Tipping point – family locked in restaurant for skimping on mandatory gratuity
May 10th, 2012
11:15 AM ET
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Our sister site HLN reports that a Houston, Texas family claims they were locked inside La Fisherman restaurant after refusing to pay a 17 percent tip on their meal. The restaurant's policy states that the percentage will be automatically added to the tab for parties of five or more.

Customer Jasmine Marks told Click2Houston.com that the staff was rude, the drinks weren't refilled and her group received generally poor service. Marks asked if she could speak to a manager to have the auto-gratuity stripped from the bill, but claims the staff locked the doors and told her that her options were to pay the 17 percent or speak with the police outside.

According to Marks, the police officer who was summoned was unable to give her a straight answer on the legality of the situation. Her party eventually paid the tip in order to avoid any further difficulty.

Automatic tips, or "autograts" as they're sometimes called, are often used by restaurants to ensure that their staff is fairly compensated for the greater amount of effort it takes to tend to larger parties. The server will sometimes have a larger table as their sole focus for the duration of the meal, and won't be making tips from any other tables. This tip, which is generally clearly stated on a menu, or when making a reservation for a larger group, ensures that a server will be compensated for their time and not miss out on earning money for that shift. Often, the tip is shared with other members of the floor staff, like bussers and bartenders.

Having a stated policy in place - usually 18 percent of the pre-tax amount - can eliminate awkwardness and confusion over tipping etiquette, especially if you're dining with business colleagues or people you don't know especially well. On the flip side, patrons sometimes feel they're being tricked into tipping more (especially if the server hasn't pointed out that the gratuity was already included) or discriminated against if the auto-grat isn't always applied. And servers, while they're ensured a base tip, run the risk of earning a lower tip than they would have if diners had been able to decide on the percentage, themselves.

Our tip: always check the restaurant's policy when you're dining with a large group, and be sure to pore over the bill at the end. Weigh in on the auto-grat in the comments below, and we'll share our favorites from both sides of the table in an upcoming post.

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Filed under: Lunchtime Poll • Restaurants • Service • Tipping


soundoff (1,424 Responses)
  1. Willow

    Any restaurant where that is done immediately loses me as a customer. Tipping is and should be provided for a quality level of service. I would rather cook my own gourmet meal from scratch than go to such a place, but I regularly cook for myself anyway. Some days though, you want a break from cooking.

    Locking someone in might have been committing a crime. I think it would be considered a form of abduction in many areas. In this litigious society we live in, I cannot believe that restaurant did that. They opened themselves up to a ton of legal risks.

    May 12, 2012 at 8:45 am |
  2. SSGJughead

    What is missing here is the truth, Black's for the most part will not tip!!

    May 12, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • bawanderr1234

      You didn't really say that – and mean it – did you? When did race enter this discussion? I've seen and read this bit before and it didn't have pertinence; just like it doesn't today. Too bad you're just a staff sergeant, not a sergeant major. Then you might know how to behave like a human being. Does that sound justified to you? Do you feel 'dissed' because you're a lesser person, with a lesser rank, in an organization that DOES rank its 'staff', so to speak? Due to your being a lesser person, do you feel the need to put down people in the real world that you determine to be lesser? You likely possess a secret desire to be a bird colonel, but you don't – and never will – have the ability to achieve that position. Man, I really hope you just came on to agitate and aggravate. Congratulations if so. If not, you are no one that should be over anyone in our military. Go scrub some trash cans, Private.

      May 12, 2012 at 8:36 am |
      • mike

        Nope, it's true. Generally the worst tippers are black people, church people and foreigners, in that order. That's not a 100% guarantee, but it's enough to make any sensible server avoid them.

        May 12, 2012 at 10:56 am |
        • twang

          You cant really call blacks "people"

          May 12, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • bawanderr1234

      All apologies - not Private Jughead. Simply (and simple) BOOT.

      May 12, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • Bill

      You did not just go there.

      May 12, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • wavejump1100

      all my waitstaff friends say blacks are bad tippers.

      May 12, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
      • sue

        WOW. I wonder if all your wait staff friends are red necks?

        May 13, 2012 at 2:45 am |
  3. bawanderr1234

    Haven't read what others said but it depends upon the size of the group to me. If it's more than four people (that aren't a family, kids, etc) then that's ok – as long as the service is up to snuff! I've been out with groups of people that not only wouldn't pony up for what they ordered but stiffed me and others for the tip, too. But I DO demand that the server give us their FULL attention since that's what they're being tipped for, right? I'm a good tipper but not if the server expects it GRATUITOUSLY, so to speak. Earn your pay and you should get a good tip. So many expect to show up with your order and get paid for just doing their job with no consideration for the customer's desires, let alone their needs. Also, don't expect me to say "thank you" when you fill my glass or serve me food. You are there to WAIT on me, you're not doing me a favor. Miss Manners agrees with this, by the way. Thanks.

    May 12, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • springs1

      "Also, don't expect me to say "thank you" when you fill my glass or serve me food. You are there to WAIT on me, you're not doing me a favor. "

      WOW, you are MEAN. Then don't expect an apology when you get things wrong then. What goes around, comes around. What a horrible person you are!

      May 12, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • Bundy

      "Also, don't expect me to say "thank you" when you fill my glass or serve me food. You are there to WAIT on me, you're not doing me a favor. Miss Manners agrees with this, by the way. Thanks."

      Oh wow.....I've seen your type at restaurants before. Little people with little lives that go out to eat just so they can feel like big shots and have someone WAIT on them. Being polite and civil does not make you any less of a person. You can still be waited on without being such an arrogant, entitled, boar. Just how much effort does it take to say thank you? Ever thought of treating people how you would like to be treated? No, you dream of being royalty and being waited on by your personal servants.

      Heck, I say "thank you very much and have a nice day" when I'm at the drive up window at Burger King. It doesn't take a lot of effort to treat people like you would want to be treated. Try it sometime, you might find that you'll like yourself better when you start acting like you have some class about you. I feel sorry for you that you have to demean another human being to make yourself feel superior. Those people aren't there to make you feel superior and wait on you, they are there to make a living.

      May 13, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
      • Noneofyourbuizness

        He should be able to act like a big shot. he is spending money on something he can do himself in his own home. Instead he chose to pay for your lousy attitude. The point is, if more people cooked at home, none of this would be an issue. I for one go out and eat less often because it is cheaper and I wait on my self with perfect service. :-)

        May 14, 2012 at 10:54 am |
        • Bonnie

          Yeah, he's spending his money, so if he doesn't want to say thank you, he doesn't have to. But good, respectable people thank those that serve them ANYWAY, because kindness doesn't cost a thing. And even if he didn't say thank you – maybe the server quietly brought him a refill while he was in mid-sentence, talking to the rest of his party. Okay, fine. The server probably doesn't have his or her panties in a bunch about it, and I don't blame him, either.

          But the fact is, that a person who goes OUT OF THEIR WAY to say or (especially type) things in a public forum like, "Don't you expect a thank you from me for doing your job – you're my servant as long as I'M paying the bill!" is generally a very entitled, nasty person who doesn't value others. I'd put money down that says this chap treats salespeople and servers and customer service reps like crap, objectifies attractive young women, kicks animals, and treats everyone that's not JUST like him like they are some sort of degenerate leper.

          May 17, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
  4. buffiesguy

    I eat far more meals in restaurants and cafes that I do at home (I"m a Road Warrior). I am a very generous tipper – when it is warranted. Normal amount for "good" service is 20%. I have tipped 50% on rare occasion, and 40% is not particularly unusual for me.

    I never pay a check without a gratuity. Case in point: I just returned from a small town in South Dakota after a 2 day professional project. Each of two nights, I ate at the only two restaurants in town. In the first case, the young woman who seated me was also my server. Her every act of omission and comission told me she couldn't have cared less if I was in her restaurant or not. She did not make eye contact during my entire visit, and her greeting was robotic and insincere. Once my food was served, I did not see her at my table again. I had to go to the register to ask for my bill. She slid it across the glass, saying not one word. As such, I left a $0.50 tip on a $12.00 bill, and wrote a note on the credit card receipt saying "Gratuity reflects perceived value of service. Please consider another line of work!"

    My 2nd experience (the next night) was marginally better, service-wise. Sadly, the young server explained nothing to me (e.g, specials, salad bar, etc.). I ordered a chef salad, and was provided a small plate with two chunks of turkey and two chunks of turkey. I was also served an empty plate. I found out later that I was responsible for building my own salad. I informed the server that if I wanted to make my own dinner, I could have purchased food at the local grocery store. She had nothing to say. I left a $0.50 tip on a $12.00 bill once again.

    Servers who are professionals "get it," and do the job because 1) they love their work, and 2) know their livelihood and success are dictated by their performance. There are select restaurants I frequent while on the road. I frequent them because of the service. One can get food anywhere - one can get high quality service at far fewer establishments.

    More often than not, people serving as servers have no business having the job, because they don't care. More often than not, "managers" also are misplaced in their jobs. They mostly do not instill a Quality Care protocol, and servers are pitifully trained – if they are trained at all.

    A great server is worth a ton of tips. Reward them when you find them, for they are a rarity!

    May 12, 2012 at 1:31 am |
    • ann

      I was in a situation once where our large party was ignored by the waiter. Maybe he assumed since we would be forced to tip he could focus on smaller parties. My husband and another guy with us spoke to the manager who promised our glasses would be filled, but either he didn't tell the waiter or the waiter ignored him. This was summer in Texas and we were more thirsty than hungry. We waited fifteen minutes for menus and about half an hour for him to reappear to take our orders. The restaurant was barely half full. I am vehemently opposed to a set forced tip amount as they count on that and focus on smaller parties. I'll not return to that place again.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:47 am |
    • Bill

      Not all diners have a corporate charge card

      May 15, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
  5. mollykaitlinpace

    You know it's funny I have worked in the service industry for a while and the topic of tipping has rarely come up until recently. I suppose we are deep into a recession and so people are in general talking more about money. 

I have been left nothing for people who thanked me for my hard work and gave me a hug, and I have been left 20% by people who were totally rude. I had a church group walk out after not paying over $150 of their bill, even though they all had to-go boxes, to-go cups and had asked me to come to Sunday services. 

The truth is as a server, I HATE TIPPING. Everyday I go into work and everyday I take a gamble. Sometimes I work my ass off and at the end of the night, after working an 8 hour shift I come home with $30.00. 

If you do the math, 8 hours * $7.00/per hour (minimum wage in the state I am in) I should have at least made $56.00 but I didn’t. 

The idea is that if I don't make a certain wage then the restaurant where I work is supposed to compensate me, but if you talk to any server you will know that is not the case. In fact most servers rarely even get a pay check, not to mention benefits. 

Additionally, where I work I tip out the kitchen, a busser, sometimes a bouncer and sometimes I tip out a bartender when I myself am not bartending. Right now I am lucky. There have been places I worked were I had to tip out the restaurant, a hostess, the dishwasher and a number of other people in addition to the people I already mentioned.

There is no way the consumer could know that I am responsible for paying part of the wages for all these other people, however, I am and I do. It should not be my responsibility to pay other people but it is. It should be the responsibility of the business owner to pay it’s employees. However restaurant owners save customers money on food because they don’t have to pay much of their staff.

    People like Springs1 think that by undertipping and complaining that they are somehow solving problems which is just not the case. The whole restaurant industry needs to be overhauled. Business owners should be responsible for paying the people who work for them, not the customers.

    May 12, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • springs1

      “Sometimes I work my off”

      If you have the attitude that the worker that didn’t know his menu did when you work, then you DON’T work hard. Think about it. You want the money, but expect not to study. It doesn’t work that way in the real world. Everybody has to *WORK* for what they get. It doesn’t just appear magically.

      May 12, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • springs1

      “Sometimes I work my off”

      If you have the attitude that the worker that didn’t know his menu did when you work, then you don't work hard. Think about it. You want the money, but expect not to study. It doesn’t work that way in the real world. Everybody has to work for what they get. It doesn’t just appear magically.

      May 12, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
      • mollykaitlinpace

        Springs1, we all know you have unrealistic views of what actually happens in a restaurant. I don't believe you actually even feel the way you claim you do and neither does anyone else. I used to find you mildly entertaining but even that has ended due to your unyielding resentment towards people who work very hard. Complaining about people online will gain you no glory. If you actually want to change things then do something. But you don't want to change things, you want attention in an area that you claim you are an expert in. However, by reading your arguments it is clear that you are by no means an expert. 

