Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tip your Waitress, or Else!!

I've always said it: Don't mess with the people that bring your food. As a waitress, I get kind of a kick out of this news story about a couple who were actually arrested for not paying gratuity on their check!!

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Ok, here's how I see this. Gratuity is certainly expected, but (as much as I hate to admit it) it is NOT required. I don't care if it is the restaurant's policy to automatically add on gratuity for large groups. I've been to many restaurants that do this and I think it's fine. However, if the service is really honestly and truly lousy, why should a patron be forced to pay that gratuity? It was this precise reason that my previous employer, Red Lobster, did not add on gratuity for large parties. Sure, it was a pain in the butt when you just worked your butt off waiting on a table of 10 and they only leave a 5% tip. It's a big bummer that is quickly followed by some select curse words in their direction. The question becomes, if you already know you're going to get an 18% tip no matter how well you take care of that table, what motivation is there for you to provide good service? None. So, the argument can be made that the server is more likely to not sweat it if they can't attend to the needs of that table. In the case of this couple from PA, I feel for them. There's no excuse for having to go get your own drink refills, napkins and silverware. Even from the perspective of someone who has waited tables for years, they absolutely should not have been arrested for refusing to pay that tip. Hopefully they will get a judge with a decent head on his shoulders who will throw this right out of court.


  1. Totally Agree with you sis, but still, sometimes, I wish sometimes gratuity was included at Blancks with groups over 20 especially if they have seperate bills. Everyone just assumes someone elce has left a tip.(I've Had the hostess tell me once that they all assumed that it was part of the bill allready) Honestly I get better tip off of tables of 4 or 5 than the big ones.

  2. 2 weeks ago in Miami Beach, FL, every restaurant you ate at automatically added 18% gratituity. The first dinner we didn't realize that and they made out like a bandit. At breakfast the next morning, the service was absolutely lousy and Jerry refused to pay the whole tip, which is when we realized we had been took the night before, and they made us pay the whole amount, no way of getting around it. I agree, that on large parties, an 18% should be added, but you should be able to choose how much you wish to tip your waiter/watress depending on your service.

  3. See, now I just can't see adding it on automatically for all tables. It just seems like the the server is getting a free pass to give lousy service. It's a tough issue, I guess!


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