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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 (31-40):
shannonnigans
by Platinum Member on May. 3, 2012 at 5:45 PM
3 moms liked this
Quoting Veni.Vidi.Vici.:

If service is crappy the gratuity should be adjusted if it's obligatory on a party of 5/6 or more.

I would think that the person who locked the door would be in danger of kidnapping charges or something.




Agreed, this is dangerously close to a false imprisonment, and the owner isn't very bright. By the way, how is it a "gratuity" when in reality it's apparently so mandatory that we'll lock your ass in if you don't pay it. Such a fine line between gratuity and ransom!
AmyG1976
by on May. 3, 2012 at 5:45 PM

well if the rules of the restaurant were in plain view and everyone knew them then well the family. its part of the cost of that restaurant. however locking them in.. no no call police as they did not pay the bill properly. If you dont like the rules dont eat there. I though dont agree with the locking them in. I can be charged with kidnapping if my pt is clearly alert and orientated x3 and they will die if I dont help them they can refuse and if I force them because I know for fact they will die if I dont... I can be charged with assult.. I can be charged with battery (if I touch them without permission) I can be charged with kidnapping if I take them...

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity"   MLK
~A wife of 14 years to B mommy of 16 years to J, 11 year old D, 9 year old M, and our miracle baby born at 26 weeks J 7 years.           http://www.freewebs.com/sacredjourneys/index.htm




 

Stephanie329
by Platinum Member on May. 3, 2012 at 5:46 PM
1 mom liked this

 Well, the restaurant shouldn't have locked them in, they should have just let the police handle it. Uh, the family should have paid in the first place.

_Bama_
by on May. 3, 2012 at 5:46 PM
3 moms liked this

Id love to see them try and lock my bunch in there....  I wouldnt wanna pay either.

Tanya93
by on May. 3, 2012 at 5:47 PM
1 mom liked this

Why does everyone assume the service was terrible?


Like I said, I've never had a problem at that place.

wickedfiress
by Kellie on May. 3, 2012 at 5:50 PM
4 moms liked this

The owner of the restaurant should fire the manager. Locking people inside, and calling the police is ridiculous and not the proper way to handle it. It makes me believe that the service there WAS horrible, and that the server probably did not deserve the tip.

Something(s) on their bill should have been comped for the bad service, and this should never have escalated to calling the police.

Ireallydontcare
by Member on May. 3, 2012 at 5:51 PM
1 mom liked this

I do not understand a gratuity for large parties. A gratuity is useually based on the size of the check. I guess not matter where we go as a family, we will always have to pay a "mandatory" gratuity. Hell, I have 6 kids then my husband and I. Oh the joy lol.......

shannonnigans
by Platinum Member on May. 3, 2012 at 5:56 PM
Quoting _Bama_:

Id love to see them try and lock my bunch in there....  I wouldnt wanna pay either.




LOL I also have a couple of family members who this would not be a good idea to try on! While they are psychotic and generally speaking kind of disgusting, in this case it would have been fun to watch them pull the doors right off the hinges and wrap it around the manager.
turtle68
by Mahinaarangi on May. 3, 2012 at 5:57 PM
2 moms liked this

 family....gratuity, a monetary gift for services rendered.  If services are not rendered then the gratuity is not given..

IMO that overwrites the menu and the fact that they had written it.  Its not law.

Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on May. 3, 2012 at 5:57 PM


Quoting shannonnigans:

Quoting Veni.Vidi.Vici.:

If service is crappy the gratuity should be adjusted if it's obligatory on a party of 5/6 or more.

I would think that the person who locked the door would be in danger of kidnapping charges or something.




Agreed, this is dangerously close to a false imprisonment, and the owner isn't very bright. By the way, how is it a "gratuity" when in reality it's apparently so mandatory that we'll lock your ass in if you don't pay it. Such a fine line between gratuity and ransom!

lol@ransom

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