What a joke... Even if the place is busy it is no excuse for poor service. The management should know how to staff their restaurant so the service is up to par.
When a restaurant automatically adds gratuity they owe it to the customer to be worthy of such by giving great service no matter how busy they are.
Had the wait staff at least made sure their table was properly set before they were seated they would not have to have gotten their own silverware. When I was in the business I used to send a round of drinks or offer to comp desert for the table IF there was a wait. It's fairly inexpensive and helps let the customer know you appreciate their business.
Just another nail in the coffin of the once proud USA.
This is a joke. I'm Irish and embarrassed, when I see this place.
"Take me to jail, I'm going to court with this one."
"I want to speak with my attorney, and everyone is a witness."
This is what I refer to as "bovine scatology."
I refuse to eat in a restaraunt that would add the gratuity to the bill. A tip is earned, never just given out freely as far as I'm concerned. I've got no problem with paying extra for great food or service (I've left 50% tips before for exceptional service a few times if I was really pleased), but don't force me to give you extra money if you've done nothing right during the course of my meal.
I really hope the Wagners get some justice out of their public embarrassment for being arrested for this. I think they deserve it.
And I thought I'd heard of everything.
This stinks. I hope they get the charges dismissed.
However, a lot of places have a note on menu that that a 15% (sometimes 18%) tip will be added to the bill for parties for 8 or more. According to the article there were 8 in the group. I could see a someone making a case that they agreed to pay the tip when they ordered.
If you’re frustrated by poor service at a restaurant, think twice before you decide to not tip. You may be in for a bit more than just a dirty look from the waiter.
"Nobody, nobody wants to be forced to pay a tip or be arrested for terrible service," Leslie Pope said when her happy hour ended in handcuffs.
Pope and John Wagner were hauled away by police and charged with theft for not paying the mandatory 18 percent gratuity totaling $16 after eating at the Lehigh Pub in Bethlehem, Pa. with six friends.
Pope claimed that they had to wait nearly an hour for their order and that she had to get napkins and silverware for the table herself.
“At this point I became very annoyed because I had already gone up to the bar myself to have my soda refilled because the waitress never came back,” Pope said.
After the $73 bill came, the group paid for food, drinks, and tax but refused to pay the tip. After explaining the bad service to the bartender in charge, Pope claimed he took their money and called police. The couple was handcuffed and placed in the back of a police car.
“I understand that, you know, we didn’t pay the gratuity, but it was a gratuity, it wasn’t something that was required,” said Wagner.
The owner admitted that the group waited unusually long for their food, but said the pub was extremely busy that night. He said managers offered to comp the food, a claim the couple denies ever happened.
“Obviously we would have liked for the patron and the establishment to have worked this out without getting the police involved,” said Deputy Police Commissioner Stuart Bedics.
Police charged them with theft since the gratuity was part of the actual bill. However, it is doubtful that the charges will hold up in front of a judge. The couple is scheduled to appear in court next month.
So if he offered to comp the food, why was there a bill? And what's 15% of $0?
I dont think I would have touched this case with a ten foot pole.
I think it is theft when they make you pay a tip. It is a ::banned:: tip for Pete's sake. It is a BONUS based upon performance. The establishment should be grateful for large groups, MORE $$$$. You gotta cook the food and serve the drinks anyway, come on!!!
ARRRGH! What is wrong with people? Have they got their head so far up the entitlement backside that they can't even think anymore?
TIP = To Insure Promptness (Not really, but it sounds good)
(And yes, I know that I used the wrong spelling of the word ensure)
I bet this restaurant's business suffers because of this whole flap, a lot more than $16 dollars worth. They should have accepted the loss and kept 6 customers (who will probably never go there again).
I go out of my way to reward great service. I get the person's name and I call store management/owners and commend the person, big time. I have received great service from Burris and I have told everyone who would have an interest. I received excellent service from a guy at Home Depot, covering two different departments, single handedly. I spoke with the general manager and he commended him to all of management and the store employees. I say this to not sound like some keyboard warrior. It works both ways with me.
I took my wife and daughter out to Red Lobster for the little ones birthday. Or waiter was a young guy about to graduate college and was going into the Navy as an Officer. He was very polite would check on us often. When he found out that it was my daughter’s birthday he went to the dollar store next to the restaurant and bought a candle and brought out a small cake and sang happy birthday to her. (not policy at Red Lobster)
Long story short he received a very large tip and we told the manager how great our service was. I believe in giving good tips for good service and bad/no tip for poor service.
Mandatory gratuity? When did it become "mandatory" to tip? You tip because the service you recieve deserves the gratuity, not before you recieve the service. If the service is substandard then the tip should reflect it. I will tip well for good service, and poor for the same kind. I do see on some menus that large groups of people will be charged a gratuity automatically at the discretion of the establishment. Mostly for 20 persons or above. I don't think it's right, but it's their policy.
Getting arrested for not tipping, that's a bit extreme in my opinion, mandatory or not.