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Couple Busted for Refusing to Pay Tip

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posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 10:18 AM

Couple Busted for Refusing to Pay Tip

If you’re frustrated by poor service at a restaurant, think twice before you decide to not tip. You may be in for a bit more than just a dirty look from the waiter.

Pope and John Wagner were hauled away by police and charged with theft for not paying the mandatory 18 percent gratuity totaling $16 after eating at the Lehigh Pub in Bethlehem, Pa. with six friends.

Pope claimed that they had to wait nearly an hour for their order and that she had to get napkins and silverware for the table
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 10:18 AM

Police charged them with theft since the gratuity was part of the actual bill. However, it is doubtful that the charges will hold up in front of a judge.

See that's the problem, gratuity is not supposed to be part of the bill.

I know that many restaurants put the implied tip on the bill, people pay and leave another tip not knowing there's already a tip on the bill. This happens often.

Putting gratuity on a bill should be illegal from the get go

I tend to be a stickler when it comes to service, when I get good service I tip generously, if I get bad service I don't tip at all, and if service is so so then tip is also so so.

People want to be tipped no matter what now?
That's not what a tip is.

I hope this restaurant gets the worse PR possible and ends up closing down.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 10:24 AM
Many establishments impose a gratuity when the party is larger than 4 or 5 but in this case I think explaining why they didn't want to to a manager should have been enough. The restaurants name, I'm sure, has been tarnished locally.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 10:28 AM
You know gratuity on the bill does NOT go to the waitor/waitress/bartender, it goes to the owner.

Only real tips that YOU give go to the service person.

It's a scam, anyone living in philly should do what they can for bad word of mouth.

This should not be tolerated

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 10:29 AM
Pardon me, but I thought tips were in return for great service. Silly me I thought the paycheck was in return for the required work and tips for service above and beyond.

I know waitstaff have difficult jobs but a tip is supposed to be optional. I'm the same ModernAcademia my tips are based on service rendered. I've been a waitress and a tip was never expected but always appreciated.

This establishment needs to rethink it's policy.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 10:35 AM

Originally posted by ModernAcademia
You know gratuity on the bill does NOT go to the waitor/waitress/bartender, it goes to the owner.

Only real tips that YOU give go to the service person.

It's a scam, anyone living in philly should do what they can for bad word of mouth.

This should not be tolerated

OK...that's not true. Gratuity, even if already added onto a bill especially in cases of large parties, does go to the server and not to the owner. It may be split with the busboys, host/hostesses, etc. That would be up to the restaurant's particular policy.

Now, in some restaurants they pool tips, and the owner may or may not take a percentage.

But to say that you have to leave another tip in order for the server to get it is wrong.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 10:51 AM
reply to post by ModernAcademia

Why oh why didn't they involve the manager? Did events happen to fast for a manager to fix the situation?

Anyways, I never liked the idea of tipping. In America, I'm especially annoyed with waiters who expect you to tip no matter what service they give.

One time we ate before clubbing. Got the worst waitress ever. When we asked for utensils, she snorted like it ruined her day. She delivered the utensils by tossing them on our table. Same attitude was given when we asked for napkins and condiments.

We were so pissed that we left a $0.25 tip. What suprised us was she chased after us as we left the restaurant. She demanded we give her 15% tip because the IRS will tax her. We laughed at her and ended the conversation by suggesting she give better service.

The waitress had the nerve to throw the quarter at us and stormed back in the restaurant.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 10:58 AM
Talk about bad publicity.. I wouldn't go near that place if they were giving stuff away.

"Mandatory gratuity" what kind of Orwellian phrase is that? Maybe if you're having the Jumbo Shrimp. Call it a mandatory service charge of 18% on parties of 8 or more (or whatever) in lieu of tip.

I'm a generous to a fault tipper, but I really don't like to be strongarmed. In this case, the couple should have discussed it with management prior to leaving and reached an agreement. If push came to shove, I'd have paid it making sure they knew not only would I never be back, everyone I could reach would know about the treatment.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 11:41 AM
Yea if I get bad service in a restaurant I am not going to tip. or I will go worse and tip two pennies. (the ultimate insult)

I have run restaurants before. Waitstaff are paid far less than minimum wage because their tips are supposed to compensate them.

If you suck at your job well, your not going to get paid much.

This will get thrown out of court I can bet on it.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 01:31 PM
What is ridiculous about such things (other than the obvious already discussed) is that basically the restaurant is forcing the customer to pay their employee's wages. I know being wait staff can be a pain and they make something like $2-$3 an hour while relying on tips. But that means you perk up and give good service.

But forcing people to pay for lousy service is not right. You're basically forcing your customers to pay your inept employees for services they did not receive. A bad employee should cost the company (and their employment should be under review). It should not be laid onto the customer.

