Check your restaurant bills, there’s penny gouging afoot!

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Damn you math for wasting all my money!

Happy Columbus Day, the holiday celebrating the original American gentrification! I know I’m not the only one who woke up this morning after a long Sunday out doing Brooklyn stuff with hazy memories and a wallet busting with receipts and shamefully pieced together a map of yesterday’s frivolous spending spree. I’m convinced bars frequently charge a “stupid drunk” tax. But according to The Post we should all be watching our bills a little more closely, even while sober, because there’s some illegal bill total rounding up in the works.

Dutch Boy, The burger joint attached to Franklin Park in Crown Heights was recently caught rounding bills up to the next dollar. The Post reports that when an angry customer noticed an extra 47 cent “rounding-non inventory” charge on her bill, staff at Dutch Boy Burger said they round up if change is less than 50 cents to expedite service. Earlier in the summer Chipotle was caught rounding up to the nearest nickel (and quickly changed policy to round down after a flurry of negative press). Counting is so tedious and time consuming, amirght?

Sure, sometimes change bulging in our pockets and jangling around in the bottom of our purse can be annoying. But every penny counts when you are of a generation that will not get the benefits of Social Security. Those pennies are your retirement fund. And charging customers more than posted prices is illegal under New York City’s consumer-protection law.

So watch your bill and contact Brokelyn Bureau of Budget Bullies if you notice anything suspect (which conveniently has the same number as the Division of Consumer Protection 1 (800) 697-1220).

If you’ve seen this happen at anywhere in Brooklyn, tell us in the comments!

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  1. Ooh I hate that place and now I have even more reason for it. Just a note though – it’s not in Clinton Hill. Dutch Boy and Franklin Park are in Crown Heights (or perhaps Prospect Heights, if you’re a real estate agent).

  2. Weird, my roommate just mentioned this afternoon that a Ukrainian place on the LES rounded her total up $.60 the other night, after she’d already added the tip and signed her receipt. I know it’s not that much but honestly I assumed that sort of thing was illegal.

  3. This practice appears to be spreading in Prospect Heights/Crown Heights area after Kimchi Grill (who also own the Kimchi taco truck) on Washington Avenue started this trend.

    Kimchi Grill appears to be getting away with it because their food is good.

  4. This is disheartening to hear, both from the perspective of a Crown Heights regular (former resident) and a restaurant employee (too many years, need to get off this train).

    I get it if people pay in cash; it’s been de rigueur as long as I’ve lived here (and worked in the industry) to round and not keep change in the restaurant. But you almost always round down and give them the change unless it’s less than 10 or 20 cents on a typical bill. Either that, or you’re working the bar (or at just a bar) and you advertise your prices in whole dollars. I dislike how chain places (among other not so savvy establishments) advertise their drinks in base prices without tax and then I find a bill for $22.63 or some such nonsense.

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