What do you do for a living? Where did you go to college? If you were half as hard on yourself as you are on servers I would imagine that you are incredibly successful, but...you are not. Because successful people would never put so much energy into being negative, mean and nasty.

Please leave my blog alone.

        May 12, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
        • springs1

          mollykaitlinpace
          "Springs1, we all know you have unrealistic views of what actually happens in a restaurant."

          NO, the GOOD, CARING, and CONSIDERATE servers do as what I am preaching to do. You are just too LAZY to do the things I said just as some people are out there like that waiter that didn't study before he started his job that he could have DECLINED the job offer if he wasn't prepared. Taking a job is a *CHOICE* in this world. NO ONE MAKES someone take a job if they are not prepared, do they?

          "I don't believe you actually even feel the way you claim you do and neither does anyone else."

          WHY would I not? Obviously you are too stupid to understand that life involves *WORK*, not just if you want something you get it by asking a Genie in a bottle. You have to WORK for what you want in life.

          "I used to find you mildly entertaining but even that has ended due to your unyielding resentment towards people who work very hard."

          NO, until I pointed out that you want to CONDONE LAZINESS that it's OK to take a job you aren't prepared for or not to STUDY *BEFORE* you go apply to that job. THAT is when you started to not like that I pointed out how LAZY you were when I PROVED by the youtube video that at Chili's you have to *LEARN* the menu WHEN YOU INTERVIEW EVEN, *BEFORE* going on the floor. You just want to condone laziness, which I really don't understand at all.

          "Complaining about people online will gain you no glory."

          Yes it will to prove how LAZY you and that waiter really are. I mean, you can't get things in life without *WORKING* for it, DUHH!!

          "But you don't want to change things, you want attention in an area that you claim you are an expert in."

          I know more than you do and I have known the menu at restaurants I have NEVER stepped foot in before that I have proven MANAGERS wrong even as well as servers even and also restaurants I do frequent a lot as well. So *YES* I actually study the menu some *BEFORE* I even go to the restaurant if they have it online about what I want to order. I am not lazy like you and that waiter are that wouldn't do that.

          "However, by reading your arguments it is clear that you are by no means an expert."

          HOW? I proved you VERY WRONG even with that video and you STILL can't admit when you are wrong, can you? I mean this is a person that knows how Chili's restaurant works and you STILL can't admit you are wrong, it's comical, it really is.

          "Because successful people would never put so much energy into being negative, mean and nasty.

Please leave my blog alone."

          This ISN'T YOUR BLOG and until you stop talking about me I won't. *YOU* want to be mean, negative, and nasty by promoting LAZINESS and BEING UNCARING about the job you are at towards your customers. That's mean right there. I couldn't imagine serving customers and not *KNOWING* **WHAT** I AM SERVING. That's just being lazy and uncaring. That's not nice, is it? That waiter WASN'T a "CARING" human being to take a job RUINING people's outings on purpose, was he? How can you say that's not negative huh?

          May 13, 2012 at 8:43 am |
        • springs1

          "I don't want you or anyone else to be negative in anyway, that includes laziness."

          But you *CHOSE* to do that when you put the lazy, uncaring waiter that took a job that you are OK with that didn't study the menu *BEFORE* APPLYING for the job.

          WHY are you OK WITH LAZINESS? I don't get it, I REALLY, REALLY DON'T?

          The waiter was stupid to take a job he wasn't prepared for. Taking a job is *ALWAYS* a *CHOICE* in life.

          "but at this point I feel that they are just fabricated, as I believe you are fabricated. "

          NO, they are ALL REAL.

          "I don’t think you feel the way you do."

          Because you are an UNCARING, SELFISH, and VERY LAZY HUMAN BEING, that's why.

          You don't work hard, because you are too lazy to study the menu.

          "Do you play any other characters online?"

          I don't play characters. This is the REAL me. Remember, ******YOU******** DECIDED TO PURSUE ME, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. I am not blogging about you on my blog, WHY you chose to do that to me, huh?

          May 13, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • springs1

      Sometimes I work my off”

      If you feel that the worker that didn’t know his menu did when you work, then you don't work hard. Think about it. You want the money, but expect not to study. It doesn’t work that way in the real world. Everybody has to work for what they get. It doesn’t just appear magically.

      May 12, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
      • kara

        Seriously, springs1 is obviously a 15 yr old TROLL.... Don't feed the trolls.

        May 13, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
        • springs1

          kara
          "Seriously, springs1 is obviously a 15 yr old TROLL.... Don't feed the trolls."

          NO, DUMB IDIOT!! I am 35yrs old and you don't know WHAT you are talking about. You know what I am saying is the truth, just admit it!!

          May 13, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  6. John Smith

    I always joked with my family and friends that I wanted to carry a "tip chart" and draw the line during the meal, down when my drink emptied and up when they refilled it. But I'll note that the staff at our regular restaurants figured that out pretty quick without the chart, and they keep our drinks always full. I usually tip over 18% to encourage them to continue.

    Of course, when we go to a new restaurant with family and the receipt adds the automatic 18% tip, I pay it exactly, but I do MENTION TO THE WAITPERSON when they first bring it that I'm paying only 18% unless they remove the automatic gratuity from the bill because it offends me.

    May 12, 2012 at 12:26 am |
  7. bob

    It is absolutely ridiculous that there are this many posts about tips or no tips. How can anyone reading this gloss over the fact that these morons locked a family inside the restaurant!!? Why isn't that being discussed? That was against the law, and the staff should have been subject to arrest for unlawful detainment at the very least. Had that been my family being imprisoned, 18% gratuity would have been the least of their worries. That family needs to sue someone's face off.

    May 12, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • buffiesguy

      That would, indeed, be considered "false imprisonment."

      May 12, 2012 at 1:34 am |
    • sharianne

      I agree with you, the restaurant absolutely was in the wrong!! To lock them in, and not let them leave, is by law, abduction/kidnapping. I hope the family sues their pants off!! As for forcing someone to leave a tip, even if the service was horrible, that's up for discussion too.

      May 12, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  8. Tom

    No, this is wrong and the IRS should step in. First off, restaurant workers get paid a very small minimum wage- about $2.50. They make the rest up in tips. Now, there are two different ways to determine taxation. One is based on restaraurant revenues and the other is on bills for the individual server (I may have the wrong- can;t remember) but in either case the waiter/waitress need only report 8%. If wait people make less, there is a tip credit to make up the difference in pay. Now, if the restaurant if charging 17%, after tipping out to busboys and the bar, they are still under reporting to the IRS by quite a bit especially at expensive restaraunts. Thus, if restaurants are charging a tip, it actually becomes a restaurant charge and not a tip which translatres into employee wages and should be taxed at full amount. Why shouldn't any business charge for a car or book or clothes and then charge a percentage as a tip to employees and allow everyone to under-report their wages. I determine the tip- not the restaurant.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
  9. wavejump1100

    as many other people commented, even though the gratuity is included in the bill of parties with 5 or more, it is in no way mandatory and can be deducted for poor service. this restaurant should be sued for holding these people against their will.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
  10. Bill

    In this situation, I would have called the police and filed a citizen's arrest against the staff for illegal detainment, as I was being held against my will. If I was "forced" to pay it, you better believe that I would be on the phone the first chance I get with my credit card company disputing the charge.

    When a mandatory tip is included in my bill, if the service is anywhere from "not horrible" to "awesome", that's all they'll get.

    If I don't have a mandatory tip, I'll leave anywhere from 15% for "not horrible" service to 25% or so for "awesome" service. Yes, I know, I overtip. But you'd better believe after the staff sees me tip 25% a couple of times, they'll be busting their butts whenever they see me. So overtipping has a purpose for me.

    And this is in California, where state law prohibits employers from taking a tip credit. You have to be paid minimum wage, regardless of the amount of tips you make.

    I would love to see food prices just go up 20% though and ban tips entirely.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • springs1

      "I would love to see food prices just go up 20% though and ban tips entirely."

      Do you realize how BAD the service would be if they got rid of tips? Getting your 3rd refill or so would be like PULLING TEETH, because no one would give a care HOW LONG you waited for it. Seriously, getting anything would be a NIGHTMARE, because they would AUTOMATICALLY KNOW EXACTLY how much they are going to get, so they can be lazy if they want to. WHY you think fast food has orders wrong a lot? It's not just that they are rushing, there's times when it's not busy and the food is wrong, it's because there's no INCENTIVE to get the order correct there, but with tipping there is.

      With the automatic gratuity they have ZERO INCENTIVE to give good service. I wish they would do away with the automatic gratuity, because it just leads to poor service a lot of times. If they have an INCENTIVE, they'd try harder. That's the TRUTH and YOU KNOW IT!! I hope they NEVER get rid of tips. If you think service is bad now, if they ever would get rid of tips, it would be HORRIBLE.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
      • Bill

        If the service was bad, they'd just lose all my future business. So yes, there may be one instance where I get bad service because what used to be a tip is included in my bill. But they would lose all of my future business, as well as bad word of mouth about my experience.

        While service may indeed slip a bit, I don't see it being anywhere near as bad as you describe.

        May 11, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
        • springs1

          "If the service was bad, they'd just lose all my future business."

          What if that was at just about every restaurant? Would you just decide to cook or get take-out?

          "While service may indeed slip a bit, I don't see it being anywhere near as bad as you describe."

          Sorry, I just don't feel that way. I find service is bad a lot already, taking away the MUCH MORE INCOME they make from getting tips instead of an hourly wage, you will get angry servers that don't want to do the SAME AMOUNT OF WORK FOR LESS PAY. I just don't agree at all. I feel service would be bad in that for sure, for sure, they wouldn't check your food for obvious errors(like correct side dish for example, condiments, etc.). They would have no reason to even more so.

          May 11, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
        • Bill

          "What if that was at just about every restaurant? Would you just decide to cook or get take-out?"

          Yes.

          Dining out is a luxury I afford myself. I can easily go without it if I am treated improperly.

          May 11, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
        • cc

          That's how it is in almost every other service industry-why is food service different? If tipping is to reward good service then the mandatory tip opposes that-it rewards bad service. If tipping is to make up for the staff being underpaid then something should be done about their pay level. Talk to your legislators about that-don't expect management to voluntarily increase pay, they'll do that only when they start having trouble replacing staff. I can't see it-you tip hair dressers and barbers, but that's still to ensure good service-not because they're underpaid. At least those I know don't complain about being underpaid-but maybe that's because they do a good job and get good tips. (See how good a job they do after you get a reputation for not tipping them.) So why shouldn't food service staff only get tips for good service, too?

          May 12, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
      • wavejump1100

        i dont agree. the incentive to provide good service as with ANY other business is repeat customers. if the service is bad people wont come back. if the restaurant owner trains his staff and pays them a fair wage they will do a good job. if they dont, they will get fired just like every other business. why does restaurant service have to operate on bribery?

        May 11, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
        • springs1

          "why does restaurant service have to operate on bribery?"

          It shouldn't, but it does. Also, I do find a lot of servers out there think with the "WE OWE YOU NO MATTER WHAT" attitude.

          I have read on another forum that the server said they wouldn't try as hard without tips getting min. wage instead and that they make more with tips.

          I am just saying that they don't fire servers easily. They have to do something REALLY WRONG to get fired(steal or be rude for example). Most of the time, they can do something wrong and still keep their jobs. I know, since I have reported a lot of them and they are still there the ones that did us wrong.

          May 11, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
      • badcafe

        I don't like the idea of tipping just to secure an acceptable service. That is not tipping - that is bribing! If someone does a good job of servicing, I tip generously, but I don't like the idea of them expecting it as if we owe them generous tips. That removes the voluntary element that is supposed to be in tipping. We are supposed to recognize good service, not just service!

        May 12, 2012 at 7:44 am |
      • Lee

        @springs1 you are totally correct!

        May 12, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
      • troix

        There was a recent article on this debate.

        Google "Many Americans Say it is Time to Abolish Tipping"

        May 12, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
      • troix

        The reason your argument fails is if restaurants paid a decent wage they would have a larger pool of applicants to hire from which would enable them to fire those who provide poor service. Right now, many people do not want to work in restaurants because the guaranteed pay is low.

