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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: Nat Turner
Reminds me of my years in high school. We'd have a party and the scroungers would show up wanting free beer.

We weren't above icing down some “USED” beer and letting them have that.

Some scroungers never new the differerence.

41 posted on 01/07/2010 10:07:45 AM PST by IMR 4350
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To: big black dog

We always tip 20% unless the service is really bad. I understand that is part of my bill when I sit down at a table that requires someone to take my order and keep my tea glass full.

42 posted on 01/07/2010 10:08:07 AM PST by linn37 ( "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples money.)
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To: big black dog

Perhaps if he wasn’t such a tightwad, they wouldn’t have thrown him out. Betcha the other Free-staters won’t miss him. No one likes to be embarrassed by a stiff.

43 posted on 01/07/2010 10:09:00 AM PST by sig226 (Bring back Jimmy Carter!)
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To: livius
...there was another group that also never tipped, but I won’t go there...

Canadians aren't THAT 'thin-skinned' about their tipping habits... :-)

44 posted on 01/07/2010 10:09:49 AM PST by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the
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To: hoosierham

“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 ?”

Fair? What’s fair got to do with business? You speak like a child. An extra dollar for a steak, or an extra dime for fries would not cover the salary differential that tips do, and it would make your waiter as highly motivated as the fast-food dude at the drive-through window. Your idea would ruin incentive, decrease the income of waiters, and promote anti-capitalism.

45 posted on 01/07/2010 10:10:11 AM PST by jim35 (Tea Party former Republican)
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To: Hoodat

I don’t tip at mcdonalds either. ;)

46 posted on 01/07/2010 10:10:56 AM PST by RobRoy (The US today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: Hoodat

I did watch Killing Zoe on cable one time. Impressed by it because it was a 180 degree from the screw up bank-rob caper of Reservoir’. But it was a Roger Avary film..

47 posted on 01/07/2010 10:11:01 AM PST by max americana
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To: big black dog

I recognize that it is Keith’s restaurant - his private property - and as such he has the right to choose his customers.

When did he wake up from dream land?

I wonder if this jerk is aware of the civil rights laws.

48 posted on 01/07/2010 10:11:01 AM PST by El Gran Salseron
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To: SoldierDad
What a douche bag.

Yup. And if you don't give at least 8% in tips, the wait staff ends up paying tax on tips they didn't receive.

The guy is just being a super duper cheap dickbag.

Move to Germany if you don't want to pay tips.

49 posted on 01/07/2010 10:11:42 AM PST by Malsua
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To: big black dog

People who don’t tip or are stingy tippers bug me. I understand the frustration of his receipt being changed (unless, being with a group an automatic gratuity is added and he didn’t report that). However, his decision not to tip was made before that happened. Don’t go out if you don’t plan or can’t afford to tip, period. You are paying for service as well as food. I’m sure he has a lot of perfectly logical (in his mind) arguments for why he doesn’t tip, but the point of fact, he is cheap.

I try to always tip 30% + to make up for all the cheap bastards like this guy.

50 posted on 01/07/2010 10:11:49 AM PST by mnehring
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To: big black dog

I have a personal rule: I don’t go out to eat (at an establishment) unless I’m prepared to tip 20% of my bill for the service.

Sometimes I’ll eat with a group and it never fails that one in a group of four or more will skate on the tip—and sometimes the tax if they can get away with it. A few rare birds I’ve seen will even try to slide on the drink. And these are folks that I know can cover it.

It doesn’t surprise me that establishments will put an automatic 15% gratuity on parties of 5 or 6 or more.

51 posted on 01/07/2010 10:11:52 AM PST by BradyLS (DO NOT FEED THE BEARS!)
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Comment #52 Removed by Moderator

To: big black dog

Loser, loser, loser. Tipping when earned is a sign of class and a boon to the freemarket system. It encourages good service.

53 posted on 01/07/2010 10:12:05 AM PST by HospiceNurse
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To: big black dog; All

I tip in restaurants etc. unless the service is bad, but I refuse to tip more than $5 under pretty much all situations when out with my wife and especially just myself.

