Jump to content


Getting an "Insecure Connection" warning for Exisle? No worry

Details in this thread

Man arrested for not tipping

New York 2004 Tip Charge

  • Please log in to reply
36 replies to this topic

#1 Talkie Toaster

Talkie Toaster

    There's no Shepard without Vakarian

  • Islander
  • 1,136 posts

Posted 14 September 2004 - 04:48 PM

Quote

Tip Dispute Leads to Arrests at Soprano's
Sep 10, 2004 10:33 am US/Eastern

Don't stiff the Sopranos.

That's the lesson a New York City man learned while visiting Lake George over the Labor Day weekend.

Humberto Taveras of Queens was arrested last Sunday night after he and his friends allegedly refused to leave an 18-percent gratuity Soprano's Italian-American restaurant automatically tacks on to parties of six or more.

The 41-year-old data center manager says he left what he thought was a ten-percent tip because they weren't happy with the food. He and others in his party say they weren't told that an 18-percent tip was mandatory for large groups.

Joe Soprano, the restaurant's owner, says he had Taveras arrested because he didn't pay the full bill and his party of nine was rude to the restaurant's staff.

How is it legal for a restaurant to force customers to pay a fixed gratuity regardless of service?!
Blessed is the mind too small for doubt.

#2 Shalamar

Shalamar

    Last Star to the Left and Straight on till Morning

  • Forever Missed
  • 17,644 posts

Posted 14 September 2004 - 04:52 PM

I know of restraunts that do that ( add a 'mandatory' tip in ), but I don't know if there is a law, much less if it is legal.
The three most important R's
Respect for One's Self / Respect for Others / Responsibility for One's Words & Actions.

Posted Image

#3 Rhys

Rhys

    ... a learning experience.

  • Islander
  • 5,491 posts

Posted 14 September 2004 - 06:05 PM

Then it's not a tip, it's a surcharge...

Rhys
"It's easy to bond over hating something together - The Internet is total proof of that." Cyd/Codex, The Guild

Change the world!  No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.

#4 Nick

Nick

    ...

  • Islander
  • 7,130 posts

Posted 14 September 2004 - 06:31 PM

It's one thing if they add it to the bill--but that's a stupid policy IMHO--but if it wasn't included in the bill, I don't see how the restaurant has a leg to stand on.

-Nick

#5 Anastashia

Anastashia

    Tyrant Matriarch and Pegan Too!

  • Islander
  • 11,777 posts

Posted 14 September 2004 - 06:37 PM

Basically it's done because large parties where people are splitting the bill often 'forget' about the taxes and don't leave enough to cover both those and the tip. In many cases if the servers deserved one it ended up being not fair to them. I've never been a server but I've been with many large parties where I've put in my meal costs, figured the tax and added a hefty tip only to find that the group is short and being asked or even feeling obligated to toss in more.

Ani
The Science Fiction Examiner

In the quiet of Midden a young child grows.
Does the salvation of his people grow with him?
"Everything we do now is for the child"

"I made a mistake,
just follow along,
isn't that what tyranny is all about?"
Sheila M---my Praise Band Director

For as long as I shall live
I will testify to love
I'll be a witness in the silences when words are not enough
Testify to Love

Posted Image


#6 Kevin Street

Kevin Street
  • Islander
  • 6,256 posts

Posted 14 September 2004 - 06:46 PM

If the "tip" isn't on the menu then that restaurant should get in trouble for filing a false police report. If it's not written down and no one told the customers, then there's no way they could have known about it. However, if the customers were extremely rude, they might be guilty of something like public mischief.
Per aspera ad astra

#7 Anastashia

Anastashia

    Tyrant Matriarch and Pegan Too!

  • Islander
  • 11,777 posts

Posted 14 September 2004 - 06:56 PM

Nick, on Sep 14 2004, 07:31 PM, said:

It's one thing if they add it to the bill--but that's a stupid policy IMHO--but if it wasn't included in the bill, I don't see how the restaurant has a leg to stand on.

-Nick
You do usually see it added to the bill Nick, which means these people most liked subtracted that out added their own 10% to the rest of it and paid that.

Kevin Street said:

If the "tip" isn't on the menu

Generally you either see the policy on the menu or posted by the entrance. Actually though anytime I'm with a party of six or more I assume it's going to happen and I generally ask 'cause I don't want to stiff a good server if it isn't included. IMHO anyone with a large party who doesn't ask if they don't see an indication is perhaps naive in this day and age.

