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Family locked in restaurant after refusing to pay tip
Yahoo News ^ | 5/3/2012 | Yahoo news

Posted on 05/03/2012 7:01:25 AM PDT by Morgana

A family says that a Houston seafood restaurant locked them inside and called the police after they refused to pay a gratuity.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Chit/Chat
KEYWORDS: gratuity; houston; lafisherman; lafisiherman; texas; tip; tipping
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I am against gratuity tips! It is my option to tip or not to tip. Lousy service does not warrant a tip! Gratuity tips only encourage lousy service in my book because they know they will get tipped anyway.
1 posted on 05/03/2012 7:01:27 AM PDT by Morgana
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To: Morgana

Bump


2 posted on 05/03/2012 7:05:51 AM PDT by lowbridge (Joe Biden: "Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy.")
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To: Morgana

Kidnapping is a forcible felony. That had been me someone would have ended up with a gun in their face.


3 posted on 05/03/2012 7:07:06 AM PDT by MtBaldy (If Obama is the answer, it must have been a really stupid question)
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To: Morgana

Not a lot of detail here on which to judge this story.

Some restaurants clearly state that parties of x number of people will automatically be charged whatever percentage gratuity.

Is that the case here? If so, they sat and ate a a meal with full knowledge they would be charged, and I have no sympathy for them.

If not, well, shortly they may own that restaurant.


4 posted on 05/03/2012 7:08:56 AM PDT by dmz
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To: Morgana

How often do you get bad service? I can’t remember the last time we got bad service, twenty years ago perhaps. Except at places where you don’t tip, like McDonald’s.

We used to eat at tipping places maybe six times a year, now it’s probably about twice.

I truly think customers will stiff the waiters far more often than the waiters give bad service. When the tip is automatically included, and the service is bad, you ought to speak to the manager before the meal is over, and ask for another waiter to be assigned to you.


5 posted on 05/03/2012 7:09:12 AM PDT by heartwood
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To: Morgana

I typically tip 10% for adequate service and 20% or more for excellent service, and I get excellent service more often than not. If I’m tipping at least 20%, I also talk to the manager to praise the service I received. Terrible service? I still tip - anything from a penny to a quarter left on the table to clarify that I didn’t “forget” to tip - but bad service is rare. I’ve never had the restaurant try to lock me in to protest my tip.

Note: If the restaurant adds the tip to my bill in accordance with a posted policy, I pay the amount added (and don’t return if the service didn’t justify the tip), but I don’t tip more even if the service would have rated a bigger tip.


6 posted on 05/03/2012 7:09:15 AM PDT by Pollster1 (Can we afford as much government as welfare-addicted voters demand?)
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To: Morgana
I am against gratuity tips! It is my option to tip or not to tip.

The store policy clearly stated on the menu that a 17% gratuity will be added to parties of five or more (which this was). It was part of their bill. They could have chosen not to eat there. Even the BBB guy interviewed agrees.

In the end, they paid the tip.

7 posted on 05/03/2012 7:10:56 AM PDT by Drew68 (I WILL vote to defeat Barack Hussein Obama!)
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To: dmz

The policy was clearly listed, 17% added to the bill for parties of five or more.

These people say they weren’t given good service. Maybe true, maybe not. Bad service is rare where I live.


8 posted on 05/03/2012 7:11:21 AM PDT by heartwood
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To: Morgana

The cost of the meal is clearly printed on the menu. This cost includes the meal preparation and delivery to my table.

A “Gratuity” is a gift that a patron of the resturant may, or may not, give the waiter for exemplary service, attention to the diner’s needs, suggestions and services rendered. A “Gratuity” is not required, the only payment required is the cost of the meal and applicable taxes - again, clearly printed on the menu.

I’d call this Kidnapping - being held hostage, against your will, for money is generally considered kidnapping.


9 posted on 05/03/2012 7:11:42 AM PDT by Hodar ( Who needs laws; when this FEELS so right?)
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To: MtBaldy

Pointing a gun at someone after being detained for refusal to pay the price clearly posted on the menu could be a mistake.


10 posted on 05/03/2012 7:12:40 AM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: Morgana

An automatic 17% added to your bill? No way! I will tip generously, but only if the service is decent.


11 posted on 05/03/2012 7:13:05 AM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: dmz

Yes, the restaurant (La Fisherman) automatically charges a 17% gratuity for parties of five or more; it was clearly written on the menus at the restaurant.

The customers had a party of five.


12 posted on 05/03/2012 7:13:42 AM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: Morgana

If the tip is mandatory, which is how it is usually in most restaurants for groups over a certain size, and its posted, you pretty much have to pay it, and not knowing this case don’t know if this was a big group or just a few folks. I suspect it was a large group where the mandatory tip applies.