        Additionally, while the food price would rise, you would not see an overall increase in what you pay because you are already paying a tip on top of the food price. Eliminating tipping would stabilize the overall price of a meal while giving restaurant workers a steady income and rstaurant owners a higher quality workforce.

        Google "Many Americans Say it is Time to Abolish Tipping" to read a recent article on this topic.

        May 12, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Lee

      That's not correct. By law a server has to declare 100% of the money he or she makes. The gov. is usually happy with 10% of a servers total sales. As for the wages, in Texas a server makes 2.13 an hour. if at the end of a normal work period that server as not made a regular min. wage (7.25) an hour through tips then by law the restaurant has to make up the difference. But that almost never happens. If a server is good he or she can usually make way more than 7.25 and hour. The gov. is happy if servers claim 10% of total sales because everyone is tipped differently. But in reality the law states a server much claim 100% of total sales. And believe me, the restaurant declares its total sale to the government so they know how much a server should have made. (I am a restaurant manager by the way)

      May 11, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
      • Lee

        As for the story, you can not make someone tip, even if it is written on the menu. There is no law enforcing tipping. Plus it is bad restaurant policy to do so. If anyone held this family against their will for not tipping that is kidnapping and the FBI should be called in.

        May 11, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
  11. wavejump1100

    i hate the entire tipping thing. why not pay waiters and waitresses a fair wage and include the cost of their labor in the price of the food?

    May 11, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • minavaan

      In many European countries the food price already includes "the tip portion" for the food servers. That way it's guaranteed that servers are taken care of. The service is still good in most places, and I prefer this kind of arrangement. In U.S. servers rely on the customers' generosity, and many times might not get tipped at all. But the servers still have to pay taxes on that income, too.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • Lee

      there are 3 to not pay servers more-
      1. if restaurants paid servers 7.25 an hour your burger would cost $25
      2. if restaurants paid servers 7.25 and hour and you did not have to tip, it would take an hour to get your burger and it would be cold. The is built in to the bill in Europe....have your ever tried to flag a waiter down in Europe and ask "where is my burger". We they know they are only getting paid a fraction of what they would if they were being tipped so they dont give a damn about your burger or your dining experience. It's socialism to ask waiters to all make the same pay.
      3. servers make much more than 7.25 (if they are good) off of tips so don't worry about them not making money!

      I was a single mother and put myself through college waiting table at Chili's and I never wanted to be paid the "real" min. wage. I was great at my job and make way more in tips than I would have ever made if I had been only paid "real min. wage without tips.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
      • Totally Incorrect

        "It's socialism to ask waiters to all make the same pay."

        That's just...wrong. Totally incorrect. You're very misinformed.

        May 12, 2012 at 1:40 am |
      • Michael Leonardo

        Lee that makes no sense at all. A burger with fries and coke is $7 at a fastfood joint. Pay is about $8 an hour with no tip. Use some logic before you speak.

        May 12, 2012 at 8:22 am |
        • Lee

          A fast food joint does not have the same overhead as a Chili's or a mom and pop dinner. Also because wages are lower, most sit-down restaurants offer their employees insurence, tuition reinbursement, and other benefits. They would no longer be able to do that if they had to pay 7.25 and hour.

          May 12, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
        • Lee

          and besides Michael.....do you want the same service at a sit-down experience you get from a fast food place. Try taking a date to a romantic dinner at McDonalds some time! And I am using logic, I was a server, a bartender, a restaurant manager and accounts payable for Chili's for 12 years. I know "logically" so to what I speak!

          May 12, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
        • Kalispell

          Sure, at a 'fast food joint' that uses Cheap meat and cheap everything and doesn't have to pay real cooks, just high school kids who can stand at a stove.

          A REAL restaurant pays more for food supplies, more for actual SILVERWARE, pays for huge machines like dishwashers, more for rent for their space, more money for laundering their table LINEN, has to pay higher wages to real chefs and people who Went To School to learn to cook, have to usually pay for a liquor license, pay for real plates and glasses (which break and constantly have to be replaced) and so on and on.

          So, how about YOU do some MATH before you start writing????

          May 17, 2012 at 12:49 am |
      • troix

        Lee, there are too many reasons why your arguments fail for me to take teh time and point out here.

        But a main one is that while the food price would rise, you would not see an overall increase in what you pay because you are already paying a tip on top of the food price. Eliminating tipping would stabilize the overall price of a meal while giving restaurant workers a steady income and rstaurant owners a higher quality workforce.

        Google "Many Americans Say it is Time to Abolish Tipping" (CNN won't let me post the link) to read a recent article on this topic that explains why eliminating tipping is a good idea.

        May 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
      • Katie

        I would rather not be held responsible to subsidize someone else's paycheck. Restaurants are businesses and should pay their fair share of employee taxes like any other business. And restaurant employees should pay THEIR fair share of taxes on any income just like regular employees. I'm willing to be that most waitresses DO NOT declare all their tips, some probably don't declare any. How is that not a hand out from me to you?

        May 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
      • Bill

        It seems as though for the most part, the only people who don't want tipping to be replaced by a fixed wage are folks who do this for a living and claim to be abused by the customers and grossly underpaid. Somethin smells awful fishy!

        May 15, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
  12. Group Dining Newbie

    Question: When dining in a restaurant that has a policy of adding an automatic tip to a group of 8 or more, is it customary for restaurants to add the automatic tip to a group of 5 adults and 3 1yr old babies who ate baby food and a little from their parent's plates? I'm not complaining as our service was good and we tipped well above the mandatory added percentage, just curious.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Lee

      GDN-the auto tip is based on the number of plates served (in a perfect world). There will always be servers out there who try to take advantage of the situation. However an auto tip is not like paying for your burger, you are not required by law to pay the auto tip it can only be a suggestion even if it is printed on the menu. I was a server for many years at a nice restaurant and hardly ever used the auto tip. But if your service was bad you can request them manger and explain why you do not want to pay the tip and there is nothing he or she can do about it. If one of my servers added and auto tip based on a baby that did not eat I would let them go or at lease write them up. At Chili's a server has to request a managers approval before auto adding the tip.

      May 12, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
  13. ChangeNeeded

    I don't understand why restaurants in this country are the only business allowed to pay less than minimum wage and then the consumer/patrons make up for it with "tips". Can someone explain this to me? Tips should be at the consumers' discretion ONLY and restaurants should have to pay their staff just like any other business owner.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • DanW

      Is it true that in some states servers can be paid less than minimum wage on the expectation that they will receive some compensation through tips? If so then your argument falls apart.

      May 12, 2012 at 11:17 am |
      • Bill

        That's true in most states in the US. Federal law allows employers to take a credit for the tips servers receive, down to a certain minimum amount (I believe it's $2.13 where the federal minimum wage is somewhere around $7). Legally, if the server does not receive tips to bring their pay up to the minimum wage, the employer is supposed to cover the difference.

        State and local laws can increase the minimum wage amount or disallow this tip credit. California as a state disallows it as well as having a higher state minimum wage ($8); from some comments I have seen New York may disallow it as well, although I am not certain of that.

        But yes, in most of the US, employers do get to pay less to tipped employees.

        May 12, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Lee

      Change Needed-if restaurants paid their servers 7.25 your burger would cost 25 dollars. Severs actually make much more than 7.25 an hour. if you ever hear a server complaining about their pay then they are a bad server. You do not want servers all making 7.25 an hour, your food would be slow, cold and the experience would be like a McDonalds. Not that there is anything wrong with McDonalds unless you are on a romantic date. Better servers make better tips, which means you have a better dinning experience. Most finer dining places offer benefits and insurence to their employees, which they could not do if they had to pay 7.25 an hour. Servers would start quitting in mass because their pay would be cut in 1/2 . If people know waiters now make 7.25 an hour they would stop tipping as much and waiters pay would drop. I know what I am talking about. I was a single mother and put myself through college waiting table at Chili's. They offered health insurence, financial aid for school and paid vacations. I made 2.01 then 2.03 then 2.15 an hour from chili's which added up to about 80 a week take out taxes an SS my check was about 5 a week. On the other hand I made 500 a week in tips. The taxes from my tips also came out of the "chili's pay". I would not have changed it or the world. Back then min. wage was 5.35. So I would have made about 215 a week then take out taxes and SS I would have only made about 145 a week. I would have never stayed and I would have never graduated college and I would not now have a BFA and 2 masters degrees. So to make a long story short....paying all waiters the same pay is socialism and you would not like the service your would get!

      May 12, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  14. Andy

    After being a waiter for 6 years through high school and college I have waited on large parties, upwards of 25 people. My manager never let us add in the tip. Most of the time, patrons tipped more than 18%, so therefore you wouldn't want the tip added in. I also can honestly say, anytime I was stiffed, I never chased people into the parking lot. That was grounds for being fired on the spot. I agree with what the family did, if I had bad service, I would refuse to pay the tip as well. The manager or owner of that restaurant should be ashamed that at what his employees did.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
  15. Jeff

    What gett me is when they call it a gratuity. What they chould legally be required to do is to call it was it is, a service charge. Merriam Webster defines gratuity as "something given voluntarily or beyond obligation usually for some service;" If you are under complulsion to pay, that is no longer a tip but a charge. State it as such. There may be other legal ramifications on it, but that's for the business to handle with the state folks as well as the IRS.

    Secondly, the laws need to change such that restaurant workers make minimum wage. Period.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
  16. Sam H.

    I believe an autograt is acceptable for large groups, but since when does five diners qualify as a LARGE group? Sounds pretty in line with the average family size in the US. 10 or more diners is different but if a server can't serve a table of FIVE and still tend to other tables, maybe its time to consider a new line of employment. And if the diners had legitimate complaints about the service and had good reason to request the manager remove the autograt, then it should have been removed and an apology made for the lack of quality service. I think we as a society have lost sight of exactly what the gratuity was meant to represent and that it is EARNED. No server is ENTITLED to a gratuity if they do not provide a quality experience. I run a restaurant and if that ever occurred in my establishment, I would waive the autograt so the server could reflect on that lack of service while they are counting that much less tip money at the end of their shift. Its a customer service industry and if the service isn't there, eventually, the customer won't be either. And then what are we left with? A bunch of unemployed bad servers.

    May 11, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  17. Sharon

    I agree the tip should have been paid. If the policy states a Large Party tip, then the large party should comply. If there actually is a problem with service, ask to see the manager well before the meal ends to rectify matters.

    My husband and I used to deliver pizza during the same time to pay two mortgages. Since then, I've got more respect for good & generous tipping; we tip much better now.

    May 11, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  18. bob

    Pay waitstaff federal minimum wage. What is it, $8.75 now? After that, we can tip if we feel like it.

    May 11, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Bill

      Sadly, it's still only $7.25. It really needs to be $12+, but that's another discussion for another time.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  19. Jason

    STOP!!!!! Stop talking about tips! It's ridiculous! When the restaurant locked the door they violated Texas Penal Code 20.02 Unlawful Restraint and comitted a state jail felony, since I'm sure the family had a child younger than 17. That is what all the hoopla should be about, not whether or not this family should have paid the stupid tip. Wake up people!!

    May 11, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Lee

      @Jason...you are 100% correct! There is no law enforcing tipping, tipping is mandatory even if it is printed on the menu and posted on the wall. A tip is a suggestion not a requirement. However holding someone against their will is a federal offense and the FBI should have been called. To only ones who broke the law in this story was the restaurant.

      May 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  20. Eric

    Tips should never be mandatory. People leave tips for quality service, and small tip or or none for bad service. By making tip mandatory, the restaurant are allowing their service to get lazy and lax without worrying about reduced income. I generally avoid restaurant that has mandatory tip included, too many of them had slow service, no refill, and other problem.

    The restaurant manager or owner should instead look into the quality of service the employee offers. If the service are so bad that they need to add mandatory tip, they should consider reassigning the employee somewhere else or firing them and putting good people out to handle customer service.

    May 11, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  21. Solo

    Legally, this restaurant is in big trouble – the gratuity, even if listed on the menu or other signage, is "suggested" or a "recommended policy" but not the law in any state that I am aware of. You can still dine with a large party and adjust the tip to what you want. Tipping is not mandatory at all. All that restaurants are allowed to do is try and put the tip on, but if any objection is made, the customer is correct. What DOES have to be paid for without a doubt, and under the law, is food/drink consumed on the property, so long as no prior issues were discussed and agreed upon to reduce or modify that portion of the final bill.