Ani
The Science Fiction Examiner

In the quiet of Midden a young child grows.
Does the salvation of his people grow with him?
"Everything we do now is for the child"

"I made a mistake,
just follow along,
isn't that what tyranny is all about?"
Sheila M---my Praise Band Director

For as long as I shall live
I will testify to love
I'll be a witness in the silences when words are not enough
Testify to Love

Posted Image


#8 Broph

Broph
  • Islander
  • 6,671 posts

Posted 15 September 2004 - 07:02 AM

Actually, it depends on the place as to whether the tip appears on a bill (for a large party) or not. Sometimes they don't put it on the bill so that people don't pay the bill with the tip, then leave a tip not knowing that it was included on the bill.

I do tip - let me say that before you read anything else.

I do think that part of the whole idea of tipping is an excuse for some employers to legally underpay employees.

In this particular case, why is the restaurant dealing with the man, anyway? The tip doesn't go to the restaurant - it goes to the server. The restaurant isn't being affected, unless they take some sort of cut of the tips or something.

BTW, the charges were dropped.

Quote

Restaurant owner Joe Soprano said he did not pursue charges because of the money but because Taveras' group was obnoxious. "We did what we thought was right," he said.

I didn't know that it was against the law to be obnoxious - interesting.

#9 FlatlandDan

FlatlandDan

    Sophisticate

  • Islander
  • 8,824 posts

Posted 15 September 2004 - 07:08 AM

On the other hand, if they thought the service was crap then why should they have to pay?  A tip is a tip (a bonus for having done something good).  I hate that it's not expected to recieve one.  

I've worked as a waitress before, and I know it hurts to not get a tip.  But if you're not doing anything special, or doing your job wrong, then you shouldn't expect it.
My candle burns at both its ends;
It will not last the night;
But oh, my foes, and oh, my friends --
It gives a lovely light."
-Edna St. Vincent Millay

#10 gadfly

gadfly

    Romantic Progressive

  • Islander
  • 1,333 posts

Posted 15 September 2004 - 07:23 AM

^ Unfortunately, as Broph noted, it is very common for American restaurants to pay their staff much below minimum wage assuming they'll get tips.  If fact, most wait staff are taxed on the amount of food they sell - somewhere like 8% so that many will come home with 0 amount paychecks.  I had a friend who was a waitress for Red Lobster, made 2 something an hour, would most often bring home 0 amount paychecks but still did well because of her tips but she would flirt big time with her male guests and would chat like an old school girl friend to her female guests - this is Texas so it's kind of expected, to get those tips.

#11 Godeskian

Godeskian

    You'll be seein' rainbooms

  • Islander
  • 26,839 posts

Posted 15 September 2004 - 07:25 AM

I'll tip for 2 reasons.

1. If the service is good, or adequate, i'll tip 5 % because i've got a lot of sympathy for how little some people get paid in the food industry
2. If the service is excellent, i'll tip another 5%
3. if the bill includes an 'expected gratuity' like the bar at the hotel of the GMW con, i refuse to tip at all.

It's one thnig to tip if you choose, but for someone to presume that they have the right to one? no chance

Defy Gravity!


The Doctor: The universe is big. It's vast and complicated and ridiculous and sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles... and that's a theory. Nine hundred years and I've never seen one yet, but this will do me.


#12 Kosh

Kosh

    Criag Ferguson For President!

  • Islander
  • 11,147 posts

Posted 15 September 2004 - 08:05 AM

I tip at 10 percent. It's all I can afford. When I find out a resturant adds tip to the bill, I stay out of that resturant. If the service is above the norm, and I have a little extra money, it gets into the tip. Best I can do.
Can't Touch This!!

#13 Lord of the Sword

Lord of the Sword
  • Islander
  • 15,681 posts

Posted 15 September 2004 - 10:49 AM

I've never, ever, until now at least, heard of a mandatory tip being so high. The most I've seen it, IIRC is about 12%...and that was added only on to go orders. I certainly wouldn't visit this restuarant.

IMO, the fact that the owner did make such an issue about it is going to cost him more money in the long run. I mean, who would want to go to a restuarant that will file charges if you don't give the exact tip??? Certainly not me.
"Sometimes you get the point of the sword, sometimes the edge, sometimes the flat of the blade (even if you're the Lord of the Sword) and sometimes you're the guy wielding it. But any day without the Sword or its Lord is one that could've been better  " ~Orpheus.

