Opinion: Check please

POSTED: 09/2/11 11:35 PM

We started paying attention to the receipts we get after the call by Chamber of Commerce President Glen Carty to keep an eye on such things.
The question we put out here is: must receipts from restaurants contain the company’s name and their Chamber of Commerce-registration number? This is something we understood to be the case about invoices. But what about receipts?
The one we received this week is from the Shiv Sagar Indian restaurant on Front Street, one of our favorite hangouts.
The receipt we received for the grand total of $25 (not bad for a lunch for two people, we thought) shows the handwritten date, the fact that we sat at table number 23 and that the total number of guests at our table was two. We could have figured that out without the receipt, but okay. Then the receipt has a number, printed in threatening red characters. In this case: 622900.
The total for the items from the menu was $21.75. On an amount like that we would probably tip three of four dollars if the service was good, the food agreeable and our mood upbeat. But that was not necessary in this case.
The receipt contains a line for tax under the total. Now we all know that companies are not allowed to charge 5 percent turnover tax to their clients, at least not as a separate item on a receipt.
Our friends at Shiv Sagar scratched out the word tax and wrote something that was close to unreadable but that we later deciphered as 15 percent sc (service charge).
Interestingly, the bottom strip of the receipt says guest receipt, so we figure that we should receive only that piece of paper (which carries the receipt number and the grand total); instead, we received the complete receipt, which makes us think that the restaurant has no record of our lunch.
We have no problem with the service charge, because we would tip that amount anyway. The question is now: is the restaurant correct in adding this to the bill? And do we have a receipt that passes muster?

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