We would never hesitate to give a gratuity. However if I received a poor me story the gratuity would go elsewhere. The story Oakville Queen received would cause me to actually file a complaint. I hate liars.
However, we will never pre-pay gratuities. That is just our way and we will never change. To me a grautity is a thank you for a job well done. Yes, the room stewards and waiters and their assistants work hard for their gratuties. We don't get into personal conversations with them however. We base it on their services.
I've also observed over the last couple of years that the number of staff have gone down and they remaining have to do more with less.
Although this is for another thread, and I will post, we have just gotten off the Equinox. The food was awful. It will fine until salads. After that - the worst we've ever had. However that did not influence our gratuities for our waitstaff and that is where so many people go wrong. They equate the two and they shouldn't.
Anyway, I have no problem with the increase. We will also continue to pay in cash.