As to locking them up, not sure if that falls into false imprisonment or not, most states do allow a business to detain a person if they believe that person has engaged in theft.. and not paying a bill in its entirety and trying to leave certainly would be considered theft.

I am sure someone is more familar with this states laws than I am.. but I wouldn’t jump to assumption the restaraunt violated the law by detaining them.


13 posted on 05/03/2012 7:14:24 AM PDT by HamiltonJay
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To: Morgana

Those customers must subscribe to the “Mr. Pink” school of tipping!


14 posted on 05/03/2012 7:14:48 AM PDT by Autonomous User ( I guess a liberal and an out-of-work bum look a lot a like, daddy.)
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To: heartwood

I sort of figured that was the case.


15 posted on 05/03/2012 7:15:24 AM PDT by dmz
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To: MtBaldy
That had been me someone would have ended up with a gun in their face.

Wonderful. Then you'd have a weapons charge added to the misdemeanor theft charge.

16 posted on 05/03/2012 7:15:37 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: dmz
Is that the case here? If so, they sat and ate a a meal with full knowledge they would be charged, and I have no sympathy for them.

Here's the short, non-video version.

A party of six eats at a restaurant with a clearly defined gratuity policy for parties of 5 or more. They complain of poor service (they don't say how the service was poor) and want the gratuity removed from their bill. Management refuses. They offer to pay their own tip. Management refuses. They try to leave and management locks the doors and calls the cops. The cops arrive and don't do anything. The women pay the tip and leave. News interviews BBB guy who reminds customers to educate themselves on various restaurant policies before dining.

17 posted on 05/03/2012 7:15:45 AM PDT by Drew68 (I WILL vote to defeat Barack Hussein Obama!)
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To: Morgana

Must have been Brits.


18 posted on 05/03/2012 7:15:55 AM PDT by miss marmelstein
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To: Hodar

The 17% gratuity charge for a party of five or more is also posted clearly on the menu.

If they didn’t want to pay it, they could have left and gone to another restaurant.


19 posted on 05/03/2012 7:15:55 AM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: Altariel

Then they have to pay it, attempting to leave without doing so constitutes theft, and many states allow businesses limited detainment rights against individuals believed to have engaged in theft.

My suspcion is the restaurant is well within its rights for what it did.

I agree mandatory tip on a group of 5 is a low number for it to kick in, however its policy and posted, the family could have gone elsewhere knowing this, but chose to eat there, so they have to pay it.


20 posted on 05/03/2012 7:16:58 AM PDT by HamiltonJay
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To: Altariel

Then they have to pay it, attempting to leave without doing so constitutes theft, and many states allow businesses limited detainment rights against individuals believed to have engaged in theft.

My suspcion is the restaurant is well within its rights for what it did.

I agree mandatory tip on a group of 5 is a low number for it to kick in, however its policy and posted, the family could have gone elsewhere knowing this, but chose to eat there, so they have to pay it.


21 posted on 05/03/2012 7:17:52 AM PDT by HamiltonJay
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To: Autonomous User

22 posted on 05/03/2012 7:19:00 AM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: Morgana
A family says that a Houston seafood restaurant locked them inside and called the police after they refused to pay a gratuity.
 
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
WTH???
 
Did you post this on purpose? If you knew this was a video with no print, then why didn't you look for a written source?


23 posted on 05/03/2012 7:19:05 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
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To: Hodar

The cost of the meal is clearly printed on the menu. This cost includes the meal preparation and delivery to my table.

[snip]

I’d call this Kidnapping - being held hostage, against your will, for money is generally considered kidnapping.

<><><><><><

And if the menu clearly states that a certain percentage will be added for groups over a particular number, and you are at that threshold, do you still contend that it is kidnapping?

Or is it simple theft on the part of the patrons?


24 posted on 05/03/2012 7:19:13 AM PDT by dmz
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To: Drew68
Best thing to do is find one or two restaurants you like. Patronize them frequently. Tip good service well, and poor service poorly. Get to know the wait staff, the manager(s) and the chefs.

You'll soon achieve "regular" status and the best wait staff will be tripping over each other to get your table.

25 posted on 05/03/2012 7:20:56 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Morgana

I guess they would rather the five people sit at five different tables using the time of five different waiters and not tipping a penny.

Good thinking.


