Von Trapp’s wants customers who dined at the 12th Ave restaurant over the Memorial Day Weekend to know there was no monkey business behind miscalculated “suggested gratuity” values appearing on the Bavarian-themed venue’s receipts.
A CHS reader sent us this receipt from a Sunday visit to Von Trapp’s showing the mix-up.
Before this gets filed along with history’s greatest Capitol Hill receipt controversies or some of the small scams we’ve heard about around the Hill over the years (count your change when buying cigarettes, drunk party people), Von Trapp’s manager Rich Fox says the incorrect totals were the result of an honest mistake:
Last Thursday afternoon we made changes to our receipt printing, with one section being the suggested gratuity line. Our POS tech support coded the line and it should have simply calculated the 18% and 20% gratuities on the check total. Instead, it calculated the tip by taking 18% of the pre-tax total and adding the full sales tax amount from the check.
Unfortunately, Dustin and I both were out of town and out of touch Friday-Sunday. When we got back into town and got the messages on Sunday afternoon, Dustin called our POS tech support and got them to correct the formula. It’s embarrassing that it was incorrect for a few days and that we didn’t think to initially run a test on the formula but honestly, it’s such a common thing we didn’t even consider that it would be programmed incorrectly.
It was definitely never meant to lead people astray- the last thing anyone in our industry needs is to be putting dishonest and clearly incorrect data on each and every check, especially a place that has as many people come through the doors as we do. It was also definitely not a plot by our staff to get additional tips- it is impossible for staff members to “fool” the system by adding and deleting items. The only way that they could alter that line is by breaking through the security on our POS back office computer and re-coding the POS brain- or have a incompetent POS tech support person do it for them, I suppose.
The situation emerged as tipping in Seattle has become part of the debate in the plan to bring a $15 minimum wage to the city. Under the mayor’s compromise plan, healthcare and tips will be counted towards employee wages until the end of phase-in periods for small businesses with fewer than 500 employees in Seattle.
CHS posted about the situation on Facebook without identifying the location as we looked into what had happened. The good news, it seems, is there weren’t similar situations reported at other venues.
Von Trapp’s and E Pike’s Poquitos share ownership. Poquitos, we should note, is a CHS advertiser.