mandatory gratuity ?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by B_Marius567, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. B_Marius567

    B_Marius567 New Member

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    It was an evening out that college students Leslie Pope and John Wagner will long remember.
    Not only did they get what they called lousy service, they got handcuffed and arrested.
    All over a $16.35 tip.
    They were with a half-dozen friends at the Lehigh Pub in Bethlehem last month, so the establishment tacked what it called a mandatory 18 percent gratuity onto the bill of about $73, according to reports.
    Pope and Wagner refused to pay.
    "You can't give us terrible, terrible service and expect a tip," said Pope, a 22-year-old Moravian College senior who's a Pottsville native, according to the Lehigh Valley Express-Times.
    They had to find their own napkins and cutlery while their waitress caught a smoke, had to ask the bar for soda refills, and had to wait over an hour for salad and wings, they told NBC10

    If I had to pay a mandatory gratuity or be arrested I will never go there again.
     
  2. Flashy

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    there was an episode of Curb YOur Enthusiasm with this scenario about three weeks ago.

    it really bugs me, and it allows for poor service without fear of responsibility.

    if it is absolutely necessary, there should be a mandatory 10%.

    even if i have had bad service, as long as they were not rude or mean, i never tip below 15%...

    so i would not have a problem if it was a 10% gratuity mandatory, because if the service was terrible, i would leave nothing else...but if it was good service, i would add another 10%, to make it 20% overall, which to me is a good tip for good service.
     
  3. Notthe7

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    Fuck that shit, I'm a waitress and half of you fucks leave 8% tips.

    Gimme my 18% out and quit asking for more bread when you weigh 300 lbs.

    go watch the movie WAITING :D


    Ha. yeah but shitty service is never good. I get it all the time and still leave 18%.
     
  4. Flashy

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    and i worked as a busboy for three summers....that does not mean that a waiter/waitress deserves a good tip if you are rude, inattentive, unhelpful, absent-minded or generally bad at doing your job because of neglect, bad mood or annoyance on the night.

    i never leave less than 15% unless the service is horrific...but mediocre to bad service gets the bare minimum of 15% from me. i do not reward mediocrity. i reward good to excellent service with 18-20%, and when someone really goes out of their way, is friendly, helpful, funny, gives good recommendations, offers good advice on what is good and what is not, etc. 25% is the order of the day from me.

    a smile, a good disposition and kindness, some effort, and some attentiveness, is all that i require of my server...i can forgive a busy night, a long day, a slightly undercooked burger, or an extra minute or two for a drink, and that will not affect what i leave...but there is no excuse for being utterly terrible, and being surprised when someone leaves a poor tip.

    i do not doubt there are plenty of bad tippers out there, even when the service is good, since i have seen it first hand...but an 18% tip is not an entitlement for mediocre service anymore than an 8% tip is acceptable when a waiter/waitress does a good to excellent job.
     
  5. Gillette

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    But isn't that exactly what you're doing?

    When I tip it's based on attitude. Lack of speed or accuracy can easily be forgiven when you feel the server is genuinely interested in trying. Eye contact and affability count more for me than prompt but robotic service. I'll even tip well when the food is so bad that it is removed from the bill if the server handles the situation well.

    I'm not a demanding customer and I don't make a lot of fussy requests so if the server treats me like my presence is a hassle for them then the tip will be minimal to non existent. If they're only willing to do the bare minimum the job requires they can make do with the minimum wage they're paid just to be there.

    Rudeness is an automatic zero and a complaint to management. (Unless it's amusing.)


    Regarding mandatory gratuities, while I understand that it's general practice in some countries, where it's not the norm do they not have to legally advise you in advance. Have it printed on the menu, even?
     
  6. Mem

    Mem
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    I read about this on another site. It was added on because it was a party of 8. Normally on a party of 8 or more many restaurants add the tip so that the server doesn't get gypped for doing all that work for nothing.

    In this case the manager should have let them not add it since the service was so bad. I think it's wrong for them to be arrested for something like this. It's a civil/monetary matter, but it can also be considered theft of service. I doubt that in some places that they would even be arrested for walking out on the bill.
     
  7. ManlyBanisters

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    The term 'mandatory gratuity' is a fucking joke anyway.

    A gratuity is something given freely, with no obligation - or at least that is what the word used to mean.

    If service is not included then it should be clearly marked where the customer can't miss it and a mandatory (but flexible) service charge may be applied. It is up to the restaurant how they go about that, as long as it is completely clear to the customer what is expected of them, or more specifically what is legally required of them. If the restaurant in this case made it clear an additional service charge was mandatory then the couple were wrong not to pay it.
     
  8. molotovmuffin

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    Seriously, I pay the gratuity, then go straight to the manager. Not only will I complain about the lousy service, I make sure that they know I will not be returning and that I'll tell everyone I know about it too.

    Yes, I am that petty.
     
  9. SilverTrain

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    The incident in the OP is an outrage. The "bartender" should be very concerned about keeping his job. And the restaurant owners should be kissing some serious ass of the arrested customers.

