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Family Locked In Restaurant For Refusing To Pay Automatic Gratuity

 

What happens when you take issue with a restaurant's automatic gratuity?

Jasmine Marks told KPRC that she and her family and friends were locked inside a Houston restaurant after they refused to pay an automatic 17 percent gratuity.

The gratuity was added to the bill because Marks sat with a party of more than five, a policy clearly noted on the menu. But when Marks refused to pay because of poor service including rudeness and missing orders, she said the restaurant called the police and locked the door.

Despite Marks' insistence that the service she received wasn't worth a 17 percent tip, the bill was eventually paid in full.

The story generated mixed reactions when it was posted on Reddit.

"The restaurant should have just voided the gratuity," one commenter wrote. "They get the 17% from this family but then lose tons of business once this story makes the rounds. Basically the whole town has just found out their food and service sucks."

But another commenter said the diners were at fault since the restaurant had a clearly marked gratuity policy on the menu.

"It was on the menu that a party that size would have the gratuity included in the bill," the commenter wrote. "I will agree that 17% is a bit much, but they really have no right to complain."

In the end, perhaps Marks should be thankful that she wasn't arrested.

NBC Philadelphia reported that a Pennsylvania couple were handcuffed after they refused to pay a mandatory 18 percent gratuity at a pub in Bethlehem, Pa.

Link

 

What do you think?  Who was right, the family or the restaurant?

by on May. 3, 2012 at 3:35 PM
Replies (11-20):
pixie92
by Platinum Member on May. 3, 2012 at 4:28 PM
1 mom liked this
Thats wrong. I was a waitress and if the service sucks i expect nothing. I sure as hell do not expect the place to lock the customers in. I hate this crap.
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UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on May. 3, 2012 at 4:30 PM
5 moms liked this

In my experience as a waitress large groups are a pain in the ass, the complain about everything, and they tip like shit. There is a reason most restaurants charge an automatic gratuity.

vegepunkstr
by Member on May. 3, 2012 at 4:33 PM
3 moms liked this

At my job we can charge a gratuity on parties larger than 8 but it is not required that they pay it. I dont see how a restaurant can make you pay it and even call the cops. That is so ridiculous!



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BEXi
by on May. 3, 2012 at 4:34 PM
14 moms liked this

As a former restaurant manager, I would have APOLOGIZED for the poor service, voided the gratuity and offered a gift card.

katzmeow726
by Platinum Member on May. 3, 2012 at 4:34 PM

This. So thats why, if we're going to have a large group, we pay attention to gratuity.  Although for 5 people...thats a first.  I don't think I've seen a gratuity for groups under 10 or 15.

  I'll never forget we had a big dinner after my baptism and confirmation at church to celebrate.  A roach climbed up the wall, and teh water smashed it with his shoe and just left it on the floor.  Then my mom found a bandaid in dads dish (she spotted it) and then a fingermail in hers.  Likely held on by the bandage.  

Then my cousin got a shard of glass in hers, and cut her tongue.

We called the manager over, and he gave us the meal for free.  Even with such a large group. 

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

If the service was crappy then NO I'm not paying a 17% tip!


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JakeandEmmasMom
by Platinum Member on May. 3, 2012 at 4:37 PM
1 mom liked this

 

Quoting BEXi:

As a former restaurant manager, I would have APOLOGIZED for the poor service, voided the gratuity and offered a gift card.

 I've never worked in a restuarant, but that's probably what I would have done too.

DixieL
by Dixie on May. 3, 2012 at 4:38 PM

I didn't read the article, but  I think they should make sure they tell the family before they order food. The family needs to know. On the other hand if they are a big party they should automatically know they need to pay a certain percent on gratuity. The waitress works for tips. They make min. wage so they have to count on tips to have enough money to live on. I think most people know that before they go into a restaurant.

JakeandEmmasMom
by Platinum Member on May. 3, 2012 at 4:42 PM

 

Quoting DixieL:

I didn't read the article, but  I think they should make sure they tell the family before they order food. The family needs to know. On the other hand if they are a big party they should automatically know they need to pay a certain percent on gratuity. The waitress works for tips. They make min. wage so they have to count on tips to have enough money to live on. I think most people know that before they go into a restaurant.

 I get the impression that they family knew, they were just so appalled by the horrible service that they didn't want to pay it.

Tanya93
by on May. 3, 2012 at 4:44 PM
1 mom liked this
Um, do we know for sure it was horrible service and not that they are cheap? I've never had a problem there.
JakeandEmmasMom
by Platinum Member on May. 3, 2012 at 4:47 PM

 

Quoting Tanya93:

Um, do we know for sure it was horrible service and not that they are cheap? I've never had a problem there.

 I've only seen this particular article says about the situation.  I haven't really researched it beyond that. 

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