The Left is inclusive, and tolerant, unless you happen to think and believe different than they do~ Lord of the Sword

Looks like the Liberal Elite of Exisle have finally managed to silence the last remaining Conservative voice on the board.

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.” ~Thomas Jefferson

#14 Rhys

Rhys

    ... a learning experience.

  • Islander
  • 5,491 posts

Posted 15 September 2004 - 11:12 AM

LORD of the SWORD, on Sep 15 2004, 11:49 AM, said:

The most I've seen it, IIRC is about 12%...and that was added only on to go orders.
Why are you expected to tip on to-go orders?  Tipping is supposed to be for the service you get at your table!

Rhys
"It's easy to bond over hating something together - The Internet is total proof of that." Cyd/Codex, The Guild

Change the world!  No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.

#15 Lord of the Sword

Lord of the Sword
  • Islander
  • 15,681 posts

Posted 15 September 2004 - 11:43 AM

Rhys, on Sep 15 2004, 11:12 AM, said:

Why are you expected to tip on to-go orders?  Tipping is supposed to be for the service you get at your table!

Rhys
I didn't say it made sense, did I?  :p

The restuarant in question is the Waffle House...if you call that a restuarant. Seems more like a diner to me. Anyway, according to their little plaque, the gratuity is for those who prepare the food. Go figure.
"Sometimes you get the point of the sword, sometimes the edge, sometimes the flat of the blade (even if you're the Lord of the Sword) and sometimes you're the guy wielding it. But any day without the Sword or its Lord is one that could've been better  " ~Orpheus.

The Left is inclusive, and tolerant, unless you happen to think and believe different than they do~ Lord of the Sword

Looks like the Liberal Elite of Exisle have finally managed to silence the last remaining Conservative voice on the board.

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.” ~Thomas Jefferson

#16 Cheile

Cheile

    proud J/Cer ~ ten years and counting

  • Islander
  • 10,776 posts

Posted 15 September 2004 - 12:21 PM

not that it's right but i'm guessing they do that b/c larger groups are likely to deliberately make the server's life hell just for their amusement, then not tip him/her/them.

that and like gadfly said, restaurants get away with paying their employees two dollars an hour.  i DO NOT see how that is legal when every state has a minimum wage!!  i really don't.

Posted Image


"Andromeda may be over but it's not dead. Not as long as we have fanfic writers dedicated to keeping it alive.  Whether you accept everything as canon or stop at a certain point. Whether you accept and enjoy Nu Drom or only accept Classic Drom, it will never be over.  Not as long as we have each other [and Beka], who binds us all together." ~ Mary Rose

Twitter * Facebook * ExIsle at Facebook

icon by mercscilla @ LJ

#17 Jid

Jid

    Mad Prophet of Funk

  • Islander
  • 12,554 posts

Posted 15 September 2004 - 12:52 PM

Quote

The tip doesn't go to the restaurant - it goes to the server. The restaurant isn't being affected, unless they take some sort of cut of the tips or something.

Actually, in most decent restaurants these days, the server has to "tip out" the rest of the staff, on a percentage of their sales - to the chefs, the bartender, the host/ess, and sometimes even the dishwasher.  It's a fairly common practice, by the logic that all the people I listed have a part in the customers overall dining experience.  (Hence why at most places I tip 5% when I get bad service, so at least I'm not *taking* money from the server.)

A gratuity is something that just makes sense.  Usually I see it run in at the 15% mark, some places go lower, as low as 12%, some fancier places go up around the 20% mark.

When I worked at an upscale restaurant, I asked once, why they put a gratuity on groups over 8.  (The actual figure varies, between 6 and 12 when the gratuity gets added.)

What I was told was this:  Say everyone orders a full meal, and one alcoholic beverage.  Maybe some get dessert.  At a restaurant like the one I worked at, this meant each person was probably responsible for between 30-40 dollars a piece.  Say it's a party of 10.  This means your bill is going to come in around 300-400 dollars.  For a bill that large, people generally won't tip as high as the might individually.  They'll think, if they stick to a 10% rule "30 to 40 dollars?  For a tip?  We could have had an 11th person along for that!"  And will correspondingly leave a lower amount.

So, they charge a gratuity at what they generally expect to see normal tips at, which is usually in the 15% range, for most restaurants.

