Bill would keep credit-card fees from cutting tips | Philadelphia Inquirer | 11/11/2011
The bill, introduced by Councilman James Kenney, would prohibit restaurants from deducting credit-card transaction fees from any tip included on the bill.
Here's the math: Suppose Kalkstein spends $100 and tips 20 percent, or $20.
When Kalkstein puts the entire $120 on his credit card, the credit-card company will charge the restaurant an average fee of 2 percent, or $2.40, to process that transaction. Of the $2.40, $2 is attributable to the food-and-drink part of the bill and 40 cents is attributable to the $20 tip.
Some restaurants, Kenney said, will deduct the 40-cent fee from the server's tips.
"I never thought of that," Kalkstein said. When he tips $20, he said, "I expect the waiter to get the 20 bucks."
Servers, paid a minimum wage of $2.83, rely on tips for the bulk of their wages.
"You can't justify paying someone $2.83 an hour and then dip into their tips to defray your costs of doing business," said Kenney, a former bartender. "It's like taking money out of their paychecks to pay for air-conditioning."