Aussie diners fume over 'sneaky' detail on $744 receipt

A group of customers have slammed a popular Sydney restaurant for its service fee — one of many establishments getting blasted for a charge some are describing as "outrageous".

The nine friends were having a great time at Bar Totti’s in the CBD on Friday night, until they saw the bill.

The mandatory service charge came to a whopping $74.45, 10 per cent of their table bill of $744.50. They were also charged $30 for three 1-litre bottles of water, another unwelcome surprise.

The waiter had apparently not clarified it was still bottled water, and therefore not free, which one of the diner’s friends criticised as “very sneaky”, according to 7Life.

A group of diners at Bar Totti's in the Sydney CBD were shocked to get a service fee of $74.45, as well as $30 for three 1L bottles of water which they didn't know they were being charged for. Source: 7 News/Google Maps
A group of diners at Bar Totti's in the Sydney CBD were shocked to get a service fee of $74.45, as well as being charged $30 for three bottles of water. Source: 7 News/Google Maps

“It’s outrageous, it’s basically a mandatory tip. And for what? It was the most basic level of service anyway,” one of the diners told the publication.

“The service charge makes no sense.”

Concealed fee 'ruined’ diners’ experience

The additional costs were just the cherry on top for the customers who had already treated themselves to a $720 Italian dinner, including 13 antipasto dishes, six mains and drinks.

While the company’s website does state groups of eight or more are charged a 10 per cent service fee, one of the diners called the move “excessive,” especially when the group had already ordered a lot.

“But being charged an exorbitant amount for service and water with no explanation just doesn’t seem fair on customers,” she said to 7Life.

She also said the group were “more than happy” to leave a tip, before they uncovered the hidden fee.

Aussie diner stumped over fine print at bottom of restaurant menu

Just like at Bar Totti's, restaurant-goers have been blown away by the additional charges at a Brisbane restaurant, which they also deemed as unnecessary.

The series of extra charges were listed in fine print at the bottom of the menu at El Camino Cantina in Southbank, which a customer posted a photo of on Reddit.

“Additional service fees every day of the week,” they wrote.

The fine print reveals a slew of extra charges that diners will be slugged with, including:

  • 10 per cent surcharge on Sundays

  • 5 per cent service fee on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays

  • 10 per cent surcharge for groups of 10 or more

Diner spots surprise $10.50 charge on bill

Meanwhile back in Sydney, another restaurant shocked customers with how much they charge for still water.

The diner said he visited Aria — a fine dining restaurant overlooking the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge — “for a special occasion”.

However, when he received his $455 bill at the end of the night, the man was stunned to see it included a $10.50 charge for a bottle of still water.

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