Tipping point – family locked in restaurant for skimping on mandatory gratuity
May 10th, 2012
11:15 AM ET
Share this on:

Our sister site HLN reports that a Houston, Texas family claims they were locked inside La Fisherman restaurant after refusing to pay a 17 percent tip on their meal. The restaurant's policy states that the percentage will be automatically added to the tab for parties of five or more.

Customer Jasmine Marks told Click2Houston.com that the staff was rude, the drinks weren't refilled and her group received generally poor service. Marks asked if she could speak to a manager to have the auto-gratuity stripped from the bill, but claims the staff locked the doors and told her that her options were to pay the 17 percent or speak with the police outside.

According to Marks, the police officer who was summoned was unable to give her a straight answer on the legality of the situation. Her party eventually paid the tip in order to avoid any further difficulty.

Automatic tips, or "autograts" as they're sometimes called, are often used by restaurants to ensure that their staff is fairly compensated for the greater amount of effort it takes to tend to larger parties. The server will sometimes have a larger table as their sole focus for the duration of the meal, and won't be making tips from any other tables. This tip, which is generally clearly stated on a menu, or when making a reservation for a larger group, ensures that a server will be compensated for their time and not miss out on earning money for that shift. Often, the tip is shared with other members of the floor staff, like bussers and bartenders.

Having a stated policy in place - usually 18 percent of the pre-tax amount - can eliminate awkwardness and confusion over tipping etiquette, especially if you're dining with business colleagues or people you don't know especially well. On the flip side, patrons sometimes feel they're being tricked into tipping more (especially if the server hasn't pointed out that the gratuity was already included) or discriminated against if the auto-grat isn't always applied. And servers, while they're ensured a base tip, run the risk of earning a lower tip than they would have if diners had been able to decide on the percentage, themselves.

Our tip: always check the restaurant's policy when you're dining with a large group, and be sure to pore over the bill at the end. Weigh in on the auto-grat in the comments below, and we'll share our favorites from both sides of the table in an upcoming post.

Posted by:
Filed under: Lunchtime Poll • Restaurants • Service • Tipping

soundoff (1,424 Responses)
  1. 招商外包


      小 招商外包 本钱的创业选择:网上医院

      在紧张繁忙的现代社会里,人们的工作压力、生活压力极大,由些带来一系列的心理问题,设置一些网站,开展心理咨询和治疗会在 熟食加盟,舒适加盟店,熟食连锁 很大程度上能满足这一群体的需要。在网上的药店是一幅与之不同的画面,客户见到的只是网页,在上面用户可以选择自己要购药品的名称、数量,如果对药物功能不清楚,还可以给网站上负责的药师进行咨询。

      为方便顾客购买,网络采取1周7天、1天24小时 烘焙加盟,烘焙加盟店,品牌烘焙加盟 的全天候工作方式。网站开辟了购物问答专栏,有24小时的专值电话以及由专人负责的电子信箱回答顾客的问题。难能可贵的是,针对许多人传统的消费方式,

    October 8, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
  2. 欧美美女艺术图片

    欧美人体艺术 欧美超模 美女图片 日韩美女 ,恰意生活,有你; 性感美女 欧美人体艺术 ,恰意生活,有你,欧美人体艺术, 欧美超模 欧美人体艺术;衣柜定制 中技物 美女图片 流

    August 31, 2014 at 11:59 pm |
  3. True Religion italia

    je Vajra.
    Oakley outlet italia La ragione di questo è perché il Regno di legge Thailandia. Thai re dev oakley outlet italia e essere un buddista, così Rama IX di questo devoto buddista. Per i monaci udirono visita extraterritoriale, era molto ecc Oakley occhiali outlet itato. Discutere il buddismo, la contaminazione Buddha. Questo è un must.
    E permette an

    July 11, 2014 at 8:09 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
| Part of

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 9,987 other followers