‘Fake News’ claims Sevier County restaurants impose mandatory 18 percent gratuity

(Photo: WKRN)

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – An online article from a website called “Breaking News 247” has been circulating on social media.

It claims all restaurants in Sevier County will begin imposing a mandatory 18 percent gratuity.

The article says, “starting August 2017 ALL restaurants in Sevier County will be removing the option for customers to chose how much they would like to tip. Instead, an 18 percent gratuity will be automatically included on the bill.”

Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters says this story is not true. He says the county does not have the authority to impose such a requirement.

“We don’t have control over restaurants run through the cities,” Waters said. “They don’t have the right to do that even if someone wanted to.”

The article is published on a prank website. Users can upload photos and create an article about anything to prank their Facebook friends.

Nevertheless, many on social media expressed their opinion in reaction to the piece.

“I bet some restaurants will be closing in the coming months because of this stupid idea,” said one Facebook user. “I know I won’t be eating down that way.”

“It’s not a gratuity if it’s forced!!!” said another. “Won’t be dining there in the future.”