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Trip June 21st, 2005 09:06 AM

Here's Your Check, I'm Calling 911
This was an interesting story on tv yesterday. What do you think?


A New York man was arrested for leving an inadequate tip in an upstate NY restaurant.
He faced misdemeanor charges of theft of services, after he, and his fellow diners argued over the legality of requiring an 18% tip for large parties.

He said they, "chased us down like we were criminals.

It seems he, and 8 others had pizza, were not exactly satisfied with the food,and left a tip
under 10%. they were also not old of the mandatory 18% gratuity, for parties over 6, he said.

He was arrested, fingerprinted, and had a mug shot taken..Was this overkill, or justified?

Thomas, we want to hear from you! My daughter was a waitress, I was for 5 minutes...
now that was an OY VEY! We consider ourselves considerate diners, tippers too, and we even stack the plates! Please don't give me cold food though.:):)

Post Edited (06-21-05 09:07)

DougR. June 21st, 2005 09:14 AM

Re: Here's Your Check, I'm Calling 911
The cheap *$&%&$&$&$ should be forced to be a waiter for a month to see how miserly people can be. Also most restraunts with such policies have a note on the menu.

Set4cruz June 21st, 2005 09:25 AM

Re: Here's Your Check, I'm Calling 911
I ain't going there!

LisaK June 21st, 2005 09:39 AM

Re: Here's Your Check, I'm Calling 911
i think that chasing them down and having them arrested is a bit extreme.
It is common practice in most restaurants to automatically add the gratituity to a bill for a party of 6 or more. It is written on the menu and on the check.
If they weren't satisfied with their meal they should have sent it back, asked to speak to the manager, and this incident most likely would not have occured.

kimmiegirl June 21st, 2005 10:17 AM

Re: Re: Here's Your Check, I'm Calling 911
I'm sorry but I also find it rather extreme to have him arrested. OK, if he/they were not satisfied with the meal or service, they should have spoken up but who knows, by that time, they may have got so fed up with everything that it all turned very negative.

We have all been there when we have had terrible service, meal etc and we just want to go and get away from the place a.s.a.p.

Is it actually a crime and where they/he actually breaking a law?????? I always thought you could only be arrested if you had actually committed a crime but maybe in our so-called civilised societies, we are also losing that right too now.

Strange story.


PapaBill June 21st, 2005 10:30 AM

Re: Here's Your Check, I'm Calling 911
Perhaps the reason the police were involved was because they HAD spoken to management about taking the 18% off the tab and management had already refused to do so. And perhaps the situation had already escalated to beyond what a reasonable person would do because a reasonable manager would not have called the police to begin with. My guess is that as usual there is a whole lot of this story we do not know.

Lisa June 21st, 2005 11:00 AM

Re: Here's Your Check, I'm Calling 911
I thought a TIP was for good/above average service and food............if you are not happy you reduce the tip or forgo it completely. I never thought a Tip was MANDATORY?

BW June 21st, 2005 11:02 AM

Re: Here's Your Check, I'm Calling 911
There's allways 3 sides to each story, mine, yours and the truth.

Something is missing in the story. My gut tells me that the menu stipulates the % of gratuity charged for a party of 6 and over?

Journalists are quite capable to twist a story to gain the reader's attention.


SharB June 21st, 2005 11:34 AM

Re: Here's Your Check, I'm Calling 911
Is this regarding the same news report? (notice the date)

September 15, 2004
This is just too ridiculous
Posted at September 15, 2004 01:38 PM in Rants & Raves .
Every time I go to a restaurant and get good service I always leave a nice tip. It may be anywhere from 15 to 25 %. If the service or the food is bad I may or may not leave a tip.
If the food is bad but the service is good I'll try to leave the tip in cash and tell the waitress not to share it, then I complain to the restaurant owner about the food. I don't go to restaurants that ask for an additional "service charge."

I understand that the waitresses and waiters make a small hourly rate and depend on the tips to supplement their wages. But let us not forget that the proper word for tips is gratuities, meaning something given free or uncalled for.
If a waiter or waitress wants to get a good tip they should give good service. If I eat at a restaurant or diner and the food and or service is bad more than once I'll go elsewhere. Sometimes people have bad days, I do, and I try to take that into account when being served in a restaurant.
I have the option of leaving or not leaving a tip. I blame the local police especially for going after the man and his friends, they shouldn't have arrested that man.

Just try to arrest me for not leaving a tip, you'll wish you hadn't.
LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. -- A man arrested in an upstate New York restaurant for not tipping enough is off the hook.
Charges Dropped After Man Arrested For Small Tip Customer Says He Tipped 12 Percent
POSTED: 2:18 pm EDT September 14, 2004

Local prosecutors said they won't charge Humberto Taveras for not leaving a big enough tip at Soprano's Italian and American Grill in Lake George.

The 41-year-old Long Island man was arrested Labor Day weekend when the restaurant owner accused him of not leaving an 18 percent gratuity required for large parties.

