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Bethlehem Area News, News poll, Today's newspaper-news » No tip leads to trip in police cruiser for pair of local college students
By Express-Times staff
November 17, 2009, 12:32AM
Moravian College senior Leslie Pope and John Wagner, a Lehigh University graduate student, were handcuffed and transported from the Lehigh Pub to Bethlehem police headquarters Oct. 23 after failing to pay a mandatory 18 percent gratuity.

AP File PhotoBuffalo wingsPope and Wagner, members of a party of eight during happy hour, refused to pay a $16.35 service charge on top of their $73.87 tab because of what they say was shoddy service as well as a surcharge that was nearly 5 percent higher than the 18 percent listed on the menu.

“Gratuity is thanking you for your service,” Pope, 22, said. “You can’t give us terrible, terrible service and expect a tip.”

The group reportedly had to wait more than an hour for salad and wings and had to approach the bar themselves for drink refills and find their own napkins and silverware as their waitress smoked outside.

The general manager of the Lehigh Pub, at 4 S. New St., declined to comment.

Pope and Wagner, 24, have pleaded not guilty and await a summary trial before District Judge Nancy Matos Gonzalez.

“It is minorly ridiculous,” Pope, a native of Pottsville, Pa., said.
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I tip and tip well in apreciation of excellent service. I'll be dipped if anyone will tell me when to tip or how much, so I guess they would have to arrest me also in this case. If a mandatory gratuity is necessary, above and beyond the check I'm presented, you can rest assured they won't get my business or the business of others I know.

What right did the uneducated business owner, or the attending LEOs for that matter, think they could possibly have for this action. Just another shakedown IMHO.
 

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I absolutly will not eat at a place that adds the tip itself. I tip on the quality of service. One time at a Mexican resturaunt in Columbus Ohio the service was so absolutly terrible, I left a tip of a penny right in the center of the plate, I kind of figured that was more insulting than nothing.
 

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I would have given the waitress the best TIP of the day,
I would have told her to find another job, this was doesn't pay to well!


LONGTOM
 

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It would be nice if this couple got enough of other students to all go there to eat on a friday night.
Fill the place with students.
Then just order a coffee and nothing more.
Do home work or just BS till midnight.
See how much money the resturant makes in on night just selling coffee!.
 

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had the same experiance in denver, colorado when handed a bill with the tip of 20% added. the service was not very good and i probably would have given 10-15%. i did not like the idea that the cashier decided for me whaat i would pay. i flat refused and in the heat of the argument cops were called. the ending was i tipped nothing and was told never to come back. however, it was left to the manager by the cops wheter or not i would be charged with whatever it was for failing to pay the bill.

i left steaming mad over that and i have taken the stance plain jane put the food on the table..will give 10% to the waitress (they have to live) but unless it is execptional attention and prompt service they will get no more, regardless.

i think its part of the deal that you bring the food to me that i buy from you. i only give 10% cause most of the waitresses are not paid very well.
 

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Most of those mandatory tips are for groups of 6 to 8 people or more.

I don't travel in a herd so it doesn't apply. I expect at least one visit from the waiter/waitress before the meal is consumed to inquire if anything is needed or not to my satisfaction before a tip is left.
 

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I believe that if I understood correctly the TIP was "ADVERTISED" as mandatory and advertised well, as such. I could be mistaken.
Perhaps I am TOO OLD SCHOOL but, NOBODY tells me when to tip, or how much to tip. As far as I am concerned I have agreed to pay for the meal I get, but the tipping process will be up to me, as it is MY MONEY.
I always tip to the good waitress, and I sometimes tip to the poor one, and sometimes not.
I used to say that this sort of thing could only happen NORTH of the Mason Dixon Line, if you get my drift, but the migration to the south, has blurred that line. Now? Who the **** knows? I just know what I'm gonna do. ::)
 

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Tips should be earned, not mandated. Good service 10-15 %, poor service NOTHING. POWDERMAN. :mad: :mad:
 

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And when I tip....(it's almost all the time @ 20%) I very rarely add it to the check. I try to use cash......that money was taxed once already, it doesn't need to go through the system again.
 

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The way I see it if a mandatory gratuity (like I've seen at some places for parties of 8 or more) is advertised, say on the menu in a conspicuous way, then you have two choices:

1, order, eat, enjoy, and pay up, regardless of the quality of service.

2, take your business elsewhere before ordering.


To do anything else, like go ahead and eat and enjoy then refuse to pay the gratuity, is in my opinion wrong.

Just a Shooter
 

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in my case the mandantory tip notice was at the cashier..no where else. the size of my party was 4. i see it as just a backdoor war of raiseing prices. now if i see it on the menu or anywhere before i take a seat or before i order I LEAVE...
 

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I once had a waitress who had a cast on one foot, and one elbow. She told me she was in a car accident the night before. I left a $20.00 tip on a $5.00 or so check. I'm like most here, I will always tip at least 10% for routine service, more for exceptional service, but rub me the wrong way and I'll leave a thin dime in the center of the table. I will not knowingly eat at a restaurant with a mandantory gratuity. I certainly won't go there the second time.
 

