I’ve worked in hotels and been the unfortunate MOD (Manager on Duty) when this has happened.
For things like banquets and such, there is an automatic “server charge” and that I’ve never known to be disputed. Because it’s all negotiated far in advance. As an asst controller, I’ve had lots of people who held banquets come back and say they don’t want to pay the tip out at a later date.
It’s not really so much a big deal at least at the hotels I worked at. If you complain, I’ve never known any time we didn’t give amount off. There is simply too much competition to fight this. If I as an asst controller tried to enforce it, the director of sales would be on the phone screaming "They’ll just take future business to another hotel. And they would.
Also unions play a big thing in this. Automatic tips are touchy with unions and they will scream bloody murder. If somoene doesn’t want to pay the say 20% auto gratuity, we would adust the bill so the servers don’t get stiffed. In other words we’d knock back the gratuity and do journal entries so the servers still get 20% and the food would take the hit.
Could you dispute the charge? Of course and this is your right, this is why I use credit cards.
The dispute would then depend on how you set up your system. In places where I was the asst controller, for large amounts, say over $500 or so, I would have the servers do a two system, which was one signature above the tip and one below it.
The credit card would look like one charge but would be processed seperately. For example, I would have a $500 check with a $100.00 tip processed in two seperate charges and it would appear as $500.00 food and $100.00 tip.
The customer gets a credit card slip saying $600.00 but if they customer then disputes the charge he can only dispute the $100.00 not the $600.00 total
Most people don’t realize but everytime you dispute a charge it costs money to the company whether you win or not. For instance, the last hotel (2 years ago) place I was asst controller in, our charge cards (AX, MC, Visa, Discover, JCB, Diners) were processed by Bank of America and BoA charged $25.00 for each dispute. And even if we won the dispute it would cost us $25.00 it would cost money.
So you can see the hotels and resturants need to be aware. It’s more money to let a customer dispute a charge than to just write it off.
Banquets tend to be different as you pay attrition on a whole, so tips and auto charges don’t matter. For instance, if a banquet is due in for $10,000 and comes in less, there is a fee for spending less than you budgeted. So if you write off gratuities, it makes the banquet worth less and the customer ends up with higher attrition.
In the OP case, I’d call up the resturant and explain, this are my terms and if you don’t comply I’ll dispute the charge. They will most likely work something out with you as they don’t want to pay the charge for the cc dispute charge.