Kismet Kitchen

207 barre street, montpelier vt 05602 / map / 802 225 6489/ call for reservations



Thursday December 22nd, 2022 | categories: Uncategorized

We implement a 22% service charge. This means our servers are no longer tip dependent, so when you leave gratuity, it is shared between the entire team.  


Why?   Historically, a “Tip” was an an acronym for “To Insure Promptness” or “To Insure Proper Service” and would be given at the beginning of a service to a servant that otherwise would not get paid. Tipping has since become compulsory, though the guest still decides the amount to give (and therefore the wage the server earns).  Gratuity, on the other hand is a gift given after a service is delivered, is not compulsory, is not necessarily monetary, and is shared between the entire team. 

Our model is that everyone makes a wage based on their proficiency and skill, additional gratuity outside of the service charge is celebrated and is shared by the team.

Why don’t we just raise the prices?

The restaurant industry is the only industry where the customer decides the wage of the workers. Traditionally, the cost of the service HAS NEVER been included in the menu prices of full service dining. Vermont has the highest food and beverage taxes in the country. Raising the menu prices to cover the cost of service feels inappropriate and would result in even higher meals and rooms tax on your final bill.  We are hopeful that this transparency is appreciated.

Why does it say “auto gratuity” on my check? 

This is an unfortunate limitation on our Point of Sale system.  We can’t change the wording printed on the bill. It is a service charge and used to issue dependable wages for our staff, and accounted for accordingly. 

If I wanted to add gratuity, what would be the amount? 

We appreciate you asking! 

10%  is the average!

When we opened in 2006, we didn’t take reservations, were cash only, 

used a cash register and iPhones and iPads didn’t exist yet. 

But WOW things have changed!  Now we manage multiple point of sale interfaces, manage credit card payments, online ordering, field requests and answer questions that come in via google, our website, trip advisor, phone, email and even text.  And we maintain the technology and resources to be able to pivot to online ordering should we need to.  

So, it seemed like a good time to do some updates to our model.  

We are experimenting with implementing a service charge that helps us cover the additional costs associated with providing services to our guests, like unified wages for the whole team, credit card processing, point of sales terminals, website and online tools, online shopping, stocking take-out materials, increased phone and internet services,  and education and training for our team. 

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