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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.

TOPICS: Society
KEYWORDS: barskey; cheap; cheapskate; freestateproject; fsp; mikebarskey; mrpink; newhampshire; notacityinchina; ronpaul; shameless; subsidizedwages; tipping; waiters
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To: grand wazoo
Because you are obviously not welcome. Why would any waiter want to wait on someone that doesn't provide a tip?

WTH? When did I say I don't tip? Read post #156.

241 posted on 01/07/2010 12:03:00 PM PST by Sloth (Civil disobedience? I'm afraid only the uncivil kind is going to cut it this time.)
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To: Osage Orange

I wish! This group made very demanding customers. Nothing was ever right, they sent things back a million times, and often they had ordered things from the menu that they didn’t understand and they would be very upset when the dish arrived. The manager would always take it off the tab for them, however, anywhere I worked, but then management would criticize the wait staff for “letting” people order something.

Sometimes, when I realized that people were ordering a dish that they weren’t going to like, I would discreetly attempt to describe it so that we could avoid this situation (without insulting the customer, of course). But it was difficult. Some people understood and some didn’t.

242 posted on 01/07/2010 12:03:01 PM PST by livius
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To: MayfairFly
Did they study and learn the job for years? No, all it takes is effort and a pleasant personality.

The best bartenders have been learning for years. You don't learn (among other things) how to mix dozens of drinks through osmosis.

Plus, they have to deal with numerous drunk-ass idiots every night. The reason I'll (hopefully) never bartend again.

Good bartenders earn their money a whole lot more than office jockeys who spend their workdays typing away on Free Republic.

243 posted on 01/07/2010 12:03:29 PM PST by gdani (I just want to be left on this block of ice...)
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To: livius
... there was another group that also never tipped, but I won’t go there...

Must be ministers, because you wouldn't bother making thast comment if it was teenagers.

244 posted on 01/07/2010 12:03:41 PM PST by SeaHawkFan
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To: rwfromkansas
Good many people tip the people who clean hotel rooms?

Although it's not as common now, it was customary to tip the cleaning staff if you were staying in a hotel room for more than one or two nights. It ensured that you would have clean sheets and towels every day.

245 posted on 01/07/2010 12:03:54 PM PST by grand wazoo
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To: rwfromkansas

That one group of hard-working low paid people spends more time in direct contact with the customer too. And they’re feeding me. And having done time in retail and in food service I know they actually work a lot harder in worse circumstances.

246 posted on 01/07/2010 12:04:32 PM PST by discostu (The Bluebird of Happiness long absent from his life, Ned is visited by the Chicken of Depression)
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To: RobRoy

“Well, it sorta depends on your race. ;)”

How is that?

247 posted on 01/07/2010 12:04:55 PM PST by trumandogz (The Democrats are driving us to Socialism at 100 MPH -The GOP is driving us to Socialism at 97.5 MPH)
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To: grand wazoo
The idea of increasing the waitstaff wages and adding the additional money onto the cost of the meal is a valid one.

That is the case in Japan and there service staff of all kinds is VERY friendly and helpful. Even the wage slaves and Mcdonalds are cheerful and friendly. Since it is expected, universal, and anything else is not tolerated, then it makes sense to just build it into the cost of the meal.
248 posted on 01/07/2010 12:05:53 PM PST by TalonDJ
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To: big black dog


Freestaters are supporters of States Rights, Federalism, and the US Constitution. They have supported a variety of candidates.

249 posted on 01/07/2010 12:06:52 PM PST by editor-surveyor (Democracy, the vilest form of government, pits the greed of an angry mob vs. the rights of a man)
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To: netmilsmom

>>If you’re going to be in a hotel for more than a day, leave a note the first day with a buck or two. <<

Sorry, that just does not make sense. I just want the room to be, at best, the way it was when I first walked in. In fact, when my wife and I are on a trip together, sometimes we leave the “do not disturb” hanger out for a couple of days. I can think of no reason whatsoever to pay a tip for cleaning staff, in a hotel room or my cubicle. I also have only used a bellhop once in my life. I hate the awkward “tip” moment to the point that I will make multiple trips to carry my own luggage.

250 posted on 01/07/2010 12:08:15 PM PST by RobRoy (The US today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: MayfairFly

I am not wealthy, that’s for sure. Honestly, I need to find a better field to earn more.

251 posted on 01/07/2010 12:08:37 PM PST by rwfromkansas ("Carve your name on hearts, not marble." - C.H. Spurgeon)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

i miss one of my old managers. he had a great way of dealing with people like that.

he’d walk up to the table, pick up the bill and smile politely at the table and say “we’ll be taking care of this for you. the exit is right this way, please do not come back”

252 posted on 01/07/2010 12:09:17 PM PST by absolootezer0 (2x divorced, tattooed, pierced, harley hatin, meghan mccain luvin', smoker and pit bull owner..what?)
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To: Palladin

>>I’m surprised to learn on this thread that so many FReepers are cheap bastards.<<

You get what you pay for.
I tip maids, beauty workers, the girl who grooms my pup and waitresses.

