April 17th, 2014
01:00 PM ET
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GrubHub Inc, the owner of popular online food-delivery services GrubHub and Seamless, agreed to restructure its billing formula Wednesday after a year-long investigation by the New York state attorney general found that the company's restaurant partners were withholding tips from their delivery workers.

The company charged a fee to restaurants based on a percentage of the total food and drink, taxes and tips paid by customers. Once the fee was deducted, the remainder was returned to restaurants, according to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office.

The investigation found the fee created an incentive for restaurants to not fully distribute tips to their delivery workers.

Restaurants could “shortchange workers out of their hard-earned tips - tips that customers intended for them,” Attorney General Schneiderman said.

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Filed under: News • Tipping

The CNN 10 Visionary Women: Saru Jayaraman
March 24th, 2014
09:30 AM ET
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This Women’s History Month, CNN set out to highlight the efforts of 10 women who are helping other women find success, self-esteem and sometimes a safe haven. The women represent diverse fields: technology, fashion design, policy, activism, literature and skilled labor. What they have in common is a mission to empower their fellow woman. See the full list at CNN Living.

Saru Jayaraman wants you to eat with your mind full. The 38-year-old co-founder and co-director of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United and author of “Behind the Kitchen Door” has spent her career fighting for service workers to get a fair wage in a respectful, safe environment. Most of those workers are women.

In an essay for Maria Shriver’s “The Shriver Report,” Jayaraman plainly laid out the facts: “Restaurant servers are three times as likely to live in poverty and use food stamps at double the rate of the rest of the U.S. work force. In a terrible irony, the women who put food on the tables of restaurant-goers everywhere are struggling to put it on their own.”

November 26th, 2013
07:30 PM ET
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Hundreds of people verbally ripped apart a young waitress via social media Tuesday after a news report raised questions about her claim that a family decided not to tip her because she is gay. The restaurant owners now say they are investigating her claim.

Dayna Morales, 22, a former Marine, first complained about the alleged incident on a "Have a Gay Day" Facebook page, posting a photo of a receipt that read, "I'm sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with what your lifestyle and how you live your life."

November 15th, 2013
10:00 PM ET
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A New Jersey waitress who served in the Marine Corps for over two years told CNN Friday she is now getting tips from all over the world after she says a family refused to tip her because she is gay.

"I'm sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with what your lifestyle and how you live your life," a family member wrote on the receipt for $93.55 at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, New Jersey.

"I was offended. I was mad at first, and then I was more so hurt," 22-year-old Dayna Morales told CNN.

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Filed under: Human Rights • Receipts • Restaurant News • Service • Tipping

October 28th, 2013
12:30 PM ET
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"Thank you for your service, it was excellent. That being said, we cannot in good conscience tip you, for your homosexual lifestyle is an affront to GOD."

A Carraba's waiter in Overland Park, Kansas, received the message above on the back of a credit card receipt, and local patrons are stepping up to show support for him in the form of cold, hard cash.

The handwritten note, which contained derogatory terms for gay people, went on express the customer's counsel that the 20-year-old server examine his life choices lest he be deprived of God's mercy.

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Filed under: Restaurants • Service • Tipping

July 26th, 2013
10:30 AM ET
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Mario Batali says 20 percent is a standard tip. Eric Ripert is a fan of the easy math on that, and Anthony Bourdain considers it a "sin" to take kitchen mistakes out on the floor staff's tip.

(Our pal The Bitchy Waiter agrees wholeheartedly.)

The key to good service, Batali says, is to approach the staff with an attitude of: "I'm here to have a good time, and you can help me."

June 25th, 2013
09:30 AM ET
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Gratuities are "not accepted" at New York City's Sushi Yasuda, per Japanese custom, reports CNN's Felicia Taylor. Employees are compensated with higher wages, but that may not be a viable option for other food-based businesses.

How much should you tip for food delivery?
Tipping point – family locked in restaurant for skimping on mandatory gratuity
Visitors to the U.S. – avoid these tipping pitfalls
Give a snarky quip (and no tip) and thy receipt shall end up on the internet

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Filed under: Restaurants • Tipping

June 4th, 2013
10:45 AM ET
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Details.com editor James Oliver Cury tackles controversial food-and-drink-themed etiquette issues every week.

Deliverymen may be the most misunderstood, and least appreciated, of all gratuity-based workers. Sure, there are some bad eggs in the mix, but the vast majority of them work for tips in a completely unregulated, and unstructured, environment—somewhat like café baristas.

Restaurant servers, for example, may not know exactly how much tip they’ll get, but tips generally hover around 15-20% in most of the country. Same thing goes for cabbies. In cities where passengers can use credit cards, there are even gratuity suggestions (15%? 20%? 25%?). But delivery people have no such organized system. They must graciously accept spare change as often as a fiver.

After talking to friends - smart food fans who order out a lot - I found that there’s no consensus about how to tip the delivery person. Below are the 10 key questions we must ask ourselves before forking over cash to the man/boy/woman/snot/angel who finally appears at the door bearing brown bags or boxes - and a bill.

Who should get your Starbucks tip?
May 29th, 2013
05:45 PM ET
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Who should get the tips you leave in that plexiglass box at Starbucks?

That's the question at the center of a dispute in front of New York state's highest court.

Lawyers for baristas, assistant store managers and Starbucks argued in front of the New York Court of Appeals this week to hash out what types of employees are eligible to participate in a tip-pooling arrangement.

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Filed under: Chain • Restaurants • Starbucks • Tipping

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