    May 11, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Jonathan

      Restaurants do not play by the same rules as other businesses; they do not (or did not) have to pay minimum wage. I worked in restaurants back in college and was constantly amazed at what they tried to get away with. We only got paid something like 2.11 per hour back then and when the rate was raised (by law) to something like 2.15 per hour, they still weren't paying it until the wait staff said something. It's a minor point, even a minor amount, but it's the principal.

      The guests should press charges against the restaurant. Tipping is not mandatory. Name another business where the customers DIRECTLY pay the salaries of the employees. I always loved how restaurants compare servers to commissioned sales people. NOT THE SAME. Most sales people have a binding contract to be paid a set commission (like a percentage) which can be enforced (even if verbally agreed to). Guests have NO contractual obligation to the servers. The "commission" they leave is discretionary in both (a) how much and (b) whether to give anything at all. I feel the real problem here is the restaurant industry itself that is always looking for ways to increase their margins.

      May 11, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
      • Lee

        @Jonathan...hairdressers and topless dancers actually have to pay the places they work to actually work their, they must rely on their clients to pay their wages. Dancers also only get 2.13 and hour but you don't see them complaining!

        Good waiters may far more than they would if a restaurant paid them 7.25 min. wage. To pay all waiters the same would be socialism, your dining experience would be slow and I am guessing by the way you are complaining you were not a very good waiter.

        May 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
        • Allen

          Tipping is communism – share the wealth. I thought people in the USA fought to stop communism ? As to the idiot that says paying servers the same rate is socialism – any good business would pay more more money to better employees. Capitalism means free choice, communism means no choice. Therefore if you truly believed in capitalism you would not tip at all.

          May 12, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  22. Fed Up

    I don't agree with a "tip" being added to any bill at a restaurant, including simply for take-out orders. I don't want to hear about the poor wages of today's servers, because most of them either don't report the full income or file taxes at all to begin with. I've seen the quality of service decline so badly in this country that it's not even a pleasure to dine out anymore unless I really know the place I am going has high standards (and I'm not talking about the lousy chain restaurants that hire the ex-cons to cook in the kitchen!) If/when I get great service, I tip accordingly, but I will not be told the amount to leave or forced to have it added automatically.

    May 11, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  23. AmyJ

    I don't have a problem with added gratuity, but you should be able to pay less if the service you have received is poor. I rarely tip less than 20%, because I know wait staff do not get paid well. BUT I do like the ability to tip less if the service I receive is sub-par. I have experienced being in a larger group that had an auto gratuity added to our bill where we received horrible service ie orders were wrong, drinks were never refilled, etc. We did adjust our tip to 15% after speaking with the manager. The waiter received a tip, but not an inflated tip for not doing an inadequate job.

    May 11, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  24. TLS

    I wonder why the focus is on the debate of the restaurant's right to add an automatic gratuity and the completely dropped issue of the fact that employees locked the family in the building and refused to let them leave. Was their rationale that the family were thieves and it was a citizen's arrest? I cannot believe that the manager did not have the common sense to come to an agreement or compromise with the customers. Their only recourse was the unlawful imprisonment of a family, which I assume may have included children? In the end it may have settled itself, because I imagine the family will never bother to enter that facility again.

    May 11, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  25. Freddo

    Tips are the biggest scam going. Restaurants use the lure of tips to pay their staff low rates, claiming they're "motivated" to provide good service. Patrons are coerced into paying 15-20% – I've seen waitresses chase diners into the street because they were unhappy with their "tip".

    A mandatory tip undercuts the restaurant's argument that staff are motivated by their tip – IT'S MANDATORY.

    May 11, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • tom e

      If you cant afford a tip then dont go. Thats the system.

      May 11, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  26. Timski67

    Yes it is ok to add a percentage but it also should be ok for a person to refuse it if the service was poor and doesnt desrve that large of a tip, servers should not take for granted that they already have the tip and treat the party badly.

    May 11, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Clyde M

      That is the interesting part here. They weren't just refusing to pay it, but claiming the service didn't warrant it. On the other hand, it IS a stated charge. The menu apparently clearly states that a gratuity of 18% is added to parties of a certain size. So there's no way to say you didn't know or that you didn't expect that fee as part of the bill. It's like saying you only want to pay $8 for your $16 stake because you only enjoyed it half as much as you wanted to.

      It's an interesting situation, though the second they did the "locking me in" thing I would call the police myself and file charges on them.

      May 11, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  27. Hannah

    Servers should be paid minimum wage just like every other employee, and leaving tips should be optional. Any tips earned should be an extra reward for exceptional service, instead of constituting the majority of workers' salaries.

    May 11, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  28. MistahBurns

    My problem with tipping in general is that it has slowly become thought of as mandatory. Servers now believe that a tip is a requirement. No matter how porrly they do their job they expect a tip, and the customer is lambasted for not providing one. What happened to tipping on the basis of excellent service? I understand the life of a server is no walk in the park, but nothing in life is guaranteed, earn it.

    May 11, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Clyde M

      Don't know if you've ever waited tables, but in most places waiters are paid half-minimum wage (or less, back when minimum was was $5.75, I think, I made $2.13 an hour). Virtually their entire take home pay comes in the form of tips. Granted, they are supposed to provide good service for that tip, but so long as you get even average service, you should tip. It IS somewhat mandatory. If they don't do the job (don't refill drinks, etc) that's one thing, but if they do, even if they don't go above and beyond, 15% should be left.

      Now I do agree that everyone and their brother wanting tips, including people making full–if still small–wages is annoying. Not every barrista and ice cream scooper needs two dollars dropped in the jar for literally 45 seconds of work. But waiters pretty much are only compensated by tips in most places.

      May 11, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
      • Jon

        Tips are NOT required, tips are EARNED. I will leave a 20% tip if the service is above average, 10%-15% if it's below average to adequate. Excellent service earns a higher tip and poor service earns little or no tip. I work just as hard for my money as wait staff. I think of tips as a reward for service well done. Why should I reward poor service?

        May 11, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
      • Marc

        There is no such thing as "somewhat mandatory". The whole point of "gratuity" and "tipping" is that it is your choice to thank the server for their service... or not. Look it up, it's voluntary.

        May 11, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
  29. heycarrieann

    If it is clearly stated that large groups will have the gratuity added to the bill, I have no problem with it. But I do expect good service for that gratuity. If the service is not up to par, then I would speak to management right away, and would expect something to be done. The problem that family faced was not only bad service, but also bad management. I have both waitressed and managed resturants, and it can be a thankless job at times. But I always did my level best to make sure that my tables were properly taken care of. Sometimes the people tipped well, sometimes they did'nt (those are the cheap ones that will always find fault) and one time I was so busy and screwed up this table so bad, (I really didn't mean to, it was just a crazy busy night) that I actually refused to accept the tip, which I couldn't belive that they were going to give me. Turns out they were really nice understanding people, and became regular customers of mine. Resturants should pay their staff a decent wage, and I mean all of their staff....waiters, busboys, food runners, everyone! But they won't because it will affect their bottom line. I made good money waitressing, because I was good at it, but I worked damn hard for every cent.

    May 11, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  30. Tiplulz

    I just order my food to go, cheaper for me, I don't have to tip someone who provides crummy service, or aid and abet a cheap restaurant owner who won't pay his employees what they are worth.

    May 11, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  31. Tiplulz

    I just order my food to go, cheaper for me, I don't have to tip someone who provides crappy service, or aid and abet a cheap restaurant owner who won't pay his employees what they are worth.

    May 11, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  32. Here's a tip

    These threads are usually filled with angsty servers, angered at the thought of customers... even the nice ones out of us

    Personally I think the owner is to blame here, by paying them so low they have to rely on tips.

    However in this case, 5 people hardly counts as a large party. The restaurant will either lose business or people will just split into 2's and 3's.

    May 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • laughingsalmon

      If I go to a place that has this policy in place with a party of eight, we'll spli into two parties of four and sit side-by-side. Then WONT tip. Let the resturant pay the waiter an appropriate wage, don't look to me to pay their salery.

      May 11, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
      • Liz

        You probably don't wait your turn at 4-way stops either.

        May 11, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
        • minavaan

          Ha ha! nice! :)

          May 11, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
        • buffiesguy

          Great Retort, Liz! Good Job!

          May 12, 2012 at 1:41 am |
  33. DDSilks

    Can you tell me what the difference is if a server brings two plates and a cup of coffee that total $100 and two plates and a cup of coffee that total $20? It's still two plates and a cup in both instances. Shouldn't the tip be the same? I don't understand the "percentage" method at all!
    And do you know that some servers in high end restaurants actually PAY for their positions?

    May 11, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • laughingsalmon

      nothing...that why i NEVER tip

      May 11, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
      • A Tip

        And that is why your server probably spits in your food the next time he sees you.

        May 11, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • minavaan

      There's a big difference! At the end of the shift all food servers' total sales are calculated. The servers have to report the earnings at the end of the shift. Let's assume that 50% of the customers stiffed ( did not add a tip at all), but IRS assumes that 100% of the customers tipped, the servers still have to pay taxes on that " assumed" amount. – See,
      if you stiff a server, he/she still pays taxes on your meal!

      May 11, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
      • springs1

        "if you stiff a server, he/she still pays taxes on your meal!"

        Paying taxes doesn't have *ANYTHING* to do with tipping(the action of the CUSTOMER). What you have to pay to your other co-workers and taxes have NOTHING to do with customers, so please refrain from mentioning these issues. It doesn't matter.

        May 12, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  34. DDSilks

    A good friend of mine was a waitress. Many times,when there was a large party that was assessed a fixed gratuity, she did NOT get it all. She would get about 8 to 10% of it and the restaurant would keep the rest. She worked a New Year's Eve party one year, and the cost per couple was $160 plus 18% gratuity. She had 6 tables of 10 to wait on, and she was paid $150 for the night. If you calculate it right, the restaurant collected $864 and kept $714 of it! Kicker is, at the end of the year, she had to pay income tax on $864!

    May 11, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  35. lazurite

    I want to pay for service received; after all, that is what a "tip" is. As such, I resent being told that I am required to pay a certain amount and having it tacked onto my bill without my consent. As such, I avoid restaurants that have this policy. As far as the family locked into the restaurant, I would have been on the phone with the police myself because that is surely unlawful detainment or some kind of kidnapping offense.

    May 11, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  36. Peanut M&M

    To me, a gratuity is not the same thing as a tip. Large groups are frequently higher maintenance than a bunch of small tables, and they nearly always take a long time. Large tables prevent the server from having as many transactions for one night. While this story sounds like an exceptional situation, the proper thing to do is pay the gratuity and complain to the management the next day. Unfortunately, theywill probably compensate you with a gift card, which means you have to go back to the restaurant...

    May 11, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  37. MICRO SPDI

    I find the racial diversity of this picture comforting.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • laughingsalmon

      I liked that too, but didn't much get the brothers white hair dye job!

      May 11, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  38. 23 from Texas

    This all comes from greed from the restaurant. If they want to be so sure the waiters are well paid, then pay them wages more then 2.75 an hour! Pay them a good wage and we wont be having this conversation. Encourage a 5% tip and pay your waiting staff $1200 an hour. A good waiting staff is worth their wage, that’s what gets me back to a restaurant

    May 11, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • 23 from Texas

      $12.00 that is... lol $1200 is a little much I think.

      May 11, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
      • Clyde M

        Except that a lot of restaurants run on a razor thin margin for the most part. The difference in food cost to pay all your servers $12.00 an hour instead of $2 would raise your food bill out of hand by 20-40%.

        May 11, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Bob Zanis

      I've worked in a restaurant both serving and cooking. I hated aspects of both, but the most damning is having to rely on the generosity of the people you are waiting on. The restaurant should be the one who pays its employees. When the restaurant gets busy and food comes out slow or incorrectly, its the waiter who usually pays the most price. Increase the "salary" of the waiter and you'll end up with higher quality waitstaff, less turnover and higher profits. Good food and bad service often times will mean less repeat customers.

      May 11, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
      • springs1

        "food comes out slow or incorrectly, its the waiter who usually pays the most price."

        Most of the time when these things happen, it's all BECAUSE of the server so they SHOULD pay the price in most instances. Do you not have COMMON SENSE, huh?

        May 11, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
        • Marla

          If you think that's the fault of the server, you've never been a server. That error typically occurs on busy nights when there's no possible way everyone can get their food as quickly as they could during non-peak hours. Also, inexperienced kitchen staff often make mistakes and your server is taking some else's order so a different server or "food-runner" brings your order to the table.

