered our drinks on a separate tab from the server while standing near the bar. A little later some people got up and we were able to sit at the table, but when my bill came they had charged me 20% gratuity. I don't consider myself a bad tipper but would never have tipped that much for 3 drinks. I just paid without complaining though.
Eater reached out to the bar for comment but never heard back. As long as these scams keep happening, we'll keep letting you know about it.
· Tipped Off [~ENY~]
· Cienfuegos Coverage [~ENY~]

Cienfuegos owner Ravi Derossi says: At Cienfuegos it is our policy to add 20% gratuity to parties of 6 or more, the house does not take a dime of it, it all goes to the staff, we do this in order to protect our staff, its one thing to get stiffed $8-$10 on a $50 check, it sucks for the server but it wont get them fuming, but to get stiffed on a $500 bill really sucks and I have seen it happen, even when the server gave the table extra special attention. In the case of split checks its still the same policy as long as there were 6 or more in the party, which is obviously what happened in this specific situation. I waited tables for many years and I have been stiffed before when I didnt deserve it, I dont like seeing it happen to my staff, it is the policy in all 10 of the restaurants/bars that I own.


95 Avenue A, Manhattan, NY 10009 (212) 614-6818 Visit Website


95 Avenue A, New York, NY