Skip to comments.I Was Banned For Not Tipping
Posted on 01/07/2010 9:51:07 AM PST by big black dog
Every Tuesday I go to Murphy's Taproom in Manchester to hang out with a bunch of liberty-oriented people. This is a famous event among Free-staters. About 40-60 people gather weekly for about 4 hours and eat and drink and are merry. I'm no longer allowed to go there, because I don't tip.
I've written some of my thoughts about tipping in the past, and have since fleshed out my position in my mind, so I won't focus here on the reasons to tip or not to tip. Here, I want to merely explain what happened tonight.
About 6 weeks ago, someone at Murphy's charged my credit card for a tip even though I did not pay one. I probably wrote a "0" (zero) on the tip line because I have done that for years, but perhaps the waiter, or whomever, hand-wrote "3.0" in front of that to look like "3.00," because they charged me a $3.00 tip. Next Tuesday I told Keith Murphy, the owner of Murphy's Taproom, and he refunded my $3.00. I did not ask to see the original receipt and he did not offer to let me see it.
Then, a few weeks later, I was again charged for a tip that I did not offer. In case you're curious, I do not tip ever, so I am positive that I did not tip in either of these instances. So tonight when I was gathering with my friends at Murphy's, I told Keith it happened again, for $4.00 this time. He said he'd look into it and refund my money if it was true (he has no reason to trust me, so I accept that he should trust the original paperwork). But then he asked me if I tipped the waitress in cash. I said "No." He asked me how I tipped the waitress. I said "I didn't. I don't tip." Keith then asked me to come with him into the back room to talk about it.
On the way back he said to me, "I've got to warn you, I was a waiter for 10 years." I'm sure this was meant to alert me to his position on the matter, which seemed to be pro-tipping, but it seems odd to think that me knowing his position would alter mine.
He asked if I received good service. I told him "The service is average here, but I can understand why: the place is a zoo. People are changing tables, moving around, it's crowded..." I was being conservative in that estimation of the quality of service: service at Murphy's is generally pretty bad (not always!) but for the aforementioned, understandable reasons.
He let me know that the waiters earned $3.00 per hour. I said, "Yeah, I learned that a month ago. That doesn't happen in California." He told me it's standard on the east coast, which I also learned about a month ago.
He asked me why I don't tip waiters that earn $3.00 per hour, and I told him "It's not my problem or choice. They chose to work for $3.00 per hour and could choose another job that paid more if they wanted to." He asked for more reasons, and I told him "I don't tip anyone" and "if I tip the waiters, why don't I tip the cook or the owner?," and possibly one or two more reasons. He said "But you do tip me [the owner], in a way. I get a small portion each time you pay." And I replied, "So do the waiters: $3.00 per hour."
To this, Keith replied, "I don't pay my waiters $3.00 per hour to give good service." I said, "Yes, you do." He said, "No, I don't." I said, "Yes, you do. You hired them at $3.00 to do what?" And he said "To wait on customers..." - and here he realized what he was saying, and added "...with the expectation of receiving the standard 15-20% tip in addition to their wages." He also told me that "tipping is a custom in this country - at least, and many others." I'm aware of this, and I'm aware of countries in which tipping is considered an insult (e.g., Japan), and I'm aware that on cruise ships, for example, that are in international waters and flying flags of convenience (i.e., they are not in any country), tipping is also customary; I did not mention any of this to Keith.
Keith then told me, "This is nothing personal against you, but if you're not going to take care of my wait staff, I don't want you in my restaurant. It's your right to not tip, but it's my right to not want you as a customer." I replied, "OK. I understand. Please refund my $4.00 and I'll leave. Can I have five minutes to say goodbye to my friends?" He allowed me five minutes.
As I was saying goodbye to my friends, Keith approached me and gave me my $4.00 and showed me the original receipt, explaining "It was an accident. The waitress though the zero you wrote on the tip line was a four, and you can see it does kind of look like a four." It did indeed look like a four. But I did not write it that way. When I write any dollar amount, ever, I write the full amount, like "$4.00" or "4.00" - never like "4" - but on the receipt, all that was written was "0" and that had a few extra lines and squiggles that made it look kind of like a "4." And the number "3" in the total amount at the bottom of the receipt had been written over as well, to make "$23.20" look like "$27.20" - I did not do that, either. I stuttered a few seconds, trying to find a polite way to tell Keith that it was not an accident, that his waitress intentionally stole my money, but I figured he was not going to un-ban me and I didn't see a point, so I just said, "OK."
