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BANNED FOR NOT TIPPING

 
 
Sglass
 
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 10:53 am
There's something oddly endearing about Samurai steakhouses in the Benihana mold. I'd always assumed it was the chefs' talent for flipping itty-bitty shrimp into their toques, or their ability to simultaneously pun and chop onions. But it turns out there's an even better reason to love Japanese steakhouses " their owners stand up for their servers.

While I can't vouch for official policy at all of the many Japanese steakhouses across the country, Kanpai Japanese Steak and Seafood House in Winston-Salem made headlines last week when it banned a bad tipper from ever eating there again.

"We can't keep continuing to serve her anymore because the servers and chefs are not willing to serve her," manager Michael Lam told a local television station.

Monica Covington clearly wasn't leaving bad tips because she was so dissatisfied with her experience at Kanpai. According to reports, she's dined there multiple times, and seems to be intent on remaining a customer. After she was refused service, she collected hundreds of signatures on a petition accusing the restaurant of unfairly standing between her and her teppanyaki.

Like many bad tippers, Covington apparently assumed it was her right to forgo tipping. But she forgot that restaurants also have the right to turn her away.

It's a right that's not exercised too frequently, partly because restaurant owners risk raising the specter of a civil rights violation. (It didn't go unnoticed in Winston-Salem -- a city with a long history of fractured race relations -- that Covington was black.) In my experience as a server, the only guests I've seen ejected from restaurants are those who've publicly engaged in illegal activities. Managers will typically usher out patrons who use drugs, have sex or hit someone in the dining room " all of which happen in even the finest establishments.

But perhaps it's time to shoo away bad tippers with the same vehemence. If restaurant owners can't find money in their budgets to pay servers a decent wage, shouldn't they require guests to pick up the slack? Or at least make the most notorious offenders feel unwelcome? A restaurant isn't a public place like a school, where everyone's guaranteed admission no matter how badly they behave. Kudos to Kanpai for remembering that.




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Type: Discussion • Score: 28 • Views: 6,875 • Replies: 95

 
Cycloptichorn
 
  4  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 10:56 am
@Sglass,
I hate tipping and the whole practice of it in restaurants. Servers should just be paid a workable wage, and that's it.

And this is coming from a former long-time waiter.... I can totally understand though that when bad tippers regularly come in, people don't want them. I used to work in a steakhouse in Houston and we had two different customers who did the exact same thing on a regular basis. Eventually a staff revolt forced the manager to serve the table himself.

Cycloptichorn
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 11:04 am
@Sglass,
Sglass wrote:
If restaurant owners can't find money in their budgets to pay servers a decent wage, shouldn't they require guests to pick up the slack?


Whether or not restaurant owners should expect customers to "pick up the slack," the fact is that servers get paid less than other workers because the Congress mandates a special, low minimum wage for restaurant servers. The current minimum wage is $7.25/hour. Servers are required to report their tips, and the Federal minimum wage for servers is $2.13/hour, so long as that amount, combined with tips, amounts to $7.25/hour. These are figures which are easily fudged, either by employers or by the servers themselves.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 11:07 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Sglass wrote:
If restaurant owners can't find money in their budgets to pay servers a decent wage, shouldn't they require guests to pick up the slack?


Whether or not restaurant owners should expect customers to "pick up the slack," the fact is that servers get paid less than other workers because the Congress mandates a special, low minimum wage for restaurant servers. The current minimum wage is $7.25/hour. Servers are required to report their tips, and the Federal minimum wage for servers is $2.13/hour, so long as that amount, combined with tips, amounts to $7.25/hour. These are figures which are easily fudged, either by employers or by the servers themselves.


In CA you have to pay servers minimum wage PLUS tips. You could actually make a nice living working in a nice restaurant here.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 11:15 am
If that was California, they have a higher state minimum wage than the Federal minimum, it applies to all categories of workers, and it is higher still in San Francisco by municipal by-law. This does not necessarily apply in all the states, nor is the situation the same from one restaurant to another. For example, in diner-style restaurants and in "family" restaurants, the tips are usually not as high, both because people are cheapskates and because the bills are not as large as in "white tablecloth" restaurants. Somoa, Guam, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico all have different minimum wages, too, even though all are administered as territories by the Federal government.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 11:17 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

If that was California, they have a higher state minimum wage than the Federal minimum, it applies to all categories of workers, and it is higher still in San Francisco by municipal by-law. This does not necessarily apply in all the states, nor is the situation the same from one restaurant to another. For example, in diner-style restaurants and in "family" restaurants, the tips are usually not as high, both because people are cheapskates and because the bills are not as large as in "white tablecloth" restaurants. Somoa, Guam, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico all have different minimum wages, too, even though all are administered as territories by the Federal government.


I didn't know that, about our territories. Do they all use the Dollar?

Cycloptichorn
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 11:17 am
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:

I hate tipping and the whole practice of it in restaurants. Servers should just be paid a workable wage, and that's it.