Note this means you aren't expected to tip *on top* of the gratuity - it's just the way restaurants try to get employees a decent tip for the kind of work a large table requires them to put in.  (And believe me, if you haven't served, don't think it's not *really* hard work to keep a table that large happy, in addition to the rest of the tables you have to serve.)

As for this particular case, I think it's silly to report to the police.  I might consider striking the party's name onto a blacklist regarding reservations, but not call the police for it.

#18 Rhys

Rhys

    ... a learning experience.

  • Islander
  • 5,491 posts

Posted 15 September 2004 - 01:07 PM

I worked in the kitchen of the local Chinese restaurant when I was in high school (mostly doing dishes).  Their policy was that the waitresses got minimum wage, and their tips, and kitchen staff got a little more than that, to make up for not getting tips.  There were a couple of times where I was called on to help out clearing tables (especially if there was a party in the upstairs room), and in those cases, I got a cut of the tip.

As far as "wait staff getting less than minimum wage", I think you'll probably find, in most cases, that the minimum wage for certain jobs (i.e. those where you expect to get tips) is lower.  Not saying that's fair, but it's how it happens.

In Ontario, the provincial sales tax and federal sales tax add up to 15%.  I use that as a guideline for a tip, and usually round the total off to an even dollar amount.  If I get very good service, I quite willingly tip higher.  If it's not that great, I tend to be more inclined to "round down".  It would take quite bad service to get me to lower the tip too much, but I would if appropriate.  Essentially, it would have to get to the point where the waiter was interfering with my enjoyment of the meal.


I saw a site once that listed "celebrity bad tippers".  I was actually a little surprised (and not in a good way) by the site's standards:  Apparently, they considered anything under something like 15 or 18% to be a "bad tip".  There were tips of 13% listed as a "bad tip".  Then there was one for 1 cent listed... I wonder if anyone pointed out to the waiter that a tip of 1 cent indicates extreme dissatisfaction with the service (moreso than no tip - it shows you didn't forget about the tip, but made a conscious decision that the service was not worth a tip).


I've even heard of people that make a point of setting a stack of coins on the table at the beginning of the meal, and when the waiter does something wrong, they take one away, and if they do something right, they add one.  Apparently, it's an effective way to get good service. :)


Rhys
"It's easy to bond over hating something together - The Internet is total proof of that." Cyd/Codex, The Guild

Change the world!  No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.

#19 Anastashia

Anastashia

    Tyrant Matriarch and Pegan Too!

  • Islander
  • 11,777 posts

Posted 15 September 2004 - 01:44 PM

Most definitely my experience is that minimum wage is legally set lower for jobs in which tips are an expected part of one's income. I worked as a maid in HS and mine was that way. I also had an additional % taken out for taxes on the anticipated tips, but I never experienced a 0 paycheck probably because maids on average get tipped much less than wait staff. Legally such employess are required to pay the additional tax on the amount of tips above the amount taxed additionally.

I've also seen 15% as the 'accepted' tip rate for quite some time with up to 20% for exceptional service. I do agree that a set rate gratuity on large parties probably shouldn't be at the higher range. That leaves the customer free to add an additional percentage (the difference between gratuity set and rate they'd like to pay) for exceptional service.

I'm more reticient to tip on take out but if you do consider that preparer's wages are also set at the same lower rate that's fair, especially in the situation where only part of the establishment's business is take out. Otherwise those workers wouldn't be getting the expected equivalent minimum wage from tips.

Yes now I remember the amount of additional taxes I paid was equal to the tax on the difference between the minimum I received and the minimum for persons in a job not expected to get tips. If my tips were above that amount I was required to pay those taxes in addition.

Ani

#20 Kosh

Kosh

    Criag Ferguson For President!

  • Islander
  • 11,147 posts

Posted 15 September 2004 - 03:41 PM

My sister and a friend were at one local resturant, and the sevice was very bad. The same waiter was treating everyone else very well, but snapping and grumbleing with Libby and Jackie. Libby started digging for a tip, and Jackie said "Don't leave him anything. Libby got her revenge, she left him two cents. They spoke to the manager on the way out. Libby said she had never wished for anyone to lose there job before, but she hoped he had been fired. Libby is a church pastor, takes a lot to get under her skin.
Can't Touch This!!



Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: New York, 2004, Tip Charge

0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users