Phillip Knox writes, “I went to the Houstonian with three other adults for the Thanksgiving buffet, (which) they had advertised as costing $65 per person. That is a fair price.
“What they did next still has me sputtering. They added a 22 percent gratuity. For a buffet. If they were going to pay their employees for working on a holiday, just raise the price. Don’t spring it on customers at the last minute. What was I going to do, go elsewhere at noon on Thanksgiving Day?
“I will never darken the doors of that clip joint ever again.”
I reached out to the Houstonian and they asked me to pass along this note to Phillip.
Dear Mr. Knox,
I apologize for your dismay at learning of our 22 percent service charge as you arrived for our Thanksgiving brunch buffet. I assure you that we aren’t trying to be sneaky or underhanded, as we go to great lengths to inform our guests in advance of all charges, which are clearly stated on all promotional pieces as well as on our website. I understand that you reserved by phone, so I can’t say for sure that you were advised of the service charge during the call. However, the confirmation email you received Nov. 1 did include details such as the price per person, applicable service charge and sales tax. In any event, I am sorry that you feel as though we failed to inform you.
Sincerely, Jim Mills, Hotel General Manager
This reader’s forum is a chance to become a restaurant critic or ask other dining-wise readers for suggestions. Letters may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Syd Kearney, P.O. Box 4260, Houston, TX 77210. Please print your full name and a daytime phone number.