26 posted on 05/03/2012 7:21:08 AM PDT by Eaker (When somebody hands you your arse, don't give it back saying "This needs a little more tenderizing.")
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To: Morgana
Should have gone to the self-serve buffet.
27 posted on 05/03/2012 7:21:37 AM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: dmz
Some restaurants clearly state that parties of x number of people will automatically be charged whatever percentage gratuity. Is that the case here?

Yes, that's the case, here. It's clearly posted on the restaurant's menu, per the video.

It is a rip off when the policy states a set gratuity is to be paid....and then the service is terrible.

28 posted on 05/03/2012 7:21:59 AM PDT by Jane Long (Soli Deo Gloria!)
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To: heartwood
I can’t remember the last time we got bad service, twenty years ago perhaps.

You have obviously been blessed to not eat at any restaurants here in Montgomery, AL.

I have traveled the world thanks to Uncle Sam, and while I love Alabama and will never leave -- This city has the absolute rudest and most incompetent servers in the entire world.

29 posted on 05/03/2012 7:23:54 AM PDT by commish (Freedom tastes sweetest to those who have fought to preserve it.)
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To: Responsibility2nd

http://www.click2houston.com/news/Family-says-restaurant-locked-them-inside-over-tip-refusal/-/1735978/12440464/-/bymkr4/-/index.html

Link to a news article.

HOUSTON -

Jasmine Marks said she was trying to enjoy dinner recently with several friends at La Fisherman, located at 1935 Highway 6 South. She said the service was less than stellar; the wait staff was rude, their drinks didn’t get refilled and they didn’t receive their entire order.

When the bill came, Marks said there was a problem. The restaurant added an automatic 17 percent gratuity because their party had more than five people in it, but Marks didn’t feel like the staff earned the full tip so she asked to speak to a manager.

“We asked her, could the gratuity be removed? Could we give our own tip? She said it was part of their policy and there was nothing she could do about,” Marks said. “If you’re not satisfied with the service, you shouldn’t have to pay gratuity.”

The gratuity policy was clearly marked on the restaurant’s menus. But Marks said when they questioned it the workers wouldn’t let her or her friends leave; she claims they locked the door and called the police.

“She was like, ‘You have an unsettled bill and ya’ll can’t leave until you pay it,’” Marks said. “We paid our bill for what we ate, we paid the bill.”

(More at the link)


30 posted on 05/03/2012 7:25:06 AM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: dmz

“and I have no sympathy for them.”

So, someone committing a physical felony against a person has your support against someone that might have committed at best a civil violation? Nice to see your priorities are in order.


31 posted on 05/03/2012 7:25:12 AM PDT by CodeToad
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To: Altariel

Thank you for doing what Morgana should have done

I can’t understand why posters are too lazy to post an intelligent article with pertinent details.


32 posted on 05/03/2012 7:28:07 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
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To: Joe 6-pack
Best thing to do is find one or two restaurants you like. Patronize them frequently.

That's what I did when I was single. In my post-college bachelor days I had the disposable income to eat out regularly. And I did. I think I went four years without ever preparing a meal for myself. These days with little kids, we rarely eat out but I'm still a generous tipper. At least 25%. As far as bad service goes, I'm pretty generous with that too. The waitstaff would pretty much have to throw my food in my face and call my wife a whore to negate their tip.

Having friends and family work in the industry, I've always had a soft spot for people waiting tables and who remember two types of tippers; good ones and bad ones.

33 posted on 05/03/2012 7:28:16 AM PDT by Drew68 (I WILL vote to defeat Barack Hussein Obama!)
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To: miss marmelstein
Must have been Brits.

Guess again...

34 posted on 05/03/2012 7:29:27 AM PDT by Drew68 (I WILL vote to defeat Barack Hussein Obama!)
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To: HamiltonJay
I worked in the restaurant business for years as a kid and generally everywhere I worked mandatory gratuity kicked in for a party of 8 or more never 5, that seems low but I guess any restaurant can chose what constitutes a large party.

I would usually fight for parties of 8 or larger just because I knew if they liked my service I would usually get a monster tip because they would tip on top of the 15-20% already expected of them.

35 posted on 05/03/2012 7:31:49 AM PDT by 3rdcoastislander
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To: miss marmelstein

>> Must have been Brits.

Uh, check the color of the person complaining about the policy. As so succinctly summed up by a Chinese immigrant owner of a Miami Beach restaurant when asked why he added 15% o a black couple’s bill: “You people don’t tip!”

Ask anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant.


36 posted on 05/03/2012 7:32:11 AM PDT by QBFimi (When gunpowder speaks, beasts listen.)
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To: miss marmelstein

Maybe they were “Canadians”

(waiters will know what I mean)


37 posted on 05/03/2012 7:33:27 AM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: CodeToad

So, someone committing a physical felony against a person has your support against someone that might have committed at best a civil violation? Nice to see your priorities are in order.