    As to tipping in general, a lot of good and different perspectives posted here already. Mine: as a former waiter, I understand how difficult the job can be sometimes. I am (as most former servers are) a good tipper. I generally leave between 15 and 20% for satisfactory to exemplary service. Occasionally over 20% for super-wowsie service (usually in conjunction with extreme hot-ness :biggrin1:; sex sells, baby!). But if the server is apathetic, robotic, inefficient, and/or rude, I will not be bound by some inexplicable code of honor that says ONE MUST LEAVE A GOOD TIP EVEN THOUGH THE SERVICE WAS SHITE. Obviously, I don't penalize the server for circumstances beyond his/her control (although a cunty/prickish manager or two has induced me to sacrifice the poor server). But I do expect at least a modicum of professionalism and attention to the table in exchange for a service gratuity. I've only stiffed a couple of waiters in my lifetime. But I've left some 5%-ers here and there to get the message across that shite begets shite.

    Pet peeves:

    Don't ask me four times in ten minutes if I've put payment in the payment folder yet. It makes you look needy and greedy.

    Don't race to the table to see how big of a tip you got, before I've even made it halfway from the table to the door. Needy, greedy, in extremus.
     
  10. Flashy

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    you are right G...i guess because i was a busboy i do have sympathy especially because of the low salaries...but i do agree there is no excuse for terrible service...i just have a hard time "stiffing" waitstaff, even if they are mediocre...terrible, well that is a different story...

    but like you said, i am not a demanding guest either...a smile, good humor, and honest and sincere effort gets miles and miles of goodwill with me

    your relationship with your server at a restaurant is based on mutual respect and when both are given it makes the dining and waiting experience much better...

    whenever i request something, it is always prefaced by "excuse me...sorry to trouble, but when you get a minute, can i get another iced tea" (etc.) it immediately implies that you understand they are busy, and as long as they get it to you at their next convenience, that is cool.

    i have found that a smile and always being polite to your waitstaff almost always gurantees the best results. (except in France :rolleyes: )
     
  11. SilverTrain

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    A whole different thread needed for that! :eek:

    :wink:
     
  12. Flashy

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    more like 5 different threads...perhaps one for each region of France and the different regional shit service and insulting attitude :biggrin1:
     
  13. ManlyBanisters

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    I must live in a different France to the one you have visited and eaten many restaurant meals in. :rolleyes:
     
  14. Flashy

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    nope...the same one...is yours the one in western europe, between spain on the west, and italy/switzerland/germany and belgium on the east?

    :smile:

    even though i speak french pretty well for an american, offer nice tips, am friendly, smile and am polite, i have never been treated so rudely in many dozens of trips to france, in so many different regions, from the riviera, to the Alps, to Paris and the Loire Valley.

    while i have certainly encountered some good, friendly service on occasion, the level of poor service and bad attitudes has been stunning...in all my travels to Italy, Germany, England, Spain, Mexico, Israel, Belgium the Netherlands, Sweden, the CArribean, i have never, in any of those places, encountered such consistent nastiness and bad attitudes and general unpleasantry as being the norm, as i have in France...

    i have been treated with rudeness and disdain, despite my ability to speak French, be polite, smile, be complimentary of the food etc. in a vast number of places throughout France, from a restuarant on the Ile De Porquerolles back in the late 1970s when i was a child staying at a friends home there, to a restaurant in Nice around the same time, to then in later life during the 80s and 90s at a restaurant in Aix En Provence, to not one, but three different cafes and restaurants all in St. Tropez, to two restaurants in Juin Les Pins, as well as restaurants and cafes in Cannes, Antibes, Beauvallon, Saint Aygulf, Marseille, Lyon, Nantes, Le Mans, Chenonceaux, Corcheval, and of course, Paris and its environs.

    I have been insulted and treated badly in so many different cafes and restaurants across France that i sometimes wonder if i am wearing a T-shirt, inviting them to do so.

    i have never encountered such rudeness anywhere else, so consistently, (though obviously not *ALWAYS*)
     
  15. ManlyBanisters

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    You're too funny, Flashy.
     
  16. Flashy

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    is spain no longer west of france and belgium no longer east? Has the continent shifted!?!?!!? :eek:

    (don't you dare say they are southwest and northeast) :biggrin1:
     
  17. ManlyBanisters

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    Are you in a glass globe looking out?

    A Picasso globe?

    Someone help me out here!!
     
  18. BigDallasDick8x6

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    My standard tip is 20% (a lot easier to figure than 18%!! WTF?) and I have tipped 25% or more for a great dining experience and a hot waiter as someone else has said. I have also a very few times left zero outstandingly bad service, but in those cases I never go back to that restaurant again.

    You get what you've earned, as far as tips go. I wouldn't get a bonus if I totally screwed up and didn't care and I'm not going to give someone else one if they screw up and don't care.
     
    #18 BigDallasDick8x6, Nov 23, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2009
  19. Flashy

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    i am really kind of at a loss MB...:confused:

    are you saying that spain is not to the west of france (southwest) and Belgium East of france (northeast)???

    when you look at the sunrise, from france, are you not looking towards Belgium/Germany/Switzerland?

    and when you watch it set, are you not looking roughly towards Spain?

    :smile:
     
  20. Bbucko

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    Though I was prepared to say that Belguim is strictly north of France, my friend Mr Google Maps informs me that Calais and Dunkirk are both north and west of Brussels.
     
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