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It's a shoddy practice (adding the gratuity into the bill). Sure, if they noticed it ahead of time then by all means you should be under the impression that when the bill gets there you pay it - you know that's part of the deal before hand. However the signage advertising that gratuity is added isn't always obvious.

My rule on tipping is simple: $1 for every $6 spent, rounding up to the nearest dollar. That works out to between 17% and 25% most of the time, with higher bills tending to converge closer and closer to that 17% mark. Typically I'll do this for even somewhat bad service - unless they just totally screw it up I'm going to leave something (put it this way - the last time I didn't leave *any* tip was at a sushi place about 18 months ago when I had a roach crawl across my plate and saw two more crawling on the other empty tables). That said IMHO a tip should ALWAYS be optional.

However, I get really ticked when I go in somewhere, get my bill, leave a tip, and then realize that the tip was already in the bill, meaning they added 15-20% on top of the bill and then I ended up tipping them AGAIN. It doesn't happen often, but it has happened to me a few times. If I miss that signage in that case then I couldn't fault anyone else for missing it before they eat.

Heck one night really got me angry. Some friends and I went out to a new local restaurant. My brother and his wife were with us. We had I think 9 people that night. The menu said that tip was added for parties of 8 or more but the waitress specifically said that she didn't add the tip because she thought that the customer should decide how much to tip. We eat dinner - food is okay, service is ok. We've been there almost an hour, everyone is done eating, and we're about to ask for our bills and the power goes out. Apparently the shopping mall across the street had a small fire and knocked out the power for the whole block. The restaurant doesn't allow anyone else in because everything is down.

However, they also say that they can't cash anyone out since all the computers are down (so they can't print a bill) as well as their card scanner. So now we're sitting in the silent dark, were already ready to leave, and couldn't even order any drinks or anything to pass the time. The manager says that until the power and computers come back on everyone just has to sit tight and stay in the building. Naturally them saying we COULDN'T leave until the power came back on sparked some nerves. We were doing ok for the first 10 minutes or so, but beyond that frustrations started mounting. After an hour my brother's nerves got the best of him and he was cursing out the manager and threatening to kick certain parts of his lower rear anatomy. FINALLY the power comes back on and the bills come - most of the table has decided that after the ordeal they're just not tipping tonight. I however figure that it wasn't the waitress's fault that the power went out, and it was mostly the manager being an ass, so I still tip her. Later I look at the receipt only to find that despite her saying that she specifically wouldn't earlier that night, she still added the tip to the bill. I guess she figured that after that night nobody was going to tip of their own accord, but after that night when I was basically just being nice by trying to tip her despite all the trouble we had I ended up getting conned into tipping her twice.

Naturally I haven't been back there.

If they're going to try to make tips "mandatory", then stop calling them "tips" or gratuity. Pay your wait staff more and raise your prices to compensate, that way the customers can actually see the actual price of their meal reflected on the menu.
 

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JustaShooter said:
The way I see it if a mandatory gratuity (like I've seen at some places for parties of 8 or more) is advertised, say on the menu in a conspicuous way, then you have two choices:

1, order, eat, enjoy, and pay up, regardless of the quality of service.

2, take your business elsewhere before ordering.


To do anything else, like go ahead and eat and enjoy then refuse to pay the gratuity, is in my opinion wrong.

Just a Shooter
that sums up my opinion

what about 6 or 8 seperate bills?......as an option



in the case of the original post
why not a court summons and no an arrest
even just a police report.....so they can settle it in small claims
don't the police have better things to do [some ons smoked a joint while they were on that call]
i hope the police involved get fired
 

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Dumb question, but if it's "mandatory" isn't it just a part of the price of the food, and not a tip as is customarily believed? The whole concept of a tip is its voluntary and variable nature, the intent of which is to incent the service people to do a good job?

This is an insulting dumbing down of the waiting profession. And I'm being serious here. A good waiter or waitress absolutely deserves good tips. There's a big difference between excellent and mediocre wait staff. The best of them have an upward mobility toward the restaurants that command higher prices. One can make a decent career out of waiting, and related work in restaurants. If you're going to pay McZombies the same as the best wait staff, then only the McZombies will work there.
 

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i never liked the concept of tipping

why won't the restaraunt oner just pay them a decent wage?

at what point did i HIRE this un -lisenced food handler [waiter]

when you order food there is an implied contract with a lisenced resarant

i don't like it more when tips are pooled and evenly distributed
 

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I heard about this story on the morning news show in Tampa Bay last week. When they discussed it they said that the people were charged a mandatory gratuity because there was more than six in the party. The morning show host brought up the point that the word TIPS is an acronym that stands for To Insure Prompt Service. I usually consider 15% a standard tip and am usually more generous than that but given poor service I will tip a nickle or a penny and complain to the manager on the way out.
 

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45-70.gov said:
what about 6 or 8 seperate bills?......as an option
The mandatory gratuity still applies in such cases. It applies to the "party" size as it pertains to the table, not one one bill. I've never paid for more than myself and a date in a large group and I've always gotten hit with the mandatory tip on my bill.
 
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