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Caprice Group - service charges


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On another board, an American contributor had suggested that there had been "rip off" charging at various Caprice group places, saying that there's been a charge "just for dining and then a tip added". I asked for some more details and he's confirmed as below. This seems to be a £5 per person cover charge and then a service charge of 18% - way in excess of the norm and, indeed,the 12.5% that Caprice states on its website. The contributor seems to be an experienced visitor to London so I've no reason to think that confusion has arisen.

On the face of it, this seems a very poor reflection on an otherwise respected name in the industry and I wonder if any egulleters with experience of Caprice can comment as to what's what.

"Oct. 07, 2006, we dined at J. Sheekey and were charged £5/person, plus an 18% gratuity. On Ocxt 09, 2006, we dined at The Woosley, and were charge £5/person, plus an 18% gratuity. On Oct. 29, 2007, we were charged £5/per person, plus 20% gratuity. On Oct. 12, 2009, we were charged £10/person, plus 18% gratuity at Ivy. On April 23, 2009, £5/person, plus 18% gratuity at Scott's. On Oct. 13, 2009, we were charged £5/person, plus 18% gratuity at Caprice. On Oct 13, 2009 and also on Oct. 26, 2010, we were charged £5/person, plus 18% gratuity at Scott's."

John Hartley

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John,

This is categorically denied by Scotts. I dined there last year and would have stamped my little feet if this were the case.

Their spokesperson confirmed today, that there is a cover charge of £2, but service charge is the normal 12.5%. He also stated that this is the same at all of their restaurants.

Just wanted to set the record straight, as this sort of claim can impact on their business.

Edited by david goodfellow (log)

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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From what John has said above, it doesn't look like a problem with currency conversion, it looks like these items were clearly stated on the final bill. If the original complaint is genuine, it's hard to get away from it looking like different treatment for customers from the US - but this is so shocking that I can't see a company like this even attempting to do it. If I were in their position I would very definitely attempt to get my money back.

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Thanks to all. Like David, I'd like to see this "bottomed" - matters like this can indeed do damage to a business' reputation. And, of course, if foreign visitors have been ripped off in some way, that needs to come out as well.

I've emailed Caprice Group and will be interested to see the reply (which I'll share here of course)

John

John Hartley

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Minor update, in that Kieran Terry, Caprice Group Operations Director, rang this morning to discuss my email. Unfortunately, I couldnt talk to him then and , when I rang back, he wasnt available. We havnt caught up with each other yet.

John Hartley

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Keiran & I have finally caught up this evening. He assures me that he has checked back with the various restaurants just to confirm what was what at the various times. He is absolutely clear that the cover charge will have been £2 and the service charge 12.5%. Between us, we havnt got clue as to what might have been misunderstood and I'm as certain as he is that the Chowhound poster has misunderstood whatever has happened. He is going to try and make contact with the guy.

A thought occurs though - can foreign visitors reclaim VAT on their purchases, including meals? If so, and if he had got a VAT receipt, the service charge would be a larger percentage of the VAT-exclusive amount. That would be familiar to Americans who usually tip in the US on their bill exclusive of sales tax. My maths are lousy so dont know if that might account for it.

Edited by Harters (log)

John Hartley

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A thought occurs though - can foreign visitors reclaim VAT on their purchases, including meals? If so, and if he had got a VAT receipt, the service charge would be a larger percentage of the VAT-exclusive amount. That would be familiar to Americans who usually tip in the US on their bill exclusive of sales tax. My maths are lousy so dont know if that might account for it.

You obviously can't claim VAT back at the airport like you can with goods you export, however they would need a VAT receipt if they intended to claim tax back through their company, as the person in question was hosted this seems likely.

On a side note I rarely rely on second hand stories, which I believe this is. Often the retelling of the story exaggerates, distorts, or simply fails to comprehend the subject.

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