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Posted: 9/11/2004 11:14:11 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/15/2004 8:37:44 AM EST by Airwolf]
www.helenair.com/articles/2004/09/11/national/a01091104_06.txt

Leave a good tip - or else

By MARY SPICUZZA - The New York Times - 09/11/04

When stopping in for a meal at Soprano's Italian and American Grill in Lake George, N.Y., leave a good tip.

Or else.

A man from the New York City area was arrested Sunday after his party of nine failed to leave an 18 percent tip, the restaurant's mandatory gratuity for parties of six or more people, which had been added to his bill.

The diner, Humberto A. Taveras, 41, was arrested, fingerprinted and photographed for a mug shot in this resort village an hour's drive north of Albany, N.Y., but he did not produce the $13.73 tip to the $77.43 cost of his meal. He faces a misdemeanor charge of theft of services and, if convicted, could serve up to a year in jail, said Larry J. Cleveland, the Warren County sheriff.

Joe Soprano, who owns the restaurant, said that he and his wife, Tina, had not intended to have Taveras arrested when they filed the complaint. But Soprano was unapologetic on Friday.

''They shorted the check and didn't leave any money at all for the waitress,'' he said. ''This is not a vendetta. This is just about standing up for my waitresses.''
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 11:16:03 PM EST
I wonder what happens if you "hog and jog" or "eat it and beat it" in a resteraunt like that one. do they shoot you or something?
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 11:18:20 PM EST
He should be shot with an ar...or not...
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 11:21:24 PM EST
Theft of service?

Why not just add that amount to every item on the menu, that way there would be no need to tip.

Don't want to get in a war, and this will be my only post in this thread, but...here goes.

Tipping is antiquated and useless. I don't care for the practice.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 11:23:15 PM EST
Sounds like they don't understand the meaning of the word "Gratuity" which is what a tip is. I think Humberto Taveras is going to own a pizza joint in Lake George.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 11:25:47 PM EST

Originally Posted By Airwolf:
Soprano,



SOPRANO!!


Shit! So it's NOT just a TV Show. Fucker must be glad he's still ALIVE.

Link Posted: 9/11/2004 11:25:58 PM EST

Originally Posted By smokycity:
Sounds like they don't understand the meaning of the word "Gratuity" which is what a tip is. I think Humberto Taveras is going to own a pizza joint in Lake George.



Most places mandate a certain percentage on groups of more than 6 people. Usually 15-20% automatically added to your total.

I disagree with that practice as well.

I often wonder how much of the tip money I leave with a credit card goes to the actual waiter or waitress.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 11:26:30 PM EST

Originally Posted By Burley:
Theft of service?

Why not just add that amount to every item on the menu, that way there would be no need to tip.

Don't want to get in a war, and this will be my only post in this thread, but...here goes.

Tipping is antiquated and useless. I don't care for the practice.



So you and Mr. Pink agree on that, eh?
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 11:27:52 PM EST

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:

Originally Posted By Burley:
Theft of service?

Why not just add that amount to every item on the menu, that way there would be no need to tip.

Don't want to get in a war, and this will be my only post in this thread, but...here goes.

Tipping is antiquated and useless. I don't care for the practice.



So you and Mr. Pink agree on that, eh?



OK, so it wasn't my only post...

But yes, Mr Pink and I are of one mind. That bit of dialogue was great.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 11:34:23 PM EST

Originally Posted By Burley:
I often wonder how much of the tip money I leave with a credit card goes to the actual waiter or waitress.



If I have cash I ALWAYS leave the tip on the table when using a CC. I have the same thought about the server getting gyped out of their tip.

Don't get me started on the simple INSANITY of this story. Guy "skips out" on a $13.73 "tip" to a private business that could (worst case) end up costing taxpayers TENS-OF-THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS to prosecute, defend against appeals, and keep this guy in jail FOR A YEAR.

Obviously not likely to go the distance but the very fact that the "system" even allows for something like this to POSSIBLY take place should scare the shit out of every sane American.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 11:38:15 PM EST

Originally Posted By Burley:

Tipping is antiquated and useless. I don't care for the practice.