That begins to approach the price of a meal, and under no circumstance will I pay a waiter or waitress the equivalent price of my meal. That’s ridiculous.

I don’t care if the night out was $60. 5 bucks is it.

Why? Considering the waiter had multiple people in an hour, they may make $3 an hour, but with my $5 tip and another couple tips that hour, they frankly make more than a lot of people.

I don’t understand the poor waiter thing because frankly, they make out like bandits and make more per hour than a lot of jobs.

54 posted on 01/07/2010 10:12:08 AM PST by rwfromkansas ("Carve your name on hearts, not marble." - C.H. Spurgeon)
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To: big black dog
“cost him a customer”?

And the service was mediocre at best because the place is always crowded?


Yeah, I am sure the owner is crying in his beer over his “loss”.

The drinks are cheaper because the waitstaff is paid $3 an hour in anticipation that you will make up the difference in tips. This gives the CUSTOMER more power in the relationship by deciding how generous they will tip.

Getting a “free ride” buying cheap(er) drinks, while letting others make up the difference while you NEVER tip... sounds like an attitude smacking of liberalism to me.

55 posted on 01/07/2010 10:13:00 AM PST by allmendream (Wealth is EARNED not distributed, so how could it be RE-distributed?)
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To: big black dog

I never tip, either. And here in New Zealand tipping is not the normal practise. I like it like that.

I can’t believe how many FReepers are in favor of tipping: it’s ideologically wrong. The restaurant owner is getting a free ride on his business risk by requiring his customers to fairly compensate his staff, giving him no incentive to run a high-quality fiscally-responsible operation.

Never tip anyone, ever. It’s bad form.

And if they “ban” your from their premises for not tipping — better still. They obviously don’t appreciate your custom, and deserve to have their ingratitude rewarded by losing it.

Shed no tears for being “banned” from Murphy’s Taproom. It’s appears to be a fly-by-night operation else they’d pay their staff properly.

56 posted on 01/07/2010 10:13:22 AM PST by DieHard the Hunter (Is mise an ceann-cinnidh. Cha ghéill mi do dhuine. Fàg am bealach.)
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To: anonsquared
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.

and add $1 or more to every drink you pay for? $1-5 on every food item you get?
you end up paying for it one way or another. personally, i prefer to let my service define my own tips as i cannot believe any bar is going to start paying me the $20+/ hr to sling drinks that i often make in tips.
57 posted on 01/07/2010 10:13:26 AM PST by absolootezer0 (2x divorced, tattooed, pierced, harley hatin, meghan mccain luvin', smoker and pit bull owner..what?)
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To: PeteB570

>>And you continued to pay by credit card? Pay cash in questionable places.<<


I do not like the whole tipping thing, though I do tip about 20%. I hate the awkwardness when renting limo’s and stuff. DO I tip or not with such services? The answer is “nope”. I don’t tip bus drivers either. I would rather not tip waiters and waitresses if it were possible.

My solution to the whole thing, though, is that I have pretty much stopped going to restaurants and buy all my drinks at bars in cash, by the drink, at the bar. I’ve always hated the whole tipping thing. Confusiion about tipping has caused me to not use services (valet parking, etc.) and go it alone.

Bottom line, I’m 56 and have never accepted the tipping culture.

58 posted on 01/07/2010 10:16:26 AM PST by RobRoy (The US today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: big black dog

It seems like the author has an unhealthy obsession.

With all of the problems that we face it seems really odd for him to choose tipping servers as a line in the sand.

I guess its easier for him to drive his stupid “point” home with people he thinks he can bully than it is with those who make the laws that take away our liberty.

59 posted on 01/07/2010 10:17:00 AM PST by Nickname (2012 - Yes You're Canned!)
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To: big black dog
It is a shame that servers have been reduced to working for $2-something per hour on their paychecks, and I don't like the system at all.

But since that's how it is, if you're too cheap to leave them a tip, please stay home. Just choose to never go out.

60 posted on 01/07/2010 10:17:09 AM PST by Sender (It's never too late to be who you could have been.)
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