Yesterday I took the dog in for a bath and they had no hot water. They clipped her nails for free. AND called both of us by name at a Petsmart.

Like I said, you get what you pay for.

253 posted on 01/07/2010 12:09:23 PM PST by netmilsmom (I am Ilk)
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I always thought tipping was voluntary. Although, expected, for decent service. I always tip 10 to 15% but I refuse to tip more than 15% unless the service is just way over the top. But around here, nobody gets charged taxes on more tips than is reported and I believe the owners have to make up the diference to meet minimum wage if necessary. I can certainly understand an owner banning a guy who never tips but I imagine it was an excuse to get him out for some other reason unstated.

254 posted on 01/07/2010 12:09:34 PM PST by SolidRedState (Someone finally found a spine and it is attached to an Alaskan Governor!)
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To: dalereed

Tips make the diner the boss as well as the owner. Which is good for the diner since often the owner and diner have opposite goals (owners want you out as fast as possible, while you probably want to hang out a while, plus many others). Because I’m probably going to tip the waiter more in that time frame than the owner will pay them guess who the waiter tends to side with. There’s a reason fastfood people don’t get tips.

255 posted on 01/07/2010 12:11:56 PM PST by discostu (The Bluebird of Happiness long absent from his life, Ned is visited by the Chicken of Depression)
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To: Sloth
WTH? When did I say I don't tip? Read post #156.

You're changing in mid-thread.

You said you don't like to tip.

I said, then get take-out.

You said what if I like their food and want to sit down. (I believe that implies that you wanted to sit down and didn't want to tip.).

I said, why would a waiter want to wait on someone that doesn't tip?

If you don't want to tip servers, call the restaurant and order carry-out. Most restaurants provide this service to their more "frugal" customers.

256 posted on 01/07/2010 12:12:48 PM PST by grand wazoo
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To: RobRoy

>>Sorry, that just does not make sense.<<

Oh well. I like the extra service and I will pay for it. We did a trip to Sydney and left the maid Tootsie Rolls with a note. The next day she left us a Violet Crumble.

I like it. It’s worth a buck to me.

(Rob Roy, are you Scottish? That would explain a lot to one from the McClare clan)

257 posted on 01/07/2010 12:13:48 PM PST by netmilsmom (I am Ilk)
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To: rwfromkansas

Yes it is their real pay.

If no one tips them, then they make 2.13 per hour.

If their boss forces them to do minimum wage labor @ 2.13 per hour off of the floor in a closed restaraunt, as Semolina’s did, then they make 2.13 per hour.

Another thing that needs to be mentioned- depending on where your restaurant is located, i.e. who its clients are, they will not tip you, and you will make 2.13 per hour.

The Semolina’s that I worked at was on the edge of New Orleans, and let’s say that there were an inordinate number of “Obama supporters” that ate there. Guess what that means. You got it, you make 2.13 per hour.

Then waiters and waitresses would use that 2.13 per hour to bribe the hostess to sit those “Obama supporters” in anyone else’s section. So, essentially, the waiter’s 2.13 per hour was spent in an effort just to have a chance to earn a tip from a tipping customer.

Management got wind of this bribery, and they were really pissed, to say the least. They called the wait staff into meeting and said, regardless of your tip, you will wait on them, and you will do it happily, to which I said, “If they came in here and ate your food and then left without paying, you would charge them with theft of service, which is a felony. I feel the same way about my tip. They get what they pay for, which is nothing.”

That was my last day on the job :)

This location of Semolina’s was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Good riddance.

258 posted on 01/07/2010 12:16:10 PM PST by chris37
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To: joe fonebone
2) My food is usually delivered either slightly warm or cool. This is not the kitchens fault.

There is no excuse for poor service, but regarding food coming out barely warm, there's several reasons why this happens. One main reason is that the cooks do not communicate to each other, which results in a quick cook food (fried) getting cooked when a medium well steak gets put on the grill. Therefore your fried food will sit there under a lamp for 5-10 minutes while the steak cooks.

There are several different people who should catch this before it ever goes out of the window (the server being the last one). The kitchen manager should know better. The person at the window directing food should have caught it. And the aforementioned server who delivered the food should have spotted it.

As I stated before, there's no excuse for poor service, and the customer should let the manager know about it when it happens. If the manager doesn't correct the problem with the staff, then don't return to the establishment. It will fail on its own.

259 posted on 01/07/2010 12:16:24 PM PST by GOPyouth (The system worked.)
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To: HamiltonJay

That was worth the double post.

260 posted on 01/07/2010 12:18:58 PM PST by grand wazoo
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