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.
Agree with all of that; but they start to expect those dozens of $20 tips every time you visit!
So have I. A lot of people don't tip at those places, either because they don't think of it or they don't have the money, and I always feel this is my tiny charitable contribution for the day.
The thing that gets me about the "I never tip just on principle" folks is that half the time, they're talking about the grand sum of $2 or $3, based even on the most generous percentage of the meal they ate.
So long as they keep earning it I’m OK with that.
I never saw enough ministers to draw a conclusion! Teenagers don’t tip, I’ve heard, but these were high-end restaurants, so we rarely if ever had unaccompanied teenagers either.
I really don't understand why I get so annoyed by waitpersons recently asking me "how's your food tasting?"
Of course, you could say that it gives the appearance of stifling ahead of time any comment of bad service, missing items, and so forth; but that's not really the reason it bugs me. My annoyance is just mysterious.
Hi rwfromkansas. My name is fanfan. Nice to meet you.
I tip wait staff, the hotel room cleaner, the cab driver, the hairdresser, the shuttle-bus driver, etc.
How to get on a restaurants hit list
Think no ones noticed you routinely send back the wine? Or that you filched the pepper grinder? Think again.
>>And what reason would a restaurant have for banning a black man from their premises?<<
What if the OP was black?
You make some interesting points. I confess that I recently started going to a place in Renton called The Terrible Beauty that I love. I’ve even gotten to know the owners quite well. I actually like tipping there. It is one of the very few times I do it willingly.
Anytime you have someone wait on you, they deserve to receive a tip.
thanks... i will keep that in mind and let you know!
“Where’s the logical line between tipping and bribing?”
You grease the palm to get service. A tip is for good service rendered.
Looks like the response proved the dime was the correct course of action. The ensuing cat fight was an added bonus. ;)
Unreported tip income is not in the billions. Most states and the feds have laws that force reporting through the 8% of sales rule or reporting all charged tips (collected on credit cards by the business).
Also, the standard today is to put all charged tips on a payroll check instead of paying them out of the register in cash at the end of a shift like small businesses still do. One way it was sold to wait staff for not getting cash daily was that with a paycheck they were paying into Social Security and Medicare. If they never reported their cash tips they wouldn’t have this in their old age.
Hmmmmmmm, maybe that’s better than not getting income tax on them!
Actually that's not where I'm coming from at all. Here are my beliefs:
1. The wait staff are a restaurant's face to the customer, and the public's perception of the restaurant will be based on their interface with those employees
2. Someone who habitually does not tip is going to PO the wait staff. You and I can believe it's voluntary or mandatory to tip, but the bottom line is a waiter will be upset if a patron never leaves a tip
3. It's in the best interest of the owner to keep his wait staff happy, loyal and engaged
4. He advanced that goal by throwing out this patron
5. He will be rewarded for this action with far more revenue than he lost
If the service isn’t good enough to tip, it isn’t good enough to return. Kudos to the owner.
So go hang out at Starbucks, there’s all kinds of unemployed deadbeats that hang out there. In inclement weather, they pretty much live there. You’ll fit right in.
I know some Black Servers who hate having their tables filled with that group that doesn’t tip.
But he didn't lose a paying customer, so he actually gained. That's just smart business. I'll lay you 6 to 1 odds that his "friends" at the bar thought he was a loser, too.
At approximately 12:50am, on Sunday the 1st of February 2009, Free State Project member Mike Barskey was pulled over by Amherst, New Hampshire police after apparently catching the eye of the arresting officer when passing or being passed by another car. The officer followed Mike for a few minutes and ran his California plates finding that he had bench warrant for his arrest due to not showing up to a court hearing. The officer allowed Mike to drive his car to a nearby business parking lot so it wouldnt have to be towed and then took Mike to the police station. After looking into the matter more the officers realized Mike has a cash bail of $2000 and that his registration is expired therefore tacking on some amount for that.
Mike refused to have his fingerprints taken and was told that that when he is brought to Valley Street jail in Manchester that they would take them. He mentions in his Porc411 messages that he is refusing or planned to refuse to answer some or all of the questions they were asking of him and he wasnt planning on paying the cash bail.