I would agree. I was under the impression that tipping was a voluntary thing. Mad

And, as for places now putting a "tipping fee" automatically on your bill, good luck with that.
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 11:22 am
here is a cool map...

http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/america.htm

Kansas has not been blue very long.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 11:24 am
@Cycloptichorn,
Oh yeah . . . and it runs from a low of about $2.50/hour in Samoa to about $7.00/hour in the U.S. Virgin Islands. I have learned these things because i was once a union steward, and later managed small businesses. One has to stay informed, and it's a little less boring reading labor law than it is counting how many feet of RG59 coaxial cable on how many reels you have left in the shop.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 11:43 am
@Reyn,
Reyn wrote:

Cycloptichorn wrote:

I hate tipping and the whole practice of it in restaurants. Servers should just be paid a workable wage, and that's it.

I would agree. I was under the impression that tipping was a voluntary thing. Mad

And, as for places now putting a "tipping fee" automatically on your bill, good luck with that.


Ah yes, the 'auto gratuity for parties of 6 or more.' I actually don't mind that. It saves a lot of time at the end of the meal, and if they want to charge that part of the server's pay on a different line item, that's cool.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 11:44 am
Waiters in Oregon make minimum wage ($8.40) plus tips.

Up until a few years ago they were exempt from being paid minimum wage. When the law changed restaurant prices went up about 20% across the board - at the high end of the tip scale. Since most people still tip it was like a 30-40% increase in the cost of a meal.

Be careful for wishing away the tip structure.
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 11:57 am
hmm.

I look at it like I'm not forced to eat at restaurants, I can stay home and cook my own food.
If you don't want to cook, you can pick up already prepared, nutrious food and eat it in your home, car, at the park, in your office, at a friends, etc.

The choice is mine.

If I choose to forgo buying food and preparing it myself and make the decision to let someone cook for me and serve me, I refuse to be a cheap ass and not tip them adequately.

If I'm invited to a friends house to eat, I show my appreciation by bringing wine, desert, flowers, etc.
I show my appreciation for being served by tipping.

If you are so tight you can bear to part with an extra sawbuck for a $25 meal for yourself or for two, then stay home and spend your evening cutting fabric softener dryer sheets in half to get more use out of them, or squeezing those catsup packages you hoard from fast food places into your 5 year old catsup bottle.
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 12:01 pm
@chai2,
I don't know how others here feel, but the point isn't that I don't want to tip - I don't mind paying the appropriate price for food - I just hate the whole artifice of it. If that's the appropriate price, just add it to do the damn bill and be done with it. The way it's currently set up is asinine.

I suspect that neither you nor I get 'tipped' for doing our job; why should others be put in that position?

Cycloptichorn
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 12:04 pm
@chai2,
chai2 wrote:
. . . or squeezing those catsup packages you hoard from fast food places into your 5 year old catsup bottle.


You make it sound like that's a bad thing. What i hate is pouring the salt from those tiny packets into the salt cellar.
0 Replies
 
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 12:11 pm
As a former waiter and restaurant manager many years ago I can tell you that serial non tippers should always bring a food taster with them Laughing
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 12:40 pm
@chai2,
chai2 wrote:
If you are so tight you can bear to part with an extra sawbuck for a $25 meal for yourself or for two, then stay home and spend your evening cutting fabric softener dryer sheets in half to get more use out of them, or squeezing those catsup packages you hoard from fast food places into your 5 year old catsup bottle.

Word.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 01:01 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
I don't know how others here feel, but the point isn't that I don't want to tip - I don't mind paying the appropriate price for food - I just hate the whole artifice of it. If that's the appropriate price, just add it to do the damn bill and be done with it. The way it's currently set up is asinine.


I agree. I tip very generously (even in nations where by law they add a "service fee" to the price and nobody is expected to tip) and I just hate the tipping rituals sometimes. Especially in some other cultures where tipping becomes an obnoxious ritual.

It's not about the money at all, it's about the gaudy service it generates (like how servers turn on the charm at bill time, touch you, flirt with you etc) and the even gaudier asking for tips it generates in some countries (e.g. waiters seating me and saying "and please remember a good tip" before I even sit down). I have even had a bathroom attendant ask me for a tip while I was still pissing at the urinal (and this was after the waiter asked me for a tip for telling him where the bathroom is).

It makes waiters predatory in some cases, where they'll incessantly try to ramp up your bill to try to get a bigger tip. Last time that happened to me I just handed the waiter money and asked him to stop putting **** on our table that we didn't order. If he wants the damn money that's fine but we could do without the "service" he was providing.
0 Replies
 
Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 01:08 pm
I found that in Germany and Austria tipping is considered an insult.

Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 01:10 pm
The same was once true in Ireland (i don't know if it still is), with the exception of cab drivers, and you gave them a symbolic pittance . . .
0 Replies
 
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 01:45 pm
@Sglass,
From the article wrote:
Or at least make the most notorious offenders feel unwelcome


That, IMO, would be the best way to handle it. Provide really slow service, serve cold food, make NO eye contact lol. I can't believe 'banning' someone from a public restaurant is even legal.

Mr.Irish always leaves what I consider to be generous tips, even on the rare occasion of getting pretty bad service. I asked him about it the last time it happened and he said waiting tables is a crappy job and everyone has an off day once in a while. I probably err towards overtipping a bit to disprove the myth that women, in general, are bad tippers lol.
0 Replies
 
 

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