<><><><<>

LOL. So you believe that it’s OK to walk out on a bill, because you believe the clearly stated rules don’t apply to you. Nice to see your priorities are in order.


38 posted on 05/03/2012 7:35:32 AM PDT by dmz
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To: MtBaldy

Ok, should have actually followed the link. The restaurant is still dishonest. A gratuity is voluntary. What they are calling a “gratuity” is in reality a fee for serving large groups. Since it was clearly stated on the menu they reall had no choice but to pay it. Locking them in the store is still kidnapping but they were obligated to pay the stated large group fee.


39 posted on 05/03/2012 7:35:47 AM PDT by MtBaldy (If Obama is the answer, it must have been a really stupid question)
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To: Morgana

In Houston, why would anyone eat seafood at la fisherman when you have Papas’s seafood all over town, best service, largest portions and best seafood ever for the price. And a killer strawberry Mojito.


40 posted on 05/03/2012 7:35:47 AM PDT by eastforker (Don't be ornery for Romney, instead Root for Newt!)
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To: Altariel
Jasmine Marks said she was trying to enjoy dinner recently with several friends at La Fisherman, located at 1935 Highway 6 South. She said the service was less than stellar; the wait staff was rude, their drinks didn’t get refilled and they didn’t receive their entire order.
 
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
If this had happend to me, there would have been serious trouble DURING the meal. Not after. My wife has been known to get up herself and go wandering around the restaraunt asking the waitstaff if they know where the maganger is, because there is a serious problem with bad service over here.
 
Drinks aren't being refilled? Get up - go get the tea pitcher and fill it yourself. Complain loudly to anyone and everyone.
 
Now while some may think I'm a jerk, I'll let you know that we rarely have bad service. I know a secret to preventing it: The time to cure bad service is before it even begins. As soon as your waiter appears - stop what you're doing, make eye contact with him/her. Smile. A few seconds of chit-chat. Flirt even. Set the tone for a great meal from the get go. And you won't be disappointed.


41 posted on 05/03/2012 7:38:25 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
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To: MtBaldy

Do you consider it kidnapping if one is cuffed and detained by store security if one has shoplifted?

Not really seeing a difference here.


42 posted on 05/03/2012 7:38:49 AM PDT by dmz
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To: Morgana
I disagree, I used to fight for large parties when waiting tables because I knew if I did good job I would usually get a larger tip then the 15-20%. Now some people can't handle waiting on that many people, they should find another line of work. Generally all the people I ever worked with tried harder to satisfy the customer with large parties because of the reason I mentioned.
43 posted on 05/03/2012 7:38:52 AM PDT by 3rdcoastislander
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To: MtBaldy

I don’t have time to look up the Texas law right now, but I’m pretty sure that Texas allows the “reasonable” detention of someone suspected of theft until a law enforcement officer arrives.


44 posted on 05/03/2012 7:39:39 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

Maybe. I would have just payed it and never gone back anyway.


45 posted on 05/03/2012 7:42:16 AM PDT by MtBaldy (If Obama is the answer, it must have been a really stupid question)
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To: eastforker

Pet peeve of mine: trying to make a place sound French by adding “La” to the name. And at LEAST get the gender right, if you have to do this, could you use “Le” Fisherman, or better yet, “Le Pecheur” or maybe “L’Homme de Poisson”? This stuff gives me “le headache”!


46 posted on 05/03/2012 7:43:01 AM PDT by NCLaw441
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To: MtBaldy

At least bash down the door in an “attempt to escape a kidnapping.”


47 posted on 05/03/2012 7:43:49 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: Morgana

Several times I’ve shown up with a party of more than eight where the policy was an automatic gratuity. We simply occupied two separate tables but next to each other. No extra “service charge”


48 posted on 05/03/2012 7:44:12 AM PDT by SkyDancer ("Talent Without Ambition Is Sad - Ambition Without Talent Is Worse")
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To: CodeToad

You believe it is acceptable to steal from a restaurant when you have a large (by that restaurants’s definition) party and there is a mandatory gratuity for your party which is spelled out on the menus?


49 posted on 05/03/2012 7:44:55 AM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: Drew68

When I was in law school, it was right across the street from an Applebees. Sometimes I had a night class and 90 minute or two hour break between the day and night class. They knew that and they were quick. I remember that they were quick didn’t neglect the tip.


50 posted on 05/03/2012 7:46:55 AM PDT by Darren McCarty (The Republican Party is bigger than the presidency.)
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