Dalebert reports that Mike Barskeys court date has been set to March 12th, 2009. Since hes unwilling to pay his $2040 bail or complete two parts of the processing he will be kept in jail till his court date.
Mike Barskey has 6 charges against him according to Kat Kanning: speeding, open container, gun with no concealed carry license, not showing up for court and two others now forgotten. Worse case for the concealed carry charge is 1 year in jail + fines.
>The writers waitress/waiter is taxed on an estimated 10-20% of her/his checks whether she/he receives it, or not.<
Not only that, but in some eateries waitstaff must “tip out” the busboy, hostess and bartender.
When a customer stiffs the waitress in this type place, she actually ends up paying for the privilege of having to wait on the cheap slob.
>I cant believe how many FReepers are in favor of tipping:<
It’s culturally correct to do so in this country. You know the saying, “When in Rome”?
>Never tip anyone, ever. Its bad form.<
Do that in a US restaurant once and you’ll get away with it. Do it repeatedly at the same place and don’t be surprised if you ingest a steak someone dropped on the floor then put it back on the plate, or worse.
Been some pretty good guesses by a few people, I guess Church groups.
Not to offend (I am Christian), but just that was what I have heard before.
“He asked me why I don’t tip waiters that earn $3.00 per hour...”
They really only make $3/hour ? I figured it wasn’t much but still more than that. Talk about relying on the kindness of strangers...
In the immortal words of Calvin Coolidge; you lose. My 'circle' includes women who have waited tables in New England tourist traps...
One of the “problems” with church groups is that they usually don’t drink and often they don’t even order much, so their bill is low. But all groups tend to be bad - everybody thinks that the tip is somebody else’s responsibility, and a lot of times they are ordering a set menu anyway and don’t have as much personal interaction with the server. That’s why most restaurants put a surcharge for the tip on the bill for a party.
There’s nothing like hustling your posterior off to get 15 meals out at the same time, hot and correct, and then find $2 on the table (from the one generous member of the party who even thought to tip!)
Yes, it’s a problem. I once saw an excellent article in a business magazine directed at women (who also tend not to tip) telling them that now that they were not just watching the family budget but were responsible for the corporate image, being cheap was not a virtue.
The article pointed out that you wanted your clients or whoever you were taking to this business lunch to have a pleasant time, not see your company as nervous and poor, and not see you as somebody who thinks so small that “saving” a few dollars on a tip was a point of pride. If you go to a place regularly, of course, which most businesses do, you have to be particularly careful to maintain a good relationship with the staff.
The article pointed out that many women (this was a few years ago) were new to positions of responsibility and hadn’t readjusted their social behavior yet. I think this may apply to all of the groups who are stingy tippers and difficult restaurant clients.
Several years ago, right during the Invasion of Iraq, my wife and I were dining at very upscale restaurant in Atlanta. Our waiter happened to be an mature Iranian immigrant, who fled Iran after the Shah was deposed. The subject of Iraq came up, and some other political questions and it became apparent that he was a very conservative guy. And I commented to him that I presumed that to be unusual. I was always under the impression that restaurants were a traditional bastion of liberalism. He surprised me even further by saying virtually all the wait staff were Republicans - remember, it's an upscale restaurant - but, most of the kitchen staff were liberal, to especially include the chef de cuisine.
I have often wondered if that's typical in restaurants that tend to employee the mature, professional waiter, and not just the "kids" working themselves through college or waiting for their big "breaks".
Whew.. It’s a little scary that creeps like the author of this piece are out there.
I don’t have any sympathy for a non-tipper. A large part of my salary is also based on tips and I frown down on people who do not tip. Sorry, but just as much as you have a right to be cheap, the establishment has a right to ban you.
Tipping reinforces the servant/master relationship, in many ways. Its one thing to pay a fair price for something, and quite another to pay for servitude which is something that our settlers left back in England.
That's how it was explained to me in the first English pub I went to. Of course I left a tip - stiffing the waitstaff is about the worst thing you can do in an American bar - and they insisted on giving it back and told me (politely as ever - those English!) that tips were for servants. It is fine to buy the barkeep a drink, though, and if he chooses to drink it later, that's his own business.
