When the bill arrives at a restaurant, take the time to read it to ensure it is correct. I travel often with my day job and frequently eat at restaurants. I cannot count how many times I have been presented with the wrong bill (for a different customer) or an incorrect bill (items charged that I didn’t order or that were never delivered to the table) or once I was given back the wrong credit card and someone else went home with mine!
The newest feature at many restaurants now is that they offer a list of tips for different percentages such as 10%, 15% or 20%. First off, some people and companies have a preference for calculating the tip based on the total of food before the tax has been added. These courtesy amounts are calculated after tax has been added. Also, I have seen where a bill was split among a group yet the suggested tip amounts do not get reduced but continues to be based upon the total amount at the table.
If you don’t pay attention and just pay the amount you see on the slip or screen, you could be getting ripped off. Once the bill arrives, take five minutes to look over the charges and ensure you are not going to be over-charged. While you can sometimes fix these errors later over the phone, it’s much easier and cheaper to solve them as they happen.