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View Diary: The Pastor and the Waitress: An Ethical Evaluation (39 comments)

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  •  I own a restaurant and that ticket looks like no (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    newinfluence, hwy70scientist

    tip was paid. If a patron crosses out a suggested tip and writes in zero. Zero is what is rung up. the credit card company would decide in the favor of the patron if the restaurant were to charge the tip. You can't force a guest to pay a tip even on parties of six or more. I have had more than one 10% tipping guest refuse to pay it and walk out quite angry. I don't know where this diarist got the idea about 15%. Anything over 10% in these parts is considered above and beyond.

    Tonight a family, a very nice and very Christian family with three or four kids left their waiter $5.00 and a bible tract on a $70.00 ticket. Now my wait staff usually makes very good tips and this was a very "nice family" but they did leave a very large mess and required extra service. I don't think it is right to stiff the wait staff. Fortunately my waitstaff makes decent hourly between their hourly and their tips. This particular waiter defended the pastor to me in a discussion the previous day because he believed that the pastor had left the tip on the table and interpreted the the media reports as being "liberal anti christian." I guess he got a lesson tonight. He struggled to take it nicely because I had come down hard on the Pastor during our discussion as a result he was obligate  to be nice about the nice family but I could see that he resented cleaning up the very large mess they left.

    •  Correct: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hwy70scientist, newinfluence
      If a patron crosses out a suggested tip and writes in zero. Zero is what is rung up. the credit card company would decide in the favor of the patron if the restaurant were to charge the tip.

      I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

      by CFAmick on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 09:37:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's been my experience re: credit cards... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hwy70scientist, terrybuck

      ...and is what I was trying to get at in my comment. The diary is rather adamant in saying that the customer was "automatically charged" and allegedly left $6 cash on top of that. Based on the picture, I don't think that there's any proof that she was "automatically charged" anything. Like you said, if there's a dispute, the customer's signed slip is the total that is authorized to be charged. I think there's some confusion in the public as to the automatic addition for large parties. It isn't necessarily added to your total. Some locales do allow the gratuity to be added to the subtotal, but others only allow it to be printed as a suggestion and require that it remain separate. Regardless, if a customer wants to adjust it, you have to adjust it for them.

      I personally try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but a) based on the server's reaction that b) led the second server to post the slip, and c) the wording on the slip itself, I have a very hard time believing any cash was left. And I also have seen no evidence to support - and have the personal experience that leads me to question -  the diarist's apparent contention that the server still got 18%.

      No, you can't fix stupid. You OUTNUMBER stupid. -Wildthumb, 1/10/2013

      by newinfluence on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 09:45:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The claim that the charge was paid (0+ / 0-)

        comes from an interview with the pastor. I discounted her claim about the $6 cash. My reading of the ticket (I have handled credit card transactions in a number of businesses for years is that the charge was paid.

        Now, it MAY have been contested on the back end, or even refunded by Applebees, but that is a different.

        Note that the server said that whether or not she left a tip was beside the point, she was still insulted by the comment. Again, it was NOT her table, her customer, or her money, therefore it really wasn't her business to take issue with the incident.

        •  Having dealt with credit card charges... (0+ / 0-)

          ...on the management/proprietor side of the equation, I can assure you it's not all that cut and dry. I appreciate you giving the links to back up what you wrote, as that was missing in the original. But to know the real story, it would take knowing the policy of that specific Applebee's and how they calculate and print their receipts. Some restaurants will add the tip to the subtotal, and leave a line for additional tip. Others will not, and then print the group gratuity for customers to manually add to the subtotal, still leaving space for anything additional. (A few will add it into the sub, but then make it hard to determine whether it's already part of the subtotal, which leads to "double tipping".) It's impossible to tell in this case - adding to the confusion is that this is a  divided check - and no line items are visible in the picture. But we do know that the server thought her coworker was stiffed, since that was what she said in the interview, leading me to doubt whether the gratuity was already added in. It's not impossible, it's just far from a certainty.

          If the Pastor is claiming she was charged 18% more ($41.22) than she signed for ($34.93), then it would seem that the charge was entered incorrectly, and that she has a claim. If she was only charged the $34.93 on the slip, then the tip was not included in the subtotal, as she wrote and signed for $34.93. In the interview, she claimed that

          "subsequently she discovered the 18 percent gratuity had been charged to her credit card".
          If that is the case, then her own understanding was that the subtotal didn't include tip. Whichever story we want to give her the benefit of the doubt for, there are inconsistencies in her story.

          No, you can't fix stupid. You OUTNUMBER stupid. -Wildthumb, 1/10/2013

          by newinfluence on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 11:54:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  As the amount has already been added into the bill (0+ / 0-)

      the amount was charged from the way I read the slip, and the pastor in our story claimed that she was charged the 18%.

      A person who wishes to make a stink about it certainly can, and it is up to the manager how far they wish to push the issue.

      There was a spot on the ticket for an "additional" tip, but the 18% was already charged.

      In the end, no one came out looking their best in this incident. My intent with this post was to address people who were making the server into a "hero" when her conduct did not warrant such a label.

      It is easy to make Applebees the bad guy here, but he truth is that people would react differently if they had owned the restaurant and had an employee do this to a customer.

      When I was a restaurant manager I always made a point of explaining to my staff that they were not paid to take abuse from customers. That was MY job. There job was to call me when a customer got nasty.

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