          May 11, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
        • springs1

          I replied through the webpage for the rest.

          "Also, inexperienced kitchen staff often make mistakes and your server is taking some else's order so a different server or "food-runner" brings your order to the table."

          It doesn't matter, because the TIP is still altered since it's part of the service when a food runner or different server messes up. WHY should I pay well because the other server or food runner forgot my fries, huh? That's BAD SERVICE. It doesn't matter "WHO" in the service messed up. I don't get WHY you feel it should? Take away part of their tip and if you aren't tipping them at all, maybe you should if they mess up like that, it's called giving them an INCENTIVE to READ THE TICKET and COMPARE IT TO THE FOOD FOR DUH MISTAKES.

          May 11, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
        • springs1

          Marla
          "If you think that's the fault of the server, you've never been a server. That error typically occurs on busy nights when there's no possible way everyone can get their food as quickly as they could during non-peak hours. Also, inexperienced kitchen staff often make mistakes and your server is taking some else's order so a different server or "food-runner" brings your order to the table."

          You obviously NEVER been a customer that has SEEN servers be at fault:

          If your food is taking too long it could be:

          Ask yourself:

          1. WHEN did you put in my order?

          2. Did you put in my order CORRECTLY?

          3. Did you FORGET to put in my order entirely?

          4. Did you FORGET anything I ordered?

          5. Did you bring out the WRONG FOOD the first time around, because you didn't VERIFY WHAT you were bringing me?

          6. Did you FORGET OR DELAY GETTING MY ORDER TO ME?

          7. Did you DROP my food on the floor?

          These things CAN HAPPEN!!

          Sometimes taking a long time or a longer time has A LOT to do with the server:

          We have had 3 TIMES where servers FORGOT to put food orders into the computer. We also have 4 times servers forget to get bar drinks from the bar.

          We also have had delays due to that the servers delayed putting orders into the computer when they COULD have such as deciding to buss a table first or decide instead of a mini-greet(I'll be right with you all), they decided to take like 6 people's drink/appetizer orders instead of putting in our food orders. I can understand if they call you over, but if they don't, you should be putting that order into the computer not delaying our food. The longer you wait to put in orders, the LONGER WE WAIT!!

          Also, if your server put in your order wrong, that's THEIR FAULT you are waiting longer for your food, because the kitchen staff only knows what's on the ticket, PERIOD!!

          My husband and I have had wrong food put into the computer and even stupid servers bring it out that took the order even. You have to be stupid to not even LOOK at WHAT you are bringing the person. Act like it's your food. I was once brought quesadillas when I ordered bbq chicken nachos. The waiter was too LAZY to COMPARE his written order to the food. Turns out, he admitted pressing a wrong button. So not only did he delay my food from getting to me by bringing me the completely wrong food, but also put in the order wrong to begin with. So he made 2 mistakes. That was the fault of the waiter, not the kitchen staff.

          Also, if your server FORGETS something from the kitchen even though they put in the order correctly, that's on YOUR SERVER, NOT the kitchen staff since your server brought you your food. They have full control of what is in their hands they are taking you.

          Continued next posts:

          May 11, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
        • springs1

          Marla
          Continued:
          Condiments are the most common thing to be forgotten. That is the server's fault no matter who brings you your food, because my server can offer to bring those out ahead of time.

          The same situation I mentioned above about the waiter that grabbed the wrong entrée from the kitchen has to do with the wrong food as well as time. It was just me and my husband. This waiter not only admitted he didn't compare the WRITTEN ORDER with the entrées he was bringing out by saying he grabbed the wrong entrée from the kitchen, but also we saw he had other entrées for another table that he brought out on a tray that he put on a tray jack which he didn't ONCE get his pad of paper out to see WHICH ENTRÉE WENT WITH WHICH TABLE!! I saw with my own 2 EYES he didn't EVER get his pad of paper to make sure he was bringing his customers the correct items. So 2 times he could have caught his mistake, but didn't TRY HIS BEST AS HE SHOULD HAVE, because that's HIS JOB!! So this wasn't even REAL MISTAKE, it was a LACK OF EFFORT and BEING LAZY!!

          He admitted that he grabbed the wrong entrée from the kitchen. He brought my husband fried shrimp w/fries when he ordered crawfish au gratin w/baked potato. So it was HIS fault my husband's food took longer to get to him due to HE didn't check over his written order BEFORE bringing out all the entrées he brought out.

          If your server delays going to get your food when they DO have a chance to run it, but they are chit-chatting about personal stuff, that is for sure their fault.

          I would say 90% of the time your server had SOMETHING to do with how long you waited for your food by the fact that they didn't go put the order in as quickly as they could have in a fair manner that is. I don't expect our server to put in orders if they have food/drinks/request that came BEFORE we ordered, because they were BEFORE us, but when it is our turn, don't DISRESPECT OUR TURN by INTENTIONALLY DELAYING our food.

          If the food is cold, sometimes it is the server's fault that they didn't bring your food due to that you were chit-chatting with your friends or customers instead of bringing out the food.

          Continued:

          May 11, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
        • springs1

          Marla
          Continued:
          1. Once, we had a Red Lobster waitress had our 2 entrées on the tray as well as 2 side salads that were for a couple that wasn’t even there when we ordered. Anyway, instead of bypassing their table to hand us ours first since WE DID ORDER FIRST(common sense would tell you that it takes more time to cook food than it does to fix a side salad anyways even if it wasn’t our server that delivered our food, but it was our waitress that delivered our food), she decided to hand them theirs first off the tray. THAT IS SOMETHING THAT IS IN THE SERVER’S CONTROL TO HAND OUT THINGS OFF THE SAME TRAY IN THE ORDER IN WHICH IT WAS ORDERED IN!!

          2. Once, we had a waitress that greeted us which we ordered an appetizer as well as our drinks when greeted. I saw she tucking in chairs at empty tables and pretty much doing everything but coming back to get our entrée order. Well, I found out what happened. She brought out our appetizer and when I asked she said that she wanted to wait to put in our entrée orders. The thing is, that delayed us more by not at least coming to GET our orders. That way, when the appetizer was ready, we wouldn’t have gotten delayed eating our appetizer since we then had to give our entrée orders when we could have given our entrée orders WELL BEFORE THAT and we would have gotten our entrées faster due to that she could have just left to put our entrée orders into the computer after delivering our appetizer instead of taking time to order when our appetizer was sitting in front of us.

          The point is, SHE delayed our entrées as well as to be able to start eating our appetizer because she could have at least TAKEN our entrée orders and then when our appetizer would have been brought out, could have immediately gone to the computer to put our entrée orders in.

          What she did was make us wait while our hot appetizer was sitting in front of us, we couldn’t touch it, because we had to order our entrées and could have done that wayyy before that.

          She also delayed our entrées because we had to spend extra time AFTER our appetizer arrived to give her our entrée orders when we could have done that wayyyy before that.

          Continued next posts:

          May 11, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
        • springs1

          Marla
          Continued:
          3. Once, we had a waitress that assumed that because they were out of raspberry topping for a cheesecake slice when we had ordered dessert that she’d bring us strawberry. Turns out, she knew when she put in the order that the computer had it the manager told us. So she did it on PURPOSE to be so lazy and uncaring as to not come to ask if we wanted the next closest thing. We didn’t, we sent it back, so she had MORE WORK. Also, she didn’t even think about what if someone is allergic to strawberries. I just honestly can’t believe someone would do that. If they are out of something, common sense would be to come to see if the next closest thing is ok. Not everyone wants the next closest thing. So it wasn’t like it was just getting the order wrong by accident or by not verifying the written order with what she was bringing or putting in the order wrong by accident, this was on PURPOSE to be LAZY and to ASSUME. I didn’t know at first that she did that. I thought at first she just was that stupid(or truly just messed up(highly doubt it)) to bring us strawberries on top of a cheesecake when we ordered raspberries.

          4. Your server delays coming to get your order or delays you ordering due to personal conversation. We have had that before as well. Once, we had a waiter that we didn’t know after waiting 15 mins. for a table on Mardi Gras day ask us BEFORE we ORDERED ANYTHING “How’s y’all’s Mardi Gras” “Go to any parades.” See, I don’t mind chit chat with a stranger, but be considerate to do it AFTER we have our orders into the computer so you don’t take up our time. THAT was in the server’s control as well. We have also had servers not come to get our order due to playing around. That’s in the server’s control too.

          So just remember when you want to blame the kitchen staff, BLAME YOUR SERVER, because MOST LIKELY THEY CAUSED THE ISSUES!! THAT IS THE GOD'S TRUTH AND YOU KNOW IT!! You just don't want to admit the truth, because it hurts, doesn't it?

          Remember the kitchen staff doesn't LEAVE the kitchen with an OBVIOUS to the EYES ERROR NOR do they put in an order wrong, NOR do they FORGET to put in an order, etc.

          So doesn't this prove I KNOW MORE THAN YOU DO AND YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT THE HECK YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT? I KNOW, because we have been ********THROUGH************** IT!! You obviously have NO COMMON SENSE TO SPEAK OF, NONE!!

          May 11, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
        • springs1

          Marla
          One more thing:

          Servers DO WAIT to put in entrée orders when appetizers and soups or side salads are ordered as well, so that's DELAYING RIGHT THERE ON *********PURPOSE***********!! YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT THE HECK YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT!! LEARN SOME COMMON SENSE, because YOU OBVIOUSLY DON'T HAVE ANY!!

          MOST OF THE TIME WHEN YOU WAIT A LONG TIME FOR YOUR FOOD, IT'S BECAUSE OUR YOUR SERVER!!!!!!!!!!!

          May 11, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
        • springs1

          typo
          Meant "OF YOUR SERVER" NOT "OUR YOUR" Typed too fast.

          May 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
        • Em

          You seem to have a personal hatred against waiters, did they spit in your food because of your "i'm better than you" attitude? Why else would you waste hours writing pages of comments, even though you obviously don't know anything, and let me repeat, anything at all about how restaurants are run and the jobs of waiters and waitresses. If your food is late, there are tons of reasons besides blaming it all on the waiters. It is entirely possible for the cooks to misplace your orders, or even cook the wrong thing even if the ticket is printed correctly. The poor service you received probably came about because of your attitude. So please, stop spitting out stupidity.

          May 11, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
        • springs1

          Em
          "If your food is late, there are tons of reasons besides blaming it all on the waiters."

          There are MANY REASONS. Did you NOT ***READ**** that I NEVER said the cooks were NEVER at fault. I said that MOST of the time YOUR *SERVER* is at fault.

          "It is entirely possible for the cooks to misplace your orders,"

          I NEVER SAID IT WASN'T!! The thing is, your server doesn't have to "BRING"you the INCORRECT ITEM. THAT is wasting time caused by the SERVER when they actually "BRING" it to you entirely wrong.

          We have experienced more *SERVER* issues delaying orders than the kitchen staff, it's a FACT, NOT an OPINION!!

          When you order an appetizer or soup or side salad, your server *INTENTIONALLY WAITS* to put in your entrée orders into the computer for them to not run into each other. The thing is, that delays your food a lot of times TOOO LONG!!

          "or even cook the wrong thing even if the ticket is printed correctly."

          I NEVER SAID THE COOK COULDN'T!! It's just **************RARE************ and YOU KNOW IT!! There's more times I see servers wait to put in your order instead of going to put your order into the computer.

          I recently had gone to Red Lobster where I saw our waitress NOT GO TO THE COMPUTER WITHOUT BEING CALLED OVER to go FULLY GREET the table rather than just acknowledge that table with a *MINI* GREET of "I'll be right with you all" as *WE* have had done to US. Even the *MANAGER* AGREED with me when I told her that she had just taken our entrée orders and went to the next table, then went to ANOTHER TABLE to ask if they were ready to order(which they weren't). You see, I see that happen A LOT.

          At Applebee's, we were triple sat(3) party of 2's, which we happened to be the 1st table. Our waitress decided to wait to put in all 6 people's orders instead of going to the computer after each table. By doing that, she not only delayed our orders, but she also put in my husband's order completely wrong. She put in ribs when he ordered a burger. Another server brought the food, but it wasn't that server's fault, it was OURS. Our server admitted putting in the order wrong and it was voided on our check. So you see, I see servers not do what they *SHOULD* be doing to not delay your food.

