IRS & Specialty Restaurants Corporation: Bring back the gratuity for large parties
  • Petitioning Cindy Zitis
  • Responded

This petition will be delivered to:

Specialty Restaurants Corporation
Cindy Zitis
See response

IRS & Specialty Restaurants Corporation: Bring back the gratuity for large parties

    1. Heather Murray
    2. Petition by

      Heather Murray

      Tampa, FL

 This petition was originally started earlier last year when the option of gratuity for large parties was taken away from us.  Two days after starting this petition we were given back the right to grat with a statement that the IRS taxation didn't start until 2014.  Now, again, they have decided that we no longer have the right to add gratuities to checks- and the consequences are already showing up in our pockets.  I have amended this petition because of the amazing support of all service industry professionals to include petitioning the IRS who placed this unfair tax on our employers. The IrS is getting their taxes either way when grats are added, but due to the taking away of this you are getting less because we are getting much less!! Please sign again and send to all your friends and family to help us get some attention to this issue, and add your stories and experiences to help us explain the ramifications of this new policy. I appreciate all the hospitality industry and their's time the higher ups do too!!  Let's do this for our hospitality family everywhere!!

**Hardworking people are losing money they've been entitled to for so long, but suddenly is being taken away. Specialty Restaurants Corporation has taken away the 18% automatic gratuity on checks for parties of 8 or more people. As tipped employees who make an hourly wage of $4.77, we depend almost completely on our tips to help support ourselves and our families. By the time taxes are taken out of our checks for the hourly wage and for our tips, we are left with a minimal amount- if any at all! Added gratuity is a practice put in place at many major restaurant chains to protect their employees, especially in restaurants whose clientele is largely based on tourism- as is our restaurant on the bay in Tampa, FL. Might I add that we do not get to keep the whole 18%, as we are tipping out based on OUR SALES as much as 3% to bussers and bartenders. That leaves us with a minimal 15% which as a stardard is the very least we customarily receive for good service. When gratuity is not added to a check, we are still responisble for the tip out based on the SALES no matter what amount of tip is received. The picture attached is an actual bill and payment made by a party who would have previously had gratuity added.

According to the company, they state that the IRS has changed policies on the categorization and taxation of gratuties. Why are other corporate restaurants not effected by this? Why are we not searching for a solution? There are many employees who've remained with the company for years- which tells you we enjoy where we work, but we feel like corporate has turned their backs on us. We are humbly asking them to research options that would allow the gratuity so we may continue to work in a place where we are able to support ourselves sufficiently.

We ask all our fellow hospitality employees, friends, families, and restaurant patrons to please sign and help bring attention to this issue. Thank you!


Recent signatures


    1. Reached 250 signatures
    2. Suggested tip added, but gratuity taken away again :(

      Heather Murray
      Petition Organiser

      We very much appreciate the suggested gratuity, yet auto grat for large parties has been taken away again. There must be some way around this, as not ALL restaurants are responding in this way. We have faith we can all work together so staff is protected :)

    3. Reached 100 signatures
    4. The lastest- they are cutting our holiday pay!

      Heather Murray
      Petition Organiser

      Surprisingly, after writing this petition, we received a memo that stated the only paid holiday was Christmas. Up until this point we have been paid time and a half (4.65x 1.5%= $6.97 *less than standard min wage*)for all government holidays- excluding religious holidays. Our restaurant is open 365, which means as of this point we do not get paid extra for missing out on family time on holidays such as the 4th of July and THANKSGIVING. Seriously?! While our corporate office is not open and those employees get to spend time with their families. How much are we supposed to take? The quote from the memo was "In response to current economic conditions...". Well "in response to current economic conditions"...we need our holiday pay!! Servers and bartenders are "replaceable", but it is far more expensive to keep training new sets rather than work with the fabulous core you have already invested in. Please PLEASE help support our cause! Send this petition to everyone you know to sign

    5. Reached 25 signatures
    6. Decision-maker Cindy Zitis responds:

      Cindy Zitis

      The IRS Ruling has been postponed so SRC will be reinstating the optional gratuity. IRS has moved the date of the change to December 31, 2013. The listing of suggested tip amounts based upon 15%, 18% and 20% is in the works. Thank you ...

    7. Reached 10 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Nicholas Pullen MILWAUKEE, WI
      • 5 days ago

      I'm a server.

    • Mindy Gilligan HAMILTON, OH
      • 10 days ago

      I am not a server no more but my daughter and a lot of friends are. And when your min. wage is less then 4.oo and you are trying to raise kids and you take gratuity away they can't make it. You do not realize how much time and effort it take serve a party and now no one is getting barley 10%. I know of a person actualy several that have waited on partys and I will give you the total bill the tip following, $463.22 tip 11.00 - 189.55 tip 22cents - 274.99 tip $3.00 - 2 lady's drinking all nite running the server ragged ( they don't qualify for Gratuity) bill was 166.78 Tip 0. So you see you have rude people that don't tip at all and that happens a lot and partys are now doing what they want they don't have pay gratuity so they can drink more and run the server more and then more or less stomp on them as they leave. Yeah it is better for the big company because they make more in sales but when that is the only table you have and you can spend 3+ hours on that party and get more or less nothing it ant worth it. Most servers I know (and it is all the good ones) won't take partys anymore, thay give them to the new servers because they don't know any better yet. Why should people not have to pay for their service. Some people say to me that you can't make people pay for something if they don't want to and I just look at them and say "You have to pay taxes don't you?" and they shut up. This law is killing the serving industry, partys thought they got bad service befor because they had to wait a few minutes for an other drink? Well they asked for it and they an't seen anything yet it is really going to get bad now!

    • Jennifer Rycek CINCINNATI, OH
      • 11 days ago

      I am a server and this is an integral part of my income.

    • Brian Rice CINCINNATI, OH
      • 11 days ago

      As a server, the lack of gratuity has significantly affected my pay. At least once a week I take a table of 10 or more, and more often than not, despite verbal tips and people requesting me due to attentiveness/friendliness, I seldom see a large party tip 10%, let alone the 18% that gratuity promises.

    • Jeanne Sinyard FAYETTEVILLE, NC
      • 14 days ago

      After tip out to bar and host I'm left with very little to no tip at all. Often I end up paying for a portion of their meal due to tip out. This is the SERVICE INDUSTRY! If you can't or don't want to take care of those serving you then stay your ass at home, cook your own meals, and serve your own family.


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