I recognize that it is Keith's restaurant - his private property - and as such he has the right to choose his customers. I do not hold it against him that he banned me, or even that he disagrees with me about tipping. I am merely disappointed that I will no longer be able to go to Taproom Tuesdays. I really enjoyed that event. And there are some friends that I hardly ever see except there. Oh well, I'll have to make more of an effort to see them elsewhere.
I realize, though, that what Keith essentially did was ban me from the restaurant because he's too cheap to pay his wait staff better. That's not exactly true, because the government has a law saying that restaurant owners must pay their tip-receiving wait staff exactly $3.00 per hour - no more and no less. But Keith could make better arrangements with his employees and not hold his customers responsible for his wait staff's well-being. Keith could, for example, pay his wait staff more, but keep it under the table; or he could offer to give them, out of his own pocket, the difference between whatever his customers tip and 20% of their bill; or he could make a policy in his restaurant that tipping is not allowed, and then the law would allow him to pay them more; or he could even help his wait staff recognize that tips are not guaranteed like wages are, even as reward for good service. But he would rather pay them less of his own money and rely on his customers to follow tradition and give them more money. And his decision to do so, in this case, cost him a customer.
As opposed to what? Bushtards? Republitards? :)
I'm just saying the guy sounds like he might have a "911 was an inside job" bumper sticker on his car with his radio tuned into Alex Jones.
>>Id ban you also.<<
We tip 20% for good service and 10% if a server does the minimum. Rarely does that happen. I’m glad to give 20% to the server that fills my coffee cup before I ask and are patient with my kids as they learn to order for themselves.
And we tip with cash so it doesn’t hit the tax roles.
Servers are some of the hardest working and friendly people I know. This patron is a cheapskate.
Freedom of association. The bar staff does not want to associate with a dumb cheap bastard like you, Mr Barfly.
I’d have thrown his ass out, too. Tipping is part of the expense of a full-service restaurant. Though it is not legally required, and can be withheld or reduced for poor service, it is customary to offer a gratuity for good service.
Sounds like the writer is an obnoxious ass.
Anyhow, let's follow his line of thinking out. $3.00/hr is not sufficient to earn a living on. Thus the staff has the choice of finding another job. At some point though, the owner will not be able to find new staff without paying them more. He will then pass that increase along to his customers through higher prices. At that point, this clown will be paying the equivalent of the tip but he will now not have the power to express his pleasure/displeasure with the quality of the service. Addtionally, what motivation will there be to provide excellent service everytime?
“If everyone did this and forced restaurants to pay a set wage, we could finally recover the billions of dollars in taxes that go unreported every year.”
Yep. That’s the whole problem with our country; not enough taxes being collected. And too much incentive for employees to do a good job.//sarc
“It’s not my problem or choice. They chose to work for $3.00 per hour and could choose another job that paid more if they wanted to.”
This A-whole left out the part where everyone knows that it isn’t a low paying job...they took the job for low BASE wage with the understanding that everyone but a cold hearted prck like him knows it and leaves a tip...he’s one sick SOB that should have his picture up on the bulletin board in the back of the house in every bar and restaurant in NE...
This guy is a jerk.
The government has plenty of money.
It does not need one single cent more.
Especially not from people who make 2.13 $ per hour.
Best to always tip with cash, or it gets whittled severely come april 15
>> Wouldn’t it be more fair to just charge the customer another dollar for that steak,another dime for that drink,those fies,etc. and just pay the help ?
Actually, no it wouldn’t. The personalization of a tip amount allows the customer to pay the amount the service deserved. It is a method of controlling the quality of service by ensuring that the income of the service staff is at the behest of the customer. If the price was figured into the cost, it would be the same regardless of the quality of service, and service quality would like go down.
Inglorious Basterds is far superior.
2. "if I tip the waiters, why don't I tip the cook or the owner?,"
Most wait staff pool the tips and share with the bus boys and cooks.
Of course if we crank their wages up then they lose a reason for good service. I’m a generous tipper, in places I frequent I get great service, they’ve even brought new staff to me to introduce them and tell them my preferences (favorite beer, usual time of arrival, etc). Tipping is not only a chance to reward or punish behavior by the staff, it’s also a chance to establish a relationship and be rewarded later.
Kind of. Not Arab Amish, though.
But it does hit the tax roles. They have to pay an estimated tip tax on their receipts. The IRS takes it whether they receive it, or not.