Business

Ritz-Carlton: CIAA surcharge went to servers on staff

A customer’s receipt for four drinks and sweet potato fries from the lobby lounge of the Ritz-Carlton in uptown Charlotte during CIAA week features a $10.20 CIAA service charge.
A customer’s receipt for four drinks and sweet potato fries from the lobby lounge of the Ritz-Carlton in uptown Charlotte during CIAA week features a $10.20 CIAA service charge. WBTV

The 15 percent gratuity the Ritz-Carlton hotel in uptown Charlotte tacked onto customer bills during the CIAA tournament last month was distributed “in full” to the servers who worked during the event, the hotel said on Wednesday.

In a statement, the hotel issued a second apology for the CIAA surcharge, reiterating that the added charge was not intended to offend customers.

It’s unclear how many employees were on staff during the tournament, or how much money the hotel generated from guests in the lounge. A hotel spokeswoman could not be reached late Wednesday.

The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association is the oldest African-American athletic conference in the nation.

The hotel says it’s cooperating with the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office, which launched an investigation last week after receiving numerous complaints about the surcharge.

The agency has received four written complaints total about the surcharge and continues to encourage customers to submit complaints at ncdoj.gov or by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM, spokeswoman Noelle Talley said.

At an open government forum in Durham on Monday, Attorney General Roy Cooper called the surcharge a “bad idea,” adding that his office was probing whether the hotel violated fair trade practices.

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