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Couple arrested over 'theft' for refusing to tip in restaurant

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posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 10:15 AM
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Couple arrested over 'theft' for refusing to tip in restaurant


www.telegrap h.co.uk

Leslie Pope and John Wagner were handcuffed and hauled away after they failed to leave a restaurant's mandatory 18 per cent gratuity - totalling $16 (£10) - for their party of eight. "Nobody wants to be forced to pay a tip or be arrested for terrible service," said Miss Pope, 22.

The couple, students at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, had joined six friends at the town's Lehigh Pub for dinner. They claimed they had to wait almost an hour for their meal to arrive and Miss Pope said the service was so shoddy they had to get their own cutlery and napkins.
(visit the link for the full news article)



[edit on 24-11-2009 by DimensionalDetective]




posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 10:15 AM
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What the?!?

Arrested for not leaving a tip for horrible service? Is there an actual law for something like this?

You would think the restaurant owner would be apologetic, and WAIVE the tip, or give the folks a discount if the service was seriously crummy like that, not have them arrested and hauled away in cuffs!

Not exactly good P/R for their restaurant. lol

www.telegrap h.co.uk
(visit the link for the full news article)

[edit on 24-11-2009 by DimensionalDetective]



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 10:18 AM
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Mandatory tips are ridiculous. The staff could spit in your food, cop a feel on your wife and flip you the bird and you still have to leave a tip?

It's like government mandated fees. Their service could be horrible (and usually is) but you still have to pay for it or face jail time.



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 10:22 AM
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Yes, I forsee this restaurant going bust...pretty soon. I watched this on the newws and the owner said they offered the food for free after the shoddy service, well the meal was more than the tip, so this sounds like trying to recoup some PR based on a lot of BS!!!!!! Didn't add up, offer the food free then lock em up for not paying the gratuity, I always steer clear of anyplace that gratuity is required as part of the bill anyway, because that gives them free run to do as awful a service as can possibly be provided, This is typical in these kind of establishments.



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 10:34 AM
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Why was only the one couple arrested when there were 8 people there for dinner? The story doesn't say. At least they will have witnesses in court with them.

Can you have a mandatory tip any more than a mandatory donation?? The whole concept of a tip is to reward good service. If its mandatory it is no longer a tip.

If it is mandatory; then they have to call it something other than a tip; perhaps a surcharge or something, and then have that in Big Bold Print on the menu.



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 10:37 AM
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i never leave tips anyway! this sounds like an abuse of athority.



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 11:03 AM
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I found this too on a recent trip into San Francisco. Four of us stopped for a bite to eat and a drink and when the bill came and I went to pay, I saw that the bill included, in the overall total, an 18% gratuity, and there was even a blank space underneath for adding a further gratuity - which, needless to say, they didn't get, and for which I got a really disapproving look from the surly waiter!


A tip used to be discretionary and the amount indicative of good service. It should not be added as a mandatory payment, regardless of how many people are in the party. The number of people in the party is irrelevant anyway as you'd think the more there were, the better for the restaurant, rather than being treated like it was some great inconvenience having to serve you.



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 11:03 AM
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Tips is an anacronym, it stands for To Insure Prompt Service.

The people at this establishment obviously did not get prompt service.



gratuity [grəˈtjuːɪtɪ]

1. (Business / Commerce) a gift or reward, usually of money, for services rendered; tip
2. something given without claim or obligation


How can it be a gift or award, given without claim or obligation if you go to jail for not paying it?!

Societies sense of entitlement has gotten WAY outta hand. Nobody is entitled to a tip for bad service!


In my opinion, the waiter and resturant owners should be the ones hauled off to jail for ripping off every customer who ever walked into the joint.


+5 more 
posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 11:04 AM
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If the terms are listed on the menu, then the patrons are responsible for the tab, which includes the tip.

Many restaurants have instituted this measure because it is not uncommon for large parties to come in and work the staff to death and no one bothers to leave a tip, either because everyone thinks someone else will or they forget in all the revelry.

I've worked in the restaurant business and in the US, wait staff work for tips. Yes, they earn a wage, but it is on the order of about $2.00 an hour and restaurants are allowed to pay such low wages because it is customary for customers to tip.

In reality, those who refuse to tip are thieves, even though in most cases there is no penalty for such crass behavior.

Even when the service is bad, customers need to factor in such things as pace of the business at the time and the presentation and demeanor of the staff.

Personally, I always tip and often more than 20%, because I usually eat in family-type restaurants and a large tip in such establishments rarely comes to more than a couple of dollars.

If I drop in for a glass of iced tea or coffee, I may leave a dollar for the $1.50 bill. In those cases, tipping just 15%-20% seems inadequate and I tend to form friendly relations with staff in the establishments I frequent and I don't mind being generous with them.

It is easy to say that the couple in question was arrested for not tipping, but in fact they were arrested for not paying the bill, which is theft.

Their only hope is if the terms were not clearly spelled out in advance. Pleading slow service won't cut it.


[edit on 2009/11/24 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 11:07 AM
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If the service is terribly bad I leave a customary ten cent tip to make the message clear. I don't want the server to think that I forgot.

If you want a 20% tip from me, which I often leave, you have got to be on your game and take care of some pretty basic needs at my table. It's pretty easy. Never let a glass go empty, especially my beer.

As for mandatory tips, pretty ridiculous really. Where is the incentive, hence a tip, to go above and beyond.

