Gainesville Moms

A place for moms to connect

A family ate dinner at a restaurant that automatically charged a 17% tip to parties of 5  or more. Well, the family claims they got HORRIBLE service, complained to the manager, and ultimately refused to pay the tip. The family was locked inside the restaurant!

Do you think the restaurant should have made an exception? Do you think the family should have just paid the required tip?

While we are on the tipping subject, do you have a standard tip percentage you pay? What about when you order carry-out? Salon services?

Views: 1721

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Locking the family in the restaurant was a little much (and I'm surprised the manager allowed it, since it means those people and all of their friends are pretty much never going back there). But I remember from my days waiting tables that not only are big parties 1) a pain to wait on since they all need drinks/food/everything at the same exact time, they often 2) all get separate checks and 3) forget or neglect to leave decent tips, assuming that others in the party will do so. That's the rationale for the automatic gratuity. This wouldn't be an issue if restaurants paid servers more than $2.13 an hour rather than offloading their wage-paying responsibilities onto their customers. :)

At a sit-down restaurant I tip 20% or a little more unless the service was bad. Same with delivery. For takeout, depending on the place I generally tip 15-20% (after all, someone has to pack up your food and those extra little containers of sauce, etc.). Around 20% at the salon or to cab drivers. All of this is on the after-tax amount.

Just curious - do you all tip at the nail salon and how much? I've only ever gone a few times and I can't even remember whether I tipped or not.

I personally don't think an exception should have been made and that yes the family should have paid. It was stated clearly on the menu that they had that policy. Do I like that policy? Heck no so I would not have eaten there BUT if I did then I would pay it. I tend to tip at least 20% when eating out if the service was good. 

If the restaurant doesn't give you a choice about being charged a gratuity, then it's not really a gratuity, it's a fee. Webster Dictionary's definition of gratuity is:  "something given voluntarily or beyond obligation usually for some service." Can you really legally force someone to pay a gratuity? Also, once you're at the restaurant are you really going to leave because of that? No, because you expect at least decent service. I've been on the waitress side too, and also delivering pizzas. Once I delivered this huge order of pizzas which was really hard to lug around, drinks and everything, and got no tip. But that's the chance you take when you go into the service business.

It is very legal to require a gratuity for a certain number of guests if it posted somewhere whether it be the wall or menu etc. You are right though...when you work in the service industry that is a chance you take. You may or may not get a tip unfortunately.

There is no law requiring you to pay gratuity or tips.  There is already a pressidence set in NY in 2004. A New York restaurant patron refused to pay a mandatory 18 percent gratuity on a bill and was arrested for theft of services. However, the judge found him not guilty, stating that the payment of a tip is not legally enforceable by a restaurant .  However if the menu stats there is a seating fee or service fee of X%, as opposed to a mandatory gratuity or tip,  then you are required to pay that. More over it is illegal for someone to hold another person against their will.  Under Florida law, Statute Section 787.01 makes it a felony to kidnap another person. Kidnapping is defined under Florida's statute as using force, a threat of force, or acted secretly to imprison, abduct or confine another person against his or her will. Under FLorida Law, Statue Section 787.02 makes it a felony to falsely imprison another person.  False imprisonment is defined under Florida's statute as forcibly, by threat, or secretly confining, abducting, imprisoning, or restraining another person without lawful authority and against her or his will. The manager is walking a fine line when he decided to lock them in to try and force them to pay the tip.  He could easily be charged with either one of those charges for doing so and as the people being held against my will I would look into possible legal action against the manager and restaurant.

There have also been other cases of patrons being charged with not paying the mandatory gratuity. It is enforceable...depends on circumstances such as place it occurred, judge who hears the case, etc. As far as the holding them there yes that was wrong and they will probably get in to some hot water for that. I don't think there was any doubt on that being wrong. 

Reply to Discussion


Mom Mail, Deals, and Mom T-Shirts

  • Moms get your GainesvilleMoms T-shirts for only $10! Support education in our community and your favorite website. The proceeds from t-shirt sales benefit Newspaper in Education (NIE). NIE provides newspapers in classrooms so that students learn about their community with a textbook that is updated daily. To purchase a t-shirt email moderator Stacy Fournier at



© 2016   Created by Gainesville Moms Admin.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service