Couple Jailed for Stiffing Waitress


The owner of the restaurant won’t put an added gratuity on parties of 6 or more because he believes we will become complacent about serving our customers.  You know what makes me complacent?  Spending all my time and energy on a big, needy table only to find a five dollar bill at the end.

If I knew I was guaranteed 18%, or even 15%, I would be on large tables like ugly on an ape.  I would be elbowing servers out of the way to get as many large tables as I could and I would be so attentive to them, they would beg me to leave them alone.

Instead, we all know, for the most part, large groups of people tip for shit and not one of us wants to wait on them.  We stand in the wait station and argue about who’s turn it is, or how the group really isn’t seated in a certain section.  We bargain with favours and bribes.  Sometimes we offer to pay if someone else will take the table.  Yes, you read that right, some tables are so bad a server would rather lose money than run her ass off and clean up the mess for a 5% tip.

Many restaurants fear that the auto grat will keep customers from coming in, but it is so common now people don’t even pay attention.  We are one of the few restaurants in town that doesn’t have an auto grat and I think customers suffer for it. 

Face it, if you are a local group who regularly eats at the restaurant and you leave me $5 on a $100 plus ticket, I’m not going to spend as much time with you as I will with a couple who is going to leave me $6 on a $30 ticket.  One dollar doesn’t sound like much, but what if I have 4 tables of couples and one big, cheap table?  Hmmm…Eight people tipping me $24 or eight people tipping me $5.  Guess who’s getting the best service.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. DarcKnyt
    Nov 19, 2009 @ 17:57:07

    I’ve balked at the auto grat a couple of times, but hey, it saves me having to calculate the tip so what the heck? This way the server can’t hold it against me because they feel they earned more (which is always subjective anyway — they need to impress ME, not themselves) or I miscalculated or something.

    I vote in favor of it for large parties. That way no one gets to claim the “oh, I forgot about tipping” excuse when the bill comes due. Works for everyone.

    What makes me the maddest is when half of the party asks for separate checks, then someone else offers to pay the whole tab and tells the others they can get the tip. It is ALWAYS 10% or less. You got a free meal, you can afford to tip accordingly.


  2. DarcsFalcon
    Nov 19, 2009 @ 19:01:39

    Hmm. I don’t know about this one. That couple sounds like they got some really bad service, and now the restaurant has a bad reputation 1) for crappy service and 2) for actually having a patron arrested for protesting that bad service. I kind of doubt the management offered to comp them for the food, because no one in their right mind would shun a $70 comp over a lousy $16 tip. I’m on the couple’s side in that one I think.
    I agree with the couple, but the best thing to do is pay the tip and talk to a manager the next day. I doubt the restaurant offered to comp the meal because that is a big money losing no-no. Also, 18% of nothing is, well, nothing for the server. It’s a moot point.

    As for the auto-grat, I don’t mind it on larger parties. Usually more than 1 server is involved in big groups so that tip has to cover several bases. At the same time, just because there’s an auto-grat doesn’t mean the server gets to take that table off just because s/he knows they’re automatically getting paid no matter what.
    Uh…large party, guaranteed payment…it’s MINE! Haha. We are good about sharing where I work.

    The tip is a tough call – on one hand, it’s the only recourse a client has if service is bad. On the other hand, it’s how the server makes the bulk of their living.

    I agree. If I provide bad service, I don’t want a tip. However, if I provide good service and the customer wants for nothing, I expect to be compensated for it.


  3. Terri
    Nov 20, 2009 @ 07:14:45

    Thanks for stopping by.

    My son used to complaine about the same thing in fact he worked at a place that refused to make to customer pay the grat not only once but twice the tables were 40 plus customers they only left him $10

    OMG! I would have been crying.

    he was so mad after the second time that he quit and he was there best waiter. Sooo I guess it was their loss because people came just to sit in his section.

    I would have quit as well. Hopefully he found a job where they pay him for his hard work.


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