Disgruntled diner lashes out after discovering a mysterious $71 charge on her bill at one of Australia’s most exclusive restaurants
- Rockpool Bar and Grill slammed for service charge
- Fee is 5 percent per day for bookings of less than eight people
- The fee increases to 10 percent for bookings greater than eight
One of Australia’s most famous high-end restaurants has been criticized for a fee that forces customers to tip.
Customer Claire O’Donnell was shocked by a “service charge” that amounted to $71.01 off her $1491.01 bill after dining at Rockpool Bar and Grill at Perth’s Crown Casino on February 18.
While Ms. O’Donnell admitted that the service, food and sommelier were great, “on principle” she would not return to the restaurant.
Rockpool, was opened in Sydney in 1989 by celebrity chef Neil Perry and has since expanded to Melbourne and Perth.
All three establishments charge a five percent rate that rises to 10 percent for tables of more than eight people, and even to 15 percent on holidays.
The restaurant informs customers of their service charges at the bottom of their menus.
Rockpool Bar and Dining have been slammed online after a customer was charged $71 off their $1491.01 bill for a service charge at their Perth branch
Ms O’Donnell said she has not encountered the fee at other high-end restaurants such as Wildflower, Balthazar and Nobu.
She took to the Perth Foodies Facebook group to discuss the fee, writing that staff told her the measure was introduced during Covid.
One member stated that they were charged a $449 service charge for a meal costing nearly $5,000.
Other members were also furious about the compensation.
“This company is about to get a gross shock, people don’t accept hidden charges,” one member wrote.
“I’m not going there again, that’s for sure,” said a second member.
“I have a booking next month, I’m canceling it now,” said a third.
Others, however, hit back at the disgruntled restaurant, saying she eats too much.
A spokesperson for the high-end restaurant said the fee helps cover costs such as fines and increased operating costs
“We just booked for dinner there and the email clearly states a 5 percent service charge Monday to Sunday…$71 is definitely a fair tip,” one wrote.
“I mean the online menu says 5 percent surcharge Monday to Sunday,” said another.
A spokesman for Rockpool said The Western Australian that service charges are becoming increasingly common within the Australian hospitality industry and help cover costs such as fines and higher operating costs.
“As the cost of doing business rises, restaurants are increasingly charging these costs – unfortunately,” the spokesperson said.
‘We are completely transparent about service costs, which are stated on our website, menus and receipts.’