Glad it was Applebee’s and not your restaurant that got caught up in that mandatory service charge flap and subsequent employee firing that made the national news? Don’t gloat too much. A recent Internal Revenue Service ruling could have many operators rethinking how they handle automatic tips for large parties. First, the Applebee’s incident in brief: Pastor hosting party of 10 in St. Louis unit declines to pay 18 percent automatic service charge, crosses it off check ...

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