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To: Darden Restaurants

Hey Darden, #BringBackAutograt

Hey Darden, #BringBackAutograt

Restore the auto-gratuity for parties of 8 or more

Why is this important?

"I served a party of 30 guests with another server. We waited on them during the dinner rush for over 2 hours. The whole party left a total of $13.” -Janine, Louisiana

“I am an excellent, fast, and friendly server and I love my job but sometimes I get big parties who tell me that I did a great job but they only leave $20 on a $600 check. I have to tip out my partners based on my sales so after we split the tip we only make roughly $2 each when we waited on them our whole shift.” -Suzanne, New York

“Without the gratuity added to parties I receive very low or no tips at all even though the parties would be there for hours. Quite a few times I have walked home with less than ten dollars in my pocket because of the loss of the autograt. This is just not right. It's disheartening.” -Lauren, PA


Up until late 2013 we, the front of the house employees at Darden Restaurants, were able to add an automatic 18% gratuity onto the check(s) of parties of 8 or more. The auto-grat was included in large party checks for several reasons including, but not limited to:

1.Guests often do not tip when they are in large parties because they either forget to or assume the host will take care of it.

2. Servers of large parties usually have the rest of their section taken by someone else so they can focus on the party.

3. Darden mandates a tip-share policy with bussers and bartenders (who are also paid sub-minimum wages) and FOH staff get left with little to nothing even though we may work one party for an entire shift.

Several wage workers have a stake in the tip on large parties which is why it makes sense to have an auto-gratuity to ensure that both guests and employees are well treated.

A host of restaurants around the country provide their servers with autograt to make sure that their employees don’t leave their shifts with less than when they came in. So, why did Darden really get rid of autograt? Did Darden eliminate auto-grat to avoid extra payroll taxes?

Therefore, we, the front of the house workers of Darden Restaurants, demand that Darden reinstate autograt.

How it will be delivered

Directly to the decision makers at Darden Restaurants and Starboard Value

Reasons for signing

  • We work very hard. We are the face of the restaurant. Lowering a servers morale by allowing them to serve party after party without adequate tips only hurts the restaurant.
  • I had 3 11-tops tonight. 1 bill was $155 and they left me $0, another was $124 and they left $11, and the last was $103 and they left $10. (7-1-19)
  • I work for Darden and maybe have the worst clientel ever the tips are less than 10%. Yesterday I served a party of 7 and recieved a $3.71 tip I asked if there was anything wrong with the service and they said no everything was great. We've had $300 tables that leave 0 to 2-3 servers who had to shut down their tables to make sure the party had their attention. dont forget about the large partys who break the check into 10 and only 2 people leave a $1.00 tip.


2015-07-14 14:46:02 -0400

5,000 signatures reached

2015-06-20 13:36:55 -0400

1,000 signatures reached

2015-06-19 08:02:22 -0400

500 signatures reached

2015-05-19 15:41:28 -0400

100 signatures reached

2015-05-18 13:09:02 -0400

50 signatures reached

2015-05-15 09:38:04 -0400

25 signatures reached

2015-05-14 16:57:49 -0400

10 signatures reached