So you're just gonna' stumble off to the kitchen to find your salad, meal, dessert and in between reload your glass all by yourself?
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 11:39:54 PM EST

Originally Posted By parshooter:

Originally Posted By Burley:

Tipping is antiquated and useless. I don't care for the practice.




So you're just gonna' stumble off to the kitchen to find your salad, meal, dessert and in between reload your glass all by yourself?



Burley, beware.


It could be people just like yourself, that don't tip, that cause things that go on, things like the wing hunt.


Link Posted: 9/11/2004 11:47:22 PM EST

Originally Posted By Burley:

Originally Posted By smokycity:
Sounds like they don't understand the meaning of the word "Gratuity" which is what a tip is. I think Humberto Taveras is going to own a pizza joint in Lake George.



Most places mandate a certain percentage on groups of more than 6 people. Usually 15-20% automatically added to your total.

I disagree with that practice as well.

I often wonder how much of the tip money I leave with a credit card goes to the actual waiter or waitress.



I understand about the 15-20% being added to groups, but it's not mandatory. You could dispute that. A tip is SUPPOSED to be a "Thank You" to the server for their service, especially if they performed well, and took care of the customer(s). Restuarants also hope that the customer won't catch the fact that they added in an additional 15% or better , so that you will leave more. Like someone else also pointed out, what if you wish to leave the tip in cash? It's illegal for them to add the tip to your credit card bill without your authorization. That's why the Tip line is usually left blank. Only in the US is tipping common. Canadian's and European's are notorious for not tipping. Automatically adding the tip removes any incentive for the server to perform well and actually earn the tip. Why should they take care of the customer if they already know what they are going to get no matter what.

I don't mind tipping if the service is good or it's a place I am a regular and they take care of me. BUt to charge the guy with theft of services is over the top. He paid for the food and drinks, thats all the law requires.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 11:55:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By mtechgunman:
I wonder what happens if you "hog and jog" or "eat it and beat it" in a resteraunt like that one. do they shoot you or something?



They got a tall tree and a short rope behind the joint!!
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 11:56:29 PM EST
There is no law saying you have to tip anyone, it is your discretion. I had great service one time so I gave the guy $20 but I have had terrible service so I gave $0. Manatory tips, I would bring it to the supreme court.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 12:18:12 AM EST
As a city cop I would laugh in the owners face if I got that call. He needs to look up the definition of the word "tip". He could always raise his prices and pay them more if he was that concerned for his staff....
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 12:26:03 AM EST
A tip is for snappy courtious service.IMHO if the service is shitty ......no tip.Sounds like more goofy socialism..paying for somthing you may not have gotten.Manditory tips......fine...but that should require the service be fantastic or the meal is free also.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 1:45:07 AM EST

Originally Posted By parshooter:

Originally Posted By Burley:

Tipping is antiquated and useless. I don't care for the practice.




So you're just gonna' stumble off to the kitchen to find your salad, meal, dessert and in between reload your glass all by yourself?




No thats what the bimbo get's paid $3.25 an hour for. Maybe she should get a job that requires skill and pays better.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 1:53:45 AM EST

Originally Posted By 1776:

No thats what the bimbo get's paid $3.25 an hour for. Maybe she should get a job that requires skill and pays better.



Only in American can a former single mother-of-two put her kids through college by working two jobs and making good tips for courteous and quick service. Oh, and then she gets to marry a rocket scientist and they live happily ever-after on his income.

Her lack of 'skills' certainly hasn't inhibited her success, IMO. Your lack of civility would get you an ice-water in the crotch at her former establishment, which you'd only too well deserve.


Should tips be mandatory? Oh hell no. But don't denigrate 'unskilled' wait-staff. I know plenty with CJ or BA degrees who work hard and make plenty, even if not in their 'college' field. Least likely to succeed are the @$$holes who can't be civil, and perceive their social status as 'better'. Holy Thou!
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 1:59:16 AM EST

Originally Posted By smokycity:
Originally Posted By Burley:
Originally Posted By smokycity:
Canadian's and European's are notorious for not tipping.



