There are restaurants like Next by Grant Achatz that only accept credit cards. And there are shacks in the Siberian Tundra (and certain parts of Brooklyn) that are cash only. And then there is Swingbellys in Long Beach, NY, which accepts credit cards but demands cash-only tips. File this one under SHADY TOWN.
The Bad Deal typically focuses on the daily deal industry and all the questionable offers therein. But since this is one of the best barbecue joints on Long Island, and since this particular phenomenon of cash-only tips is so distinctly eyebrow raising, we couldn’t resist.
Of course, it’s no fun being a small business owner that has to pay extra credit-card company processing fees on the tips you pay out to your waiters. Still. Something doesn’t smell right about a high-volume, successful restaurant instituting such a policy. Scaling back on customer conveniences is a tough one to sell.
This policy undeniably gives waiters the short-end of the stick. Credit card-paying customers will instead tip with pocket change, instead of the full 20%; I’m guilty of this as I don’t carry cash (who does?) There are, of course, tax-implications here for the waiters at Swingbellys, but we won’t get into that. So it goes that this is most definitely a BAD DEAL. (Photo Credit: Ryan Sutton for The Bad Deal).