          Also, servers will sometimes buss tables before going to the computers to put in orders when there's more than one computer but are too LAZY to go to another computer just because the one right by has someone at it.

          Even if the cook the wrong thing, you don't have to be a DING BAT and *******BRING********** me the wrong thing, do you? HAVE SOME COMMON SENSE!!

          At Denny's once, a waitress brought me onion rings when I ordered seasoned fries. I saw it was wrong *ON THE TRAY* even. That's how DINGY AND STUPID servers are today that cannot get a 2-top order correct even. I mean I can see if it was a party of 20 and then make a DUH mistake like that possibly, but it wasn't busy and she couldn't even get 2 plates correct, that's pretty bad.

          So the cook may cook the wrong thing, that doesn't mean it should end up at my table. If another server brings it out, if the order was put in correctly, that server should have compared the ticket to the plate of food *BEFORE* they brought it to my table wasting more time.

          Continued next posts:

          May 12, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
        • springs1

          Em – Continued:
          "The poor service you received probably came about because of your attitude. So please, stop spitting out."

          NO, YOU ARE JUST MADDDD BECAUSE IT"S THE TRUTH that I KNOW MORE THAN MOST SERVERS KNOW AND WANT TO ADMIT!!

          I have had times when I won battles with managers and servers about what the *MENU* had that I KNEW *MORE* than they did.

          I know what goes on. You just don't want admit the truth.

          If the cook does make the wrong thing, a GOOD, CARING, and NON-LAZY server would come to our table let us know about the situation rather than still waste time "SERVING" it to us anyway.

          SO STOP, because you don't know ******WHAT******** you are talking about. WE HAVE **********EXPERIENCED**********OBVIOUSLY MORE THAN YOU HAVE OR THAT YOU WANT TO TRULY ADMIT!!

          More times than not, it's your *SERVER* that messed up as to why you wait longer for your food. I cannot say always, just it's rare truly that the kitchen staff has delayed your food. We have had MUCH MORE TIMES that servers have messed up than the kitchen staff since Nov. 2000(been eating out 2-3 times a weekend sometimes), that means almost 12 yrs in Nov. compared to your non-sense stupidity of what you obviously don't know *ANYTHING* ABOUT!! I KNOW, WE HAVE HAD THIS STUFF HAPPEN!! I SEE* IF THE SERVER IS GOING TO PUT IN THE ORDER OR NOT. I *****SEE******* on our check at times the items rung up wrong or have had servers *ADMIT* putting in orders wrong. I mean when you see you just ordered and then your server having a bunch of questions because they decided without being called over to FULLY greet the next table instead of a mini-greet, you see *WHY* your food is delayed. If the kitchen staff doesn't have it yet, it's *YOU* that is delaying our stuff! Especially if we order an appetizer or soup or side salad.

          May 12, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
        • springs1

          Em – Continued:
          "The poor service you received probably came about because of your attitude. So please, stop spitting out."

          NO, YOU ARE JUST MADDDD BECAUSE IT"S THE TRUTH that I KNOW MORE THAN MOST SERVERS KNOW AND WANT TO ADMIT!!

          Continued next posts:

          May 12, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
        • springs1

          Em
          NO, you are just MAD because it's the truth that i know more than most servers know and want to admit!!

          I have had times when I won battles with managers and servers about what the *MENU* had that I KNEW *MORE* than they did.

          I know what goes on. You just don't want admit the truth.

          If the cook does make the wrong thing, a GOOD, CARING, and NON-LAZY server would come to our table let us know about the situation rather than still waste time "SERVING" it to us anyway.

          SO STOP, because you don't know ******WHAT******** you are talking about. WE HAVE **********EXPERIENCED**********OBVIOUSLY MORE THAN YOU HAVE OR THAT YOU WANT TO TRULY ADMIT!!

          More times than not, it's your *SERVER* that messed up as to why you wait longer for your food. I cannot say always, just it's rare truly that the kitchen staff has delayed your food. We have had MUCH MORE TIMES that servers have messed up than the kitchen staff since Nov. 2000(been eating out 2-3 times a weekend sometimes), that means almost 12 yrs in Nov. compared to your non-sense stupidity of what you obviously don't know *ANYTHING* ABOUT!! I KNOW, WE HAVE HAD THIS STUFF HAPPEN!! I SEE* IF THE SERVER IS GOING TO PUT IN THE ORDER OR NOT. I *****SEE******* on our check at times the items rung up wrong or have had servers *ADMIT* putting in orders wrong. I mean when you see you just ordered and then your server having a bunch of questions because they decided without being called over to FULLY greet the next table instead of a mini-greet, you see *WHY* your food is delayed. If the kitchen staff doesn't have it yet, it's *YOU* that is delaying our stuff! Especially if we order an appetizer or soup or side salad.

          May 12, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
        • springs1

          Em
          Another thing, the issue we had at Applebee's, it was to let you know that by putting in all 6 people's orders into the computer at once, you are truly more likely to mess up more than concentrating on getting 2 orders put in correctly into the computer at once. In other words, I am 99.9% positive that she would have put in my husband's order correctly if she would have just gone to the computer RIGHT AFTER taking our orders instead of going to get 4 other people's food orders. Especially, mine had mayo, mustard, mexi-ranch, bacon crispy, fries with no seasoning modifications. So when you have that many things to put in just for 2 plates of food and not counting the other people's possible modifications, it's MUCH EASIER to mess up when you put in all the orders at once rather than putting them in after each table orders. I am not saying it wasn't possible she would have put in the order wrong anyway, but it's to me more likely when you have more put on you ALL-AT-ONCE to not put orders in correctly.

          She delayed also our food due to that ribs take longer and my husband ordered his burger MEDIUM WELL(NOT WELL DONE) therefore, the 2nd table got their food before ours(I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich with crispy bacon). We may have received our food sooner just for the simple fact that what she put in wrong took longer as well. It's not just counting she put it in wrong, but what she put in, TAKES LONGER TO COOK. Servers don't think about these things with common sense.

          Also, waiting to put in our orders after taking 4 people's orders is just MORALLY WRONG, it's ***********CUTTING**************!! I doesn't have to be a LINE to have cuts. If I go tap my server on the shoulder as she is taking a food order to get us some refills, don't you agree that's CUTTING? If you do, HOW can you possibly see (ANY) difference in what I am saying?

          Servers usually are the ones WHY your food gets delayed. IT'S TRUE!! WHY can't you just ADMIT YOU ARE WRONG, HUH? I cannot make up things, because everything I have said has truly *********HAPPENED********* to us. I am NOT MAKING THIS STUFF UP!! Can't you admit you are wrong for once, huh?

          May 12, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
        • Bonnie

          After reading the pages and pages and pages you have posted ALL OVER this thread over the span of SEVERAL HOURS on SEVERAL DIFFERENT DAYS (you are truly pathetic), I have determined the following about you:
          1. You have never waited tables and have NO idea how it works – yes, servers wait to put in your entree, otherwise, you'd be four bites into your appetizer when your salads came out and two bites into your salad when you got your entree, and you'd then be pissed at us for "rushing" you. Also, if your husband ordered his hamburger medium well and it was served to you well done, it is NOT your server's fault – he or she is not authorized to take a bite of your ugly-a** effeminate husband's cholesterol-filled, artery-hardening, ban-boob-enhancing hamburger to make sure it's cooked to the correct temperature, you f***ing idiot.
          2. You are a fat ugly cow who gets pissed when someone DARES make "friendly chit chat" with you at your greeting instead of immediately bringing you a plate of cheese-fries to stuff down your sagging gullet...thus you hate servers because many of them are cute, fit young women who make you jealous when your ugly husband with his hairy man-boobs hits on them.

          May 17, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
        • springs1

          Bonnie
          "yes, servers wait to put in your entree, otherwise, you’d be four bites into your appetizer when your salads came out and two bites into your salad when you got your entree, and you’d then be at us for “rushing” you."

          The point is, any delay means why you wait a longer time for your food. I and most everyone would rather be rushed than to wait 45-mins. to an hour for their food and you know it! Especially the people that wait an hour just to get seated and you know it!

          Also, some servers wait too long to put in the order!

          "Also, if your husband ordered his hamburger medium well and it was served to you well done, it is not your server’s fault – he or she is not authorized to take a bite of your effeminate husband’s cholesterol-filled, artery-hardening, enhancing hamburger to make sure it’s cooked to the correct temperature, you."

          It can be if the server puts in the order wrong!!

          That's how uneducated you are compared to me and I have never been a server before!

          I know more than you do!!

          "2. You are a cow"

          No, 98 and half pounds this morning(I weight myself everyday.) I am 5'0" tall.

          So no, you must be the one that is, aren't you and are just jealous! I am very pretty.

          "who gets pissed when someone dares make “friendly chit chat” with you at your greeting instead of immediately bringing you a plate of cheese-fries to stuff down your sagging gullet"

          What an inconsiderate person you are that when you are hungry how you feel when you haven't eaten all day. So you would really want a server on purpose to delay you from placing your order? Yeah right!

          "thus you hate servers because many of them are cute, fit young women who make you jealous"

          I don't hate them. I hate the servers that have lazy actions and their uncaring moves! Not all of them are bad.

          Also, my husband loves me. He doesn't worry about other woman.

          "(you are truly),"

          You are to think that servers can't be at fault for a medium well ordered burger that is well done. You don't know that you very well can put in the order wrong! Were you born under a rock?

          You are ridiculous to even mention weight. Weight doesn't matter! The biggest I ever have gotten in my lifetime was 106lbs and that was for about 6 months in 1999. Most of my lifetime I have been under 100lbs.

          May 18, 2012 at 10:01 am |
        • springs1

          Bonnie
          The point is, any delay means why you wait a longer time for your food. I and most everyone would rather be rushed than to wait 45-mins. to an hour for their food and you know it! Especially the people that wait an hour just to get seated and you know it!

          Also, some servers wait too long to put in the order!

          It can be if the server puts in the order wrong!!

          That's how uneducated you are compared to me and I have never been a server before!

          I know more than you do!!

          No, 98 and half pounds this morning(I weight myself everyday.) I am 5'0" tall.

          So no, you must be the one that is, aren't you and are just jealous! I am very pretty.

          What an inconsiderate person you are that when you are hungry how you feel when you haven't eaten all day. So you would really want a server on purpose to delay you from placing your order? Yeah right!

          I don't hate them. I hate the servers that have lazy actions and their uncaring moves! Not all of them are bad.

          Also, my husband loves me. He doesn't worry about other woman.

          You are to think that servers can't be at fault for a medium well ordered burger that is well done. You don't know that you very well can put in the order wrong! Were you born under a rock?

          You are ridiculous to even mention weight. Weight doesn't matter! The biggest I ever have gotten in my lifetime was 106lbs and that was for about 6 months in 1999. Most of my lifetime I have been under 100lbs.

          May 18, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  39. SusanF

    My standard practice in this situation is to pay the added gratuity only, however, in cases of exceptional service, I will tip more. There was only one time where the service so bad that our table chose to not pay the tip. At that time we went to the manager, who was more amenable than the folks at this restaurant, and explained why we would not be leaving a tip. We had been getting up and getting our own refills and drinks and our server never once came back to the table to check on us until the bill was brought. This meant that people who had wanted to order a dessert were not afforded the opportunity, nor even the chance, before the bill hit the table. I was a well-known customer and the tip was stripped from the bill. We left two cents on the table.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Cox Insider

      Bravo Susan! You did what most successful restaurant managers want you to do. Too many people are too cowardly to stick up for themselves because they don't want to appear whine-y. They apparently would prefer to gripe anonymously on a food blog.

      May 11, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  40. Katie

    I am currently a server at a common Italian chain restaurant. I work hard and efficiently meanwhile keeping a great attitude and persona. The "standard" tip is 20% on the total for food and beverage (doesn't include tax). At the end of the night I give 3% of my SALES (food and beverage total) to pay the bussers, hosts, food runners, and bartenders. I make $3.00/hour on my paycheck. I agree with a previous statement that why don't the restaurants pay the servers directly and eliminate tipping. We don't tip the cashier at the grocery store. I guess there are a lot of variables with that. The food and liquor prices will need to be increased in order to compensate for that. The restaurants just don't make enough to cover it. Tipping has been the restaurant way since someone opened the first restaurant or bar centuries. Get over it, it's not going to change. When I receive a tip that is less than 20%, I know that it has nothing to do with me. This person believes in crappy tipping because he "shouldn't have to tip". It has absolutely nothing to do with my service. To those people if they are reading this post, stay home. Don't go out to eat. You are wasting my time. I spent an hour serving you and got the verbal tip meanwhile I missed out on the table that will give me a true tip.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Carmine Monoxide

      The standard rate is 15%, not 20%.