Very sad they were arrested but it will get dropped I'm sure. Nobody should pay for services not rendered. Which happened. It is the law. Any restaurant can TRY to make you pay a forced tip but it is illegal to say you will receive services in exchange when this couple apparently did not get when they had to fetch their own stuff.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 01:33 PM
You guys actually have to pay a tip over there?
By law?

That's insane.

I hope they get off.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 01:38 PM
reply to post by blupblup

Not always. Just for large parties. But the weird thing is, the party in the article was only six people. That can be a single family in some cases. Really harsh. MOST places don't have mandatory tips, though. That restaurant must serve to a low clientele that doesn't tip properly or something. Or the restaurant is greedy.

If a waitperson does not make at least minimum wage by the end of a pay period (averaged by tips and their $2.something hour wage), the restaurant must make up the difference out of pocket. So I guess some restaurant's don't want to have to pay for it so they force it onto the customers.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 02:29 PM
reply to post by AshleyD

Ahhh ok fair enough.
Was gonna say

I mean...i tip, don't get me wrong, but not if i had to wait for ages, had cold food and had rude staff serving me.

I'd probably get my food for free.... Believe me, I've done that, several times.

But glad to know that you're not forced, by law, to pay tips.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 02:31 PM
Though I don't live in Bethlehem, I do live in Pennsylvania.

Our waiters/waitresses make $2.83/hr. I work at a restaurant, so does my mother and sister.

On most nights, the waitstaff will not make 7.25/hr, which is what minimum wage is here. Occasionally, of course, they will exceed $7.25, and those are awesome nights. These are nights like Christmas eve, New Years Eve, Mothers day, etc.

Anyway my actual point is that not all the work should be blamed on the waitress. Now, and hour until you're served it obviously utterly unacceptable. But, no silverwear on the table? Unless you're in a small-town diner, the BUSSER is supposed to clear/set tables and silverwear. Don't take it out on the waitress. Half the time the busser is going to be like 16 just working so he can buy a new videogame or pay his car insurance. In my case (i bus and serve) i'm a poor sophomore in college trying to save money so i'm not in debt forever.

[edit on 11/20/2009 by Schmidt1989]

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 02:35 PM
I'm a weenie. I virtually always leave a tip. Whenever there are problems, it's been my experience it isn't necessarily the server's fault. Could be a kitchen issue, could be something else. What I WILL do is ask to speak to a manager or if it's possible, owner before I leave. It's been very, very few times I felt the need to do that, but I've always been accommodated in those situations.

It's been more frequent that I've been proactively approached by a manager or owner when problems were obvious, and offered to have the meal comped. In those cases I still tip the server in accordance with what the bill would've been.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 03:24 PM
The wage is awful I just choked when I saw that they get 2.67 an hour?
Is there no minimum wage enforcemnt in US?
Where the owners must pay compensation if they do not adhere?
That amount is pretty much slave labour, Pay them a decent amount for being there, and the tip is for above and beyond.
We dont tip much in OZ (well I do) but its not really a done thing unless your server has been great.

But we have minimum wage law enforcable,
I think the day time wage min is about 15 dollars, and evening rate is 25 an hour, after midnight double time.

They work hard and should be paid to reflect that. Enforced gratuity goes to owner, and this restaurant just lost itself some customers methinks.....

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 03:31 PM
i consider myself a very good tipper. but to force a gratuity charge i find wrong. if i want to tip iwill and if don't that is my right to not tip. i worked in a diner so i know what waitresses make and they rely on tips. but better service brings better tips. if you know you can do a lousy job but still make money then what is the point?
but to be arrested? c'mon
unless it said on the menu that the gratuity charge was mandatory and additional to the meal i don't see how that can hold up in court.
i hope they sue the s### out of them and set a precedent.
and i live 1/2 hour away and know the place- was good when it was an irish place but was sold and i haven't been there since

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 03:39 PM
reply to post by yeahright

I'm a total weenie, too. Even if the service is LOUSY, and I mean LOUSY, I still tip at least $5. We live in a small town so they'll remember us and that scares me.

Seriously, though. I really don't mind mandatory tips if the service was OK. It's so rare and I'm rarely in large groups or in restaurants with that policy so I don't think much about it. But if I was this couple, to be honest, I'd be pretty pissed to have to pay for something I did not received... and to get arrested.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 03:50 PM
ok think about this relatively.
i'm a roofer. how would you like i show up and start a job but don't come back for 3 weeks and it leaks so you have to go fix it then when it comes time to pay i want full price plus 18% for my employees?
i bet you would be bitching about bad service and how you shouldn't have to pay it.
so now i call the police and they have you arrested for theft of services and payment.
and furthermore police are to be blamed also- they should have told them to just forget it.
the bartender reminds me of the people who call 911 because their sandwich was made wrong or coffee to hot etc.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 05:22 PM
reply to post by bigfoot1212

Relatively? I'm not sure I can equate a 3 week delay on a botched roofing job with having the fries with my patty melt be cold. But I'd also prefer to not be shot in the groin for jaywalking.

Just a personal preference.

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