[edit on 24-11-2009 by jibeho]



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 11:09 AM
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Originally posted by RoyalCanadian
i never leave tips anyway! this sounds like an abuse of athority.


I would prefer that restaurant and bar employees got better wages to start off with, myself; however, seeing as their minimum wage is set lower than everyone else's almost everywhere, then I see no choice but to tip.

Its unfair to short the server when the system is not of their making.

I tip, but the %age does depend on service to an extent. People who know how to provide top notch service have earned and deserve their just rewards. "Service" is a highly underrated skill. When its good it can really make the night. When its not, a night is as easily ruined.

Given the system we have, I use it to acknowledge both the good and the bad accordingly. This couple, and their friends were right in their decision to not tip or perhaps reduce the tip in this circumstance.

[edit on 11/24/2009 by wayno]



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 11:09 AM
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reply to post by DimensionalDetective
 
There is no such thing as "mandatory 18 per cent gratuity!

Failure to acknowledge an oxymoron cannot be theft, as it lacks the necessary "mens rea." You cannot submit to a "mandate" to be "gratuitous" with a pre-defined amount of "gratuity."

The store will lose if the judge applies logic and basic English, neither of which are guaranteed in the US.

jw



[edit on 24-11-2009 by jdub297]



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 11:09 AM
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Well my daughter tends to measure service when it comes to tips, she is been known to leave messages on bills and 25 cents tips for bad service.


My husband and I tend to tip a littler bit more for great services and stick to the lowest tip for bad services.

After all many people that work in food services depend on their tips to compensate for their wages.

Now more and more people have to work service jobs because the economic crisis is killing middle class jobs.



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 11:12 AM
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Mandatory tips? uh-uh, nope, not happening... I generally do tip, but I need to get good service...and I'm not a difficult person to please, prompt and getting what I paid for is all that's required to get a tip from me.

But mandatory? Oh, hell no... ...and it certainly isn't theft.



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 11:13 AM
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Originally posted by jdub297
The store will lose if the judge applies logic and basic English, neither of which are guaranteed in the UK.


Last I checked Pennsylvania was in the United States... But I suppose that just makes it even less likely the judge will respect the mother tongue...



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 11:17 AM
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reply to post by GradyPhilpott
 


Workers who agree to work primarily for tips know in advance that their pay is based on their performance. The low base pay provides an incentive for them to work hard to ensure that every customer leaves happy.

Mandatory tipping takes away this incentive and discourages the employee from working harder to improve their income.



In reality, those who refuse to tip are thieves, even though in most cases there is no penalty for such crass behavior.


Mandatory tipping is the business' way of dodging taxes for worker's pay and leaving the worker stuck with the tax bill at the end of the year. The resturants that impose tip surcharges are the thieves in this case, they rip off their workers and the customers in order to dodge the tax system.

I, like you, also believe in leaving a large greatity for services, but ONLY if the server has earned the tip. There is no better way to get the message across that the service was bad than by not leaving a tip.

Workers who don't get tips will quickly have to clean up their act or look for other work. That is the way it SHOULD BE.



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 11:27 AM
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Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
If the terms are listed on the menu, then the patrons are responsible for the tab, which includes the tip.


I think most people would consider this an @ss-backward thing to do. Either include it in the price and state that tips are not required, or make it optional. Because if you extrapolate, my local store would thank me for a voluntary donation to children's charity and add $5 to my grocery bill, and if I refuse to pay, they call the police. Plain stupid.

I was in Denmark like 10 years ago, in a restaurant where tipping was not required. I did add the tip to my payment (with the credit card), but it was refunded. The service was excellent.

In general, in Europe tips are more of a token of appreciation than the main source of workers' compensation.



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 11:41 AM
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reply to post by DimensionalDetective
 


This is just stupid, the owners are idiots.

In the UK, tips are so rare, that the waitresses sometimes look surprised and give me change, often confusing it with a mistake.


At the end of the meal of salad and chicken wings, they were presented with a $73.87 bill. A $16.35 tip had been added as there was eight people in the party.


Is that all the dinner was - chicken wings and salad!? Sounds pretty #ty for $73.87 anyway.

Even if the pub has a mandatory tip for over 6 people, (which doesn't sound legal anyway), then it's surely per order, so the group should say they ordered in 2 groups of 4 if the pub owners want to play nasty and claim BS like they offered discounts etc.

[edit on 24-11-2009 by john124]



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 11:47 AM
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Anyone know the name of this restaurant in the OP's story? I'm sure some of us can go ahead and send letters to the owners as well as a couple letters to the BBB. I'm sure that would clear things up really fast. I to believe a gift of appreciation should not be mandatory. Pay the workers a living wage and charge more for the food.



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 11:51 AM
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in the US, servers who work for tips are taxed upon their food sales.

any instance of food sales without tip income is a LOSS to the waiter

i have noticed when dining out that the only members of my party who complain about an included tip, are people who intended to tip less.

the only way to have a nice place to go to... with great servers who know their business... is to PAY THEM.

and all the owners need to do to stop this is to change the language...

if we are discussing a gratuity, then it is by definition: GRATUITOUS...

but anyone who walks out on a service charge is clearly in error.

you wouldnt agree to pay for your tires, but then balk at a labor fee for installation would you?

if you dont want to pay for service, please refrain from dining out. I want my server to be clean, happy, full of knowledge about fine food and wine, and to be well paid for their efforts.



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