“Frugal is buying a case of toilet paper when it’s on sale at Costco or Wal-Mart and miserly is flattening the roll in your guest bath so guests only get 3 sheets at a time,” wrote David Levin of Saratoga, Calif.
Responses to “Tipping Point”
A Texas woman and her family were detained at a restaurant and the police called because the diners refused to pay an automatic gratuity of 15 percent that was added to their check because they had a large party. The family complained to management that they had received bad service and felt they shouldn’t be obligated to pay the tip. In the end, they paid the tip.
I asked: “Even if the restaurant has a policy for an automatic gratuity for large parties, should diners be forced to tip if they receive poor service?”
Here are some of your responses:
“TIPS means ‘to insure prompt service,’ wrote Michael Stephenson of Lawrenceville, Ga. “If the service isn’t prompt, then the customer should not be forced to pay a gratuity and should complain to, first, management at the local restaurant, then, second, to management at the district or national level. It’s so easy now to just visit a restaurant’s Web site and contact someone in authority with any complaint possible. If the restaurant is not a national chain, then management at the restaurant should definitely be contacted to make amends for the poor service.”
Sandra Wade of Chapin, S.C., wrote: “The Internet is a powerful tool and any business today is smart to keep their customer happy. It should never get to the point that the police are called over a tip!”
“I started waiting tables at the age of 16, and worked my way through college and graduate school at various restaurants,” wrote Janice Gentile of Lakeland, Fla. “When I go out to eat, I normally start at 20 percent since I know the business. That works against some servers these days. But rarely do I not leave a tip, however, on those few occasions; I leave a message as to why they did not receive a gratuity. I believe that is an acceptable solution to the bad service that you do get on occasions. As for the standard gratuity on parties over a certain number, I think the same standards of service should be held.”
Tia Lewis contributed to this report.
You are welcome to e-mail comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and hometown; your comments may be used in a future column or newsletter unless otherwise requested.