Here in the UK I tip 10-12% for good service… fuck all if they treat me like crap. The tip is for 'good service' but too many waitresses now regard it as a 'right' just for actually getting the food to the table.

Andy
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 2:01:51 AM EST
funny,I usually tip around 20% on the bill,but the best tip I ever left was after getting bad service.Was going to leave nothing,but then I thought I would leave a huge tip and let the bitch wonder what she would have gotten if she had given good service.as usual my wife thought I was a retard,what else is new.but in my own mind I showed that lying bitch who was bossIt was
St Patty day and I wanted green beer,she said they were out of green beer yet other servers were bringing out green beer for there customers.Yes I am still pissed about not having green beer.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 2:19:46 AM EST
A party of nine only spending $77.43?
At an italian resturant no less? Seems to me the waitress cut them a break.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 2:25:19 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/12/2004 2:30:38 AM EST by DirtyDan]
If the menu states a 15-20% gratuity will be added its not meaning might be, could be, sometimes, only if we feel like it, let me think about it type thing. We all know its to keep the server from getting stiffed and also it helps out sometimes if the bill is being split up within the party to keep some cheap ass from stiffing his own party members which most of us have had happen to us. About service quality if your having poor service ask to speak with the manger by way of asking your server or if your to scared ask one of the other servers and tell that person about the service I’m sure he’ll sort it out or send another person to help. The way the story sounds these people had every intention of going into this place and not tipping even if the service was great or the shits so its going to cost him. This guy has probably gone though life doing this and other things that we all gripe about but never can do anything about it.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 2:40:00 AM EST
www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/1094854273

September 10, 2004 6:10 p.m. EST



LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. - A New York City man accused of leaving an inadequate tip at a restaurant was arrested, fingerprinted and photographed for a mug shot.

Humberto A. Taveras, 41, faces a misdemeanor charge of theft of services after he and his fellow diners argued with Soprano's Italian and American Grill managers over the legality of requiring an 18 percent tip for large parties.

"They chased us down like a bunch of criminals," Taveras said. "It killed our weekend."

Taveras and eight others had pizza at the restaurant Sunday night. He told the Glens Falls Post-Star they weren't completely satisfied with the food and left a tip of under 10 percent. Taveras said they also were not told of a mandatory 18 percent gratuity for parties of six or more and did not see notice of it on their menus.

Restaurant owner Joe Soprano said all the menus have the notice, and the waitress informed the group. He said he did not choose to pursue charges because of the money, but because Taveras' group was obnoxious.

"It's unfortunate it has come to this, but this guy was rude and abrasive. They practically threw food at us," Soprano said.


Taveras plans to fight the charge. He was issued an appearance ticket and was scheduled to appear in town court Thursday.

The arrest raises the issue of whether the gratuities that restaurants automatically tack on for serving large groups are legally enforceable debts.

Warren County Sheriff Larry Cleveland said he did not believe the issue had been litigated before in New York. He said the case could turn on whether the person is notified of the tip requirement beforehand.

"It's not a black-and-white issue," Cleveland said. "It will be very interesting to see where it goes in court."

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I thought a tip was "service" related. Meaning of the wait staff provide good or above average service thaty receive a gratuity, for the service.

In the article it quotes the "tip-skipper" as saying the food was bad...........................
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 2:40:35 AM EST
I have given over 30% Gratuity by mistakes many time when I haven't noticed I am force to pay it already.

Its bullshit.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 3:42:19 AM EST
My family tips when the service is good. If its not good then no tip.

Tips arent expected here.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 3:44:21 AM EST

Originally Posted By olyarms:
I have given over 30% Gratuity by mistakes many time when I haven't noticed I am force to pay it already.

Its bullshit.

I agree 100% in that situation I have been burned before with this tactic asked once at a Mexican food restaurant about this policy and was told that all the servers and others are on a fixed salary and the tips go back to the owner of the place never went back and yes the service