That was at the beginning of my trip, down in Salisbury. I finished up in London, and THOSE bartenders had long since gotten over the shame of accepting a tip.
B S they need to pay all taxes
Husband, kids and I went to the Texas Roadhouse the other night. Had a group of young “Amish” sitting right next to us. They left before us. When husband and kids were at the restroom, the waiter came up to me to let me know that we left more of a tip for our $30+ meal than that group did for their $100+ meal.
While I do think not tipping ever is poor taste, I don’t think tipping should ever be mandatory.
This is towards everyone else
I remember back in older days when, (prepare to have your mind blown) tips were given as courtesy towards good service (KABLOOOOOM!!!)
Now a days, I hate going to restaurants because all these entitled cry babies scream and shout if you don’t tip them regardless of the service quality. Tips are customary, yes but it’s also the freedom of choice for a costumer to decide wither or not to tip. Not every patron can afford tips. What if this was the one day they could save enough money to eat out? Not everyone who eats at a restaurant has infinite income to throw around. In the good old days, waiters/waitresses worked at diners knowing what to expect. They expected to get their pay checks and if by chance they were attentive enough, a few tips too.
I know people ‘should’ tip waiters when they give good service. But it’s never appropriate for the waiters to expect it or even take it if they don’t receive it.
Like he said, if you don’t like your wages then get a better job, don’t whine to the customers who just want to eat a meal that your life is hard and your a charity case.
People go to restaurants to eat food. Not to be pampered by the staff. The good service should be a business strategy. Treat your customers good and word of mouth/reviews will get you more customers/revenue. Treat them bad because they don’t tip good and word of mouth/reviews will criticize your establishment and fewer people will want to eat there.
I usually tip every time. But when the receipt includes a predetermined tip to the bill, I tip nothing, because that’s just rude to demand your customers to tip. The waiters are being paid to service the customers. The customers shouldn’t pay to not be insulted.
That would be black people
But they are not the only minority doesn’t tip well
I routinely go to about 15 restaurants in metro Nashville especially Franklin
And i tip very well.....20% minimum up to 50% for businesses lunches when i need good service
And i give 100% tips every Christmas to routine servers
Some are single moms working hard with a man always late with child support
Some older gals just working
Some young men we just like
And some like at Mortons..or Sperrys....pros
I get great service....they know me and this is my home
I have helped some thru ruff spots
Some are now my friends and come to my home
Life is too short to be a tight prick
I get bad service somewhere....i don’t go back
My post downthread apes yours
And it’s amazing how much a good tip can improve somebody’s day. This past Christmas took the wife and mother to dim sum as is our tradition, tipped around 30%, the server came back and gave us all hugs she was so happily flabbergasted at the tip. And the difference between my tip and a “normal” tip was probably less than $10 (I’m always shocked by how cheap the dim sum place is), who doesn’t want to drop $10 and make somebody’s Christmas. You can get a lot of big smiles just rounding your tip up to the next $5, totally worth it.
yes...we do it because it feels like the right thing to do and gives us a sense of doing that
hell that is a major tenet of being a decent human
The OP seems like a cheapskate. I like the tip system because it lets me reward good service. My wife and I routinely go out and either split on entree, or simply have an appetizer. I know this is a low bill for many waiters so I tip a higher percentage than normal. We are creatures of habit, and go back to the same places and are waited on by the same people. As a result, the waiters remember who we are, are always happy to see us and take great care of us... even pointing out when specials that we like are back on the menu.
Whether you agree with the system or not, that person is working for a living and taking care of you. Treating them well is simply the right thing to do.
They undertip when they do tip also. This is one reason I hate to go out to eat with women. You end up paying more to compensate for their cheapness, but then they say "Oh we have too much here" and start giving money back, dealing dollar bills around the table as if it were their money. I made them stop one time and now they ask for separate checks to avoid the problem--but waiters HATE that. What to do? It happened again the other day with a different group of women, when we had had absolutely perfect service. It's not an overgeneralization; it is really true.
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