      May 11, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
      • V

        Standard tip is absolutely 20% for dinner. 15% is for poor service or lunch. Anything less than 20% is cheap. Servers usually make $2.50-$2.75 an hour. If your server brought your food on time and had a positive attitude, anything less than 20% is you being cheap.

        May 11, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • kls817

      Where did you come up with 20%. It's 15% and it needs to stay at that percentage forever. Yes the cost of living rises, but then so does the food bill and thus a 15% tip will be a lot more than it would have been years ago.
      I'm a good tipper and I tip at 15%, possibly more for exceptional service, but don't expect 20% for average service.

      May 11, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Nomad

      Average service is 10-15%. Asking for 20% as standard is ridiculous. I'll go as high as 25% for really good service. I worked as a server and if you're decent you make a killing at those rates. The only people struggling at restaurants are those who are not good at what they do.

      May 11, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • S1urp

      I am completely against tipping. Before I get lambasted let it be noted that I have worked for multiple restaurants in every position available. Tipping is by it's nature an unbalanced and biased system which favors people (mainly women) of appeasing features and personality. Not every person has both of those qualities. Indeed it would seem the modern server lacks personality at all. I digress. Tipping has been pounded into our collective heads as mandatory and that not leaving a tip regardless of the lack of service is more deplorable than your poor service. Remove tipping and put servers on minimum wage. Of course by removing tipping you add to the cost of food and drink but the best way to curve that would be to remove the bus boy and have servers clear the tables. Now people will argue that by doing that you leave servers shorthanded. That isn't entirely true. Restaurants individually monitor their sales and traffic and with those numbers can chart and predict how their business will fluctuate and can staff accordingly. Tipping should always be optional and given only as a reward for exceptional service. Filling a glass two to three times and only dropping by long enough to flash a smile, take an order/drop off an order, and leave isn't service it's going through the motions.

      May 12, 2012 at 9:13 am |
  41. Doug

    Stupid Americans. Bad service = bad tip. I would have sat my ass in jail before paying the tip.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  42. Syd

    A tip is for doing a good job. In our culture it's been turned into just not screwing up. Fine, I waited tables for a time and I did better knowing there was possibly some extra $$ in it for me. If you're going to mandate tips, then just up your prices and pay your wait staff better.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  43. Tony

    You can sure bet these folks won't come back after this, you can't hold them hostage they can either press charges or not press charges. The court would determine if the charges should be thrown out, I see some serious legal issues with the restaurant simply for holding them hostage. If the customer was unhappy why not work with them to make the situation better, a discount on the next meal or something, in some cases that can help win the client back. If the customer pulls the same stunt every time ban them from the restaurant. Learn the type of customer, is it a problem customer or just a bad experience, if it's a repeat problem customer tell them to scram and never come back.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  44. reality hater

    Tipping should be based on service and customer experience- NOTHING MORE ! I tip extremely well for great service and not at al for poor service.
    bad service does not deserve gratuity period ! IF I have to hunt you down – do not expect a tip – If my meal comes and my drink is not filled up – Don't expect a tip. if I see you once while ordering and not again till the check is dropped off- Don't expect a tip – if you want to make your money without having to PLEASE A CUSTOMER – change careers !
    don't cry to me about living off your tip – because no one forced you to work at a service based establishment

    May 11, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Damon Bennett

      Why do you hate realty? Did someone sell you a bad house and Mike Holmes couldn't come to your rescue?

      May 11, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • yelliemarie

      TIPS: To Insure Proper Service. Yes I realize that every dining experience people have is not always going to be immaculate. However the tipping standard was created to encourage giving guests the best possible service, and that reward is the money. It does really suck when as a server you have one table (generally is is a reward for high sales and doing well as a server in the restaurant) that is a larger group and to then have someone pick up the bill who goes into sticker shock or has no concept of tipping in American culture (and we know that foreigners know this policy, it is in all the tour books for the country). I am not saying that I give perfect service to every single table, sometimes I forget things or get distracted, what I am saying is that if you have a table of 12 people that order a 3-4 course meal per person, that is at least 16 trips to a table (minimally). Dropping off food, checking drinks, checking on guest satisfaction, I realize that this does not always happen, all that I am saying is before you decide that your server is not worth the minimal 15% tip consider what it is they have been doing. We do not cook your food, and we cannot make the bartender make your drinks faster. Chances are you are not our only table. Take a look around the restaurant, by all means if you see your server wasting time when you are in need of something, take money off.

      May 11, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • kb

      You've never worked in the service industry. Most times gratuity is added because large parties tend to skimp on tipping because the bill amount is higher than a date for two. All in all larger groups are harder to handle, especially when you have five other tables on top of the larger party. Most waiters in the service industry are also attending college so please tip! At only 2.15 an hour, I am living off those tips. And if the service is not up to par, tip the bare minimum. Most of all, speak to a manager! Most times they will comp items off of your bill or change the service provided by correcting the staff.

      May 11, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  45. MKath

    First, I would like the full details of how bad the service was in this case to make a more thought out opinion as all I have to base it from is what is stated in the article. Now if the service was bad enough to request a manager I think that they should have addressed this matter before things escalated to involving police officials. I would rather know that an officer of the law is available and on call for a more severe crime than a civil dispute over a 17% tip on a restaurant bill.

    Second, I feel that if the service is poor that an adjustment should be allowed on a case by case situation – why an individual should be forced to encourage bad behavior within staff employees is confusing. The fact that police officials were involved in this particular matter implies a feeling of entitlement and standing behind a policy to cover a lackadaisical attitude for even standard service. As a patron of any business it is best to practice knowing any policies before entering the facility. Be it return policies or other hospitality policies, as a consumer that should be commonplace practice – though I believe a party of 5 is a very low number to include an auto-gratuity to a ticket, however it may be due to this facility being a smaller local restaurant.

    Third, the pay for servers varies by restaurant and some do rely on tips to break even so it cannot be stated across the board on what is best unless a base standard is set nationwide. If the tip is split between multiple individuals involved in one customer's ticket then equal tax responsibility claim should be taken by all parties and not left to the server alone to claim 100% responsibility for tip reports and then receiving only a fraction of the actual tip for themselves. If the tip fully goes to the server then their level of responsiveness to the dining experience should gauge the end result of a tip. Now I state this as such due to the fact that it may not always fall on the server for delays or other complications to the experience, but acknowledgement of the situation and actively addressing the patron goes a long way – at least with me. Perhaps the cook is backed up with orders due to a busy night, a polite "I apologize for the delay, let me check on your order" or some type of update means I'm not forgotten and I am not expecting any hand-out or such for an inconvenience. If I'm in too much of a rush I would not go to a dine-in restaurant, I would either cook at home or pick up fast food on the go instead.

    Fourth, any tension within the chain of employees due to work grudges need to be left at the door. Trying to single out an individual and make service to patrons of a restaurant only hurts the business and those employed more with bad publicity. I am a patient individual and I am fair and will usually tip over 20% when I notice someone exceeding what I would call general hospitality. As I define general hospitality when dining is this: (For a Host/Hostess) polite, attentive to wait time and informative of a potential delay to begin dining experience, willingness to suggest options to sit at bar during long wait times or other wait options if provided by restaurant policy; (For a Server) polite, attentive to current needs and a willingness to address a situation or problem should one occur; (For a Cook) food cooked properly and to order; (For a Bartender) polite, attentive to current needs, willingness to address a situation or problem should one occur, and drink made to order. Anything beyond this would exceed my expectations. I personally don't know if those that end up clearing the tables get a cut of a tip that’s left, but in addition I do my best to pre-bus my dishware and silverware to speed up the process if it is not removed by my server prior to the end of my dining experience.

    Fifth, I think as a patron/consumer there is a responsibility to remember that hospitality/customer service jobs are not easy and often do not pay well for the level of stress the job entails. Before you, the patron, walk into a place to be served whether it be for customer service or hospitality of some type – the individual you may encounter may have already been yelled at, cussed out and so-forth and already in a stressed out state of mind. Not that this gives one carte blanche to be completely rude, but as a patron reaching out a hand or a kind word can make a world of difference and encourage better service.

    I am one to stop and take the time to report good service when I see it – I want the restaurant and business owner/corporation to know they're doing well and to keep up the great service. I honestly feel that most times bad service is all that's heard personally by management/owners/corporations within the restaurant business so I make a personal point to report both equally. I cannot even count how many times I have stood before uneasy managers, then seeing relief wash over them, as I engage them to tell them about my wonderful experience and asking if there is an additional comment card or such I can fill out on behalf of their employees. I have found that a few corporations provide personal employee perks for such reviews if I call and leave a message with corporate. I think this method is a good incentive to encourage above average care to patrons, but unfortunately I don't feel it's utilized properly as most consumers will report the bad problems and forget to stop and take the steps to report the good equally.

    I'll cite a good and bad experience I dealt with in reference. One bad experience: our hostess seated me and my dining partner quickly and left us to review the menus. We had decided fairly quickly what we would order within minutes and started a conversation while waiting for our server to take our order. It was a semi-busy night so I expected a bit of a wait, but not an hour wait without water even brought to our table. I had to get up and speak with the hostess as no one, not even another server that had seated two other patron groups which ate and left, had inquired as to the length of time we'd been waiting. The hostess was immediately apologetic and told me she'd get the manager right away for me. My dining partner was about ready to just leave seeing as we'd not received anything other than a seat for an hour. Once the manager came over we were told to order anything we wanted and they would cover all charges. They apologized for the lack of service; the waitress did not know that she had been assigned a block of tables on that side of the restaurant which unfortunately caused our current situation to occur. I accepted the apology and convinced my partner to stay and finish the dinner outing we'd set out to do in the first place. Now whether the confusion was a result in the restaurant splitting up a server's table from once side of the room to the other or if there was a mini employee grudge going on to not let them know – it's all speculation, but neither is good for the business. We ordered exactly what we came into order and didn't take advantage of the situation (like I have heard many I've told this experience to stated they would have done) and I left a tip for our new server. It was not their fault and they shouldn't be penalized for being asked to serve our table – I'm sure it was a tense situation for all involved. I didn't receive excellent service at first, but those that addressed the situation did their best to make it right. I wasn't even expecting dinner to be on the restaurant. I left a 20% tip for the value of what I would have normally been charged for all the food ordered for those that served our table at that time.

    One good experience: I had a day off from work and decided to have lunch out by myself. I was seated promptly and my server was very good making sure I had everything I needed. I was having a good dining experience until a received a call on my cell requesting me to come in on my day off – that left a bit of a sour note, but it's what my server did without my prompting as I asked for the check that still made it a wonderful day. She'd noticed I was still enjoying my meal and that I had to abruptly ask for the check due to being called into work. It's not normally done, but she made sure to pack me up some additional soup and bread along with handing me my bill so that I could at least take something in with me to work. I thanked her and left a big tip and then sought out the manager before leaving, I think the manager was apprehensive to my approach but relieved to hear one of their employees provided outstanding service. She gave me information to forward my review to their corporate office on behalf of the employee and the restaurant. I'm always pleased to report outstanding service that's unprompted – I want that kind of behavior encouraged. I wasn't expecting that, but the fact that she took the time to show a little extra care meant more to me than the fact that I now had lunch for work instead of trying to scramble for something later on in the day – the portion she packed up was even enough to split up for dinner later when my night shift ended.

    May 11, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  46. sometimetipper

    when it comes right down to it, a tip is an extra. Always has been. You get paid for doing your job, and you get tipped for doing it very well. If you are in this industry you should be well aware that there are cheap Aholes out there. The majority aren't like that. I won't hesitate to withhold a tip for crappy service. I'll also explain to my server why I'm not tipping. I have found the best way to avoid crappy service is to upgrade the quality of the restaurants you go to. Most servers at these places know they can make damn good money from tips with some effort, and it shows. As someone else pointed out, I think it really is a culture of entitlement here. Last time I was in Spain, me and a couple friends stopped off in a bar for a few beer. The service was exceptional. We left a rather hefty tip to show our gratitude and spent the next 30 mins, shaking hands, drinking free drinks and chatting with the owner and his wife. Apparently they don't tip over there, and had a real hard time trying to understand why we give extra money to someone for doing thier job.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Christina

      Have you never worked as a server? Most servers make only 3-3.50 an hour. Servers rely on their tips. If you go out to eat, and you have someone waiting on you, you should tip. If you get poor service, tip accordingly.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Sarah

      For most servers the tips are part of their pay. When I was in college I worked as a server and at the time minimum wage for a server was $2.85/hour. By law I was required to claim 8% of my pre-tax sales as wages. After taxes were taken out, I would be lucky if that $2.85/hour resulted in a $20 paycheck.