Taveras said he wasn't aware of the policy -- and wouldn't have left that much money anyway because he and his friends weren't happy with the service. He said he left about a 12 percent tip on a $71 bill. He added the service was slow and the food was not that good.
But restaurant owner Joe Soprano said all the menus have the notice and the waitress told them, too. Soprano said he did not press charges because of the money. He said Taveras was rude.
The restaurant owners had police catch the Taveras family outside the restaurant in another store along Lake George's tourist strip.
Taveras was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor theft of services. He said restaurants should not be forced to make a person tip. It's supposed to be a thank you for good service.
The Warren County District Attorney's Office said a restaurant patron can't be forced to leave a gratuity. Prosecutors said establishments have to call it a service charge -- not a tip -- in order to make it a mandatory add-on charge.

rollerdonna June 21st, 2005 12:38 PM

Re: Here's Your Check, I'm Calling 911
Only in New York!


BW June 21st, 2005 01:41 PM

Re: Here's Your Check, I'm Calling 911
The synonym for ... '' TIPS '' ... is ... ``Thanks In-appreciation of Prompt Service``

beenie weenie June 21st, 2005 02:12 PM

Re: Here's Your Check, I'm Calling 911
I kind of understand the need for a mandatory gratuity for larger parties (even though it is not uncommon for the house to take a cut of the "mandatory gratuity" for large private parties) so sometimes the people who provide the excellent service are not getting the entire tip you are leaving for them. However if the service is substandard or if there was a problem that was not resolved to your satisfaction, I think that an eating establishment should waive at least a portion of it.
Several years ago our family went to Turkey Run Inn at Turkey Run State Park in Indiana for thanksgiving dinner. There was probably 10 of us in our party. The dinner was a self-serve buffet and basically the wait staff was non-existant, so if you wanted a refill on your drink, then you had to once more serve yourself. Imagine my surprise when the check came and they had added a mandatory gratuity because of the size of our party even though we basically served the entire meal to ourselves. We paid the gratuity since we didn't want to make a big deal out of it in front of the whole family, but the next day I called the restaurant manager and explained my objections and that I didn't understand why we were being charged for service we didn't recieve. All she said was, sorry maam, thats our policy, theres nothing I can do about it. As a result, we will never return there again.
My point in mentioning this is this restaurant will lose a lot more from the way they handled this situation than the gratuity this man didn't pay. They will lose lots and lots of business.

CruiseAholic June 21st, 2005 06:56 PM

Re: Here's Your Check, I'm Calling 911
I agree that arresting someone for not leaving a tip is a little excessive. And isn't tipping supposed to be up to the customer's discretion anyway? I thought the whole point of tipping was to reward someone for good service. If the service was so bad that the customer felt it wasn't worthy of a tip, why should he be forced to leave one? I agree with tipping in general and think people should do so whenever possible, but I don't see why anyone should be forced to tip after receiving horrible or non-existent service. Perhaps there is more to this story than what we've been told.


UConn1 June 21st, 2005 08:23 PM

Re: Here's Your Check, I'm Calling 911
I am aware of the policy at most restaurants of a automatic tip added to the bill for large parties. Here is my view on it. I am a good tipper - if the service is adequate, I will leave 20% - many times more, even up to 50%, if the service was unbelievable. However, if I go to a restaurant that wants to mandate what I have to tip (usually 15-18%), then that is the amount they will get, nothing more. I don't care what the service was like, so for a patron like me, the server is losing money. Just last week we had a birthday celebration at the Samba Room here in Orlando - very nice, relatively expensive restaurant. We had a large party, they added the tip - the server lost about $10 from what I would have tipped had she let me decide what to tip her. Most of my friends and family feel the same way - we understand that part of the cost of eating out is the tip, but to tell me what I should tip you is out of line. It doesn't keep me from going to restaurants that have this policy, but is sure does save me some money.

On the other hand, I have been a few time to restaurants where the server, while making change for me, decided that that extra change that she didn't currently have in her pocket wasn't worth going to someone to make change for and gave me back less than what my expected change should be. Most recently, my change should have been $6.12, but the server assumed that the 12 cents was hers and only brought me back $6. Her tip was 12 cents. That was not her decision to make regarding my money, but if she wanted to think I didn't care, she was mistaken. It is not the 12 cents that upset me, just the princple that it wasn't her decision to make on how I will spend my money, regardless of how much it is.


AR June 21st, 2005 09:13 PM

Re: Here's Your Check, I'm Calling 911
Yeah, well, when the restaurant owner's name is Joe Soprano, I wouldn't be engaging in ad hoc restaurant reviews and getting into arguments. I'd be leaving a 20% tip and getting the hell out.

Cruise Cynic June 22nd, 2005 02:53 AM

Re: Here's Your Check, I'm Calling 911
I checked the date to make sure this was not April first.....

You mean this is for real???

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