Skip to comments.Family locked in restaurant after refusing to pay tip
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 ...
Kidnapping is a forcible felony. That had been me someone would have ended up with a gun in their face.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pointing a gun at someone after being detained for refusal to pay the price clearly posted on the menu could be a mistake.
An automatic 17% added to your bill? No way! I will tip generously, but only if the service is decent.
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.
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.
Those customers must subscribe to the “Mr. Pink” school of tipping!
I sort of figured that was the case.
Wonderful. Then you'd have a weapons charge added to the misdemeanor theft charge.
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.
Must have been Brits.
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.
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.
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