      I think most current and former servers are with me in that I am a generous tipper for good service. However, if I have bad service I make sure to leave at least an 8% tip. This makes sure that the server is fairly compensated.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:43 am |
      • James

        Bad service 2 cents

        May 11, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  47. Tritam

    Why can't restaurants just pay their employees? Like any other business does? I don't go to the grocery store and tip the checker contribute to their salary?

    May 11, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • Jennifer

      Speaking as a server, I make 3.35 an hour from my restaurant. That will just about cover taxes and not much else. Servers/bussers/hostess/bartenders work for tips so if they get stiffed on a big table, and that was their only table that evening. They are likely walking out that evening having "volunteered" their time.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:29 am |
      • mike

        That's the risk you take. I was in hospitality for years, and my wife is a bartender, but this is exactly why I got out of the business. It doesn't make sense to rely on the kindness of (generally unkind) strangers to earn your living. You all get addicted to the lifestyle because it's fast cash and you can stay out late, but eventually you get up one morning and start wondering why you went to college. Save yourself!

        May 11, 2012 at 10:43 am |
      • Mrs Mills

        I worked for 25 years as a server, many of them at IHOP, and I was the very best at what I did. While I think that there HAS to be an option when you get bad service, I'm so tired of customers saying that they don't tip on principal. Americansd KNOW that tipping is part of the deal when you get table service, if you don't like it eat at Mcdonalds. There is nothing like the feeling of working a 10 hour Christmas day and coming home with $40 because people at IHOP on a holiday are generally lonely and pissed off about it so they take it out on a server. Or try giving all you have to a party of 15 (or more) for 2 hours and getting $4 – it happens all the time. Do customers even know that your server is taxed on every table they wait on by the IRS?? So, basically, servers PAY to wait on deadbeats. You tell us not to complain because it's a job we chose? Well, you knew the deal before you ever walked into that restaurant so WHY are YOU complaining – YOU chose to eat there didn't you? I always thought it was funny that the rudest and cheapest crowd to wait on is ALWAYS the Sunday morning church goers – ALWAYS. So, don't worry about that single mother you just stiffed on principle (even though the govt just taxed her $3 for waiting on your sorry self) maybe the next table will be decent people who hold up their end of the 'restaurant service' deal. That waitress takes a little heart in knowing karma will get you.

        May 11, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • Jarhead4life

      Tipping is a right of choice, a reward for good service. Not a legally mandated action. If the service is bad, you should not have to tip. If it is good, then you reward the server. Tipping wages such as $3.35 hr mentioned in the comments are the base wage that the employer must pay, then the remainder up to the mimimum wage can be paid out of tips. If the server does not make enough tips ontop of the $3.35hr to equal whatever the minimum wage is, then the employer pays the difference. If you are running a good operation, serving a good product and have properly trained your servers, you the employer will never have to pay above the tip wage, and the server will make good tips taking them well over the minimum wage rate. Plus most restaurant operators will only report enough tips to take the server up to the minimum wage hourly rate, and not report whatever tips the server made above that.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:02 am |
      • Mrs Mills

        A little FYI for you – Restaurants DO NOT make up the difference if you didn't equal out to minimum wage, I can't imagine where you got that idea. Also, in times part YES servers didn't report every dime but those days have been over for some time now, everything is done on computers and automatically deducted even if you don't get a tip from that table, the govt says you did and the server pays a tax on you. Isn't that great? We pay for you whether or not you tip. Man up or go to a fast food joint.

        May 11, 2012 at 11:32 am |
        • FrequentlyServed

          One big point seems to be overlooked in these situations: I AM NOT THE WAITPERSON'S EMPLOYER. I dine out often and tip generously, especially if I get good service, so I'm not complaining about tipping in general. However, I would never expect my companies' clients to pay my employees' salaries directly to them. Our clients would laugh me out of business. So if I am required to pay a waitperson's salary, do I then get to decide how many vacation days they get? What their work schedule should be? Can I fire them if they have a lousy attitude? Because aren't most of us employed by the person or company who pays our wages or salaries? The whole situation is ridiculous, and much of it comes from the entitled attitudes of both diners and servers and the greedy restaurants that feed and employ them.

          May 11, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
        • Jeff

          He probably got it off of every federal labor law poster posted in every place of employment. "An employer of a tipped employee is only required to pay $2.13 an hour in direct wages if that amount plus the tips received equals at least the federal minimum wage, the employee retains all tips and the employee customarily and regularly receives more than $30 a month in tips. If an employee's tips combined with the employer's direct wages of at least $2.13 an hour do not equal the federal minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference." CNN won't let me post links, but hit up the Department of Labor website and do a quick search.

          May 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
        • marty

          Maybe not all states are the same, but in MA it is the LAW that if a server's claimed tips plus the wages they are paid by the employer to not equal minimum wage, then the employer is MANDATED to make up the difference, or they risk being fined.
          Also, it is common knowledge that servers do not always claim all of the tips they make...tips left on credit cards that are processed through a computerized register system MUST be claimed, because Uncle Sam knows you made those tips. However, cash tips are often not claimed...how does the government know that you made x amount of dollars off that table? It could have been one of you cheap patrons who don't believe in tipping, so how can anyone know what that income is? Get a clue Mrs. Mills...

          May 11, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
      • Anna

        Your facts are not accurate in all states. Restaurants are allowed to pay $0.00 to their servers. Here's how it works:

        If a server makes tips covering the, 7.25 per hr minimum wage (in NC), then they get no paycheck. Per federal law, the minimum they must be paid is $2.13 an hour, if they don't make enough to cover number of hours worked times 7.25. Of course, if you can't make the 7.25 in tips, you will probably be fired. Restaurants do not seem to be in business to pay their servers. The server's pay in many states depends entirely on the service tip (which is sometimes shared with other staff employees, such as bar tender, hostess, etc.). If you don't want to tip, don't go out to eat or work to change the laws so restaurants must pay their employees, rather than depend on tips to do so. I know many servers who work hard for their living and don't deserve to be stiffed because you (the customer) doesn't "believe" in tipping.

        May 11, 2012 at 11:45 am |
        • James

          get a union

          May 11, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
        • tmp1356

          You are working at the wrong restaurants. I waited tables for many years and was paid any difference up to the minimum wage if I did not receive enough in tips. What bothers me most as a consumer, is the percentage amount, as someone else stated, it takes the same amount of work whether you work at Dennys or at an high end restaurant. However at Dennys 15% of your total might be $1.87, which at an high end place it might be $11.25. Did the server really do that much more work? Last time I checked 15% was still the standard. Also, if my party of 5 takes 1 hour and the meal was $150, the expected tip at 17% would be $25.50 – that's more than most people in professional jobs make per hour – unreal.

          May 11, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
      • Getout

        There should be no question at all, I will tip you if I received good service, if not, I will tip you 5% instead of 15, 18, or 20%. It's up to you to earn that tips, period.

        May 11, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  48. morris2196

    The employees of the restaurant may have a far more serious problem than a hassle over a tip. Locking the customers inside the restaurant meets the legal definition of “unlawful imprisonment”, which is a felony.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Chees Lover

      Amen to that. Who's great idea was it to lock them in and why did'nt the cop let them in on that.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:41 am |
  49. Ex-Server

    There's a reason why it's called a "gratuity"–it's to show gratitude for gracious & competent service received. If the service is up to standard, the usual tip should be 15-20% of the bill. If I am a regular and receive exceptional service or have to ask for special favors, I will usually tip more.

    I have noticed however, that service is definitely not what it used to be and some food servers, bartenders, taxi drivers, etc. can be downright rude and hostile toward their customers. When that is the case, I usually tip a lot less than normal & on rare occasions not at all. I also usually ask to speak to the manager and I explain what happened so that it can be corrected.

    I used to work in the service industry myself and I've had all kinds of situations. I've gotten good tips for giving good service, bad tips for good service...I have even gotten wonderful tips when I knew my service was sub-par because I made a mistake or I was just too busy to attend my guests in a way that I should have. In the end, if you just stay focused and stay positive about your job, you'll end up doing pretty well.

    Locking someone inside a restaurant and shaking them down for a tip is just crazy. It's unprofessional and brings bad PR to your place of business.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:17 am |
  50. VladT

    I am loving the servers here ( current or former ) who insist it is the customers' faults for leaving bad tips, then expect us to believe that they are constantly providing immaculate service all the time.....and then go on to insult people on this thread. That great attitude you are demonstrating to what essentially may be your customers may also be reflective of why you receive poor tips. Again, even at Dennys, when waiters and waitresses joke around with us and for the most part refill sodas on time, we will leave tips even up to 75% of the bill, no problem. However, I have no problem leaving a poor tip if I get a poor attitude. I am genuinely a nice guy, and if I ask if I can substitute something for onions, and get a smirk, snub, or even a wisea@@ remark, you can be sure I just kept a mental tally of how your tip just went down.
    But remember, according to a lot of people on this thread, that was my fault for asking a question. Darn me....for asking that question, I owe that server a %100 tip.

    May 11, 2012 at 7:34 am |
    • BadPoll

      7 poll choices, and you couldn't include one for "Yes, but I'm not paying it if the service stinks?"
      These people were well within their rights not to pay a gratuity for terrible service, and the restaurant staff who locked them in should be charged with illegal restraint.

      May 11, 2012 at 8:21 am |
      • Thread Patrol

        There was a choice of "Other" that asked that you to "please share below." You can't expect a poll to offer all permutations of choices. Even you aren't perfect.

        May 11, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • Bonnie

      No, I was a server in college, and I generally made more than fair tips, especially considering the fact that I wasn't very good at my job when things got really slammed. (Ironically, the only time I EVER got completely stiffed on a tip, I had provided impeccable service! LoL.) I will admit it – I wasn't a very great waitress, but I wasn't the worst, and I was always smiling and friendly. I think that most people – people like you – are easy to serve. Keep drinks refilled, handle any issues, get the order turned in at the right time, etc. But unfortunately, everyone has a horror story, and it's because there ARE a lot of people out there who are NOT like you: people like the woman down the thread who refuses to tip if a server brings her a refill (on SOFT DRINKS, mind you...she specified this) without asking first because she thinks it's "overstepping their bounds to order FOR ME – MY MONEY RULES THEM, THEY DO NOT PRESUME TO KNOW WHAT I WANT TO DRINK EACH TIME I WANT A REFILL!" Then there's the stupid c**t that didn't tip because her waiter DARED to greet them with "friendly chit-chat." "Hey, my name is Austin, I'll be taking care of you..." and then, to her horror, he said, "How are you guys enjoying Mardi Gras? Did you see any of the parade?" instead of IMMEDIATELY taking their order.

      Fact is, there are just too many people that you can not win with. Also, people expect their servers to be mind readers. If you and your wife are at my table, I'll get your order in a reasonable time frame, try not to interrupt your conversation every four minutes but still be attentive and check in with you from time to time, and turn in your orders/bring your food based on a standard "date night" time frame of about an hour and a half or so – but I'll keep my feelers out so I don't rush you, because nobody likes to be rushed. If you and your wife are due to see a movie in an hour and would like me to put your entree orders in right away and bring your check wit the food, TELL ME!! You seem like the kind of guy who gets that, but unfortunately, SO MANY PEOPLE will sit there silently and then refuse to tip and complain to the manager that I took too long and made them late to their movie.

      And lastly, many people tend to treat servers like they are some sort of low-class degenerates. I was waiting tables to pay for college, not because I was a hard-partying druggy who didn't want to get a "real job."

      I totally understand where you're coming from, and I don't totally disagree with you...just kind of "knock knocking" to remind you that not everyone is a logical, level-headed, even-keeled, reasonable, rational, NORMAL human being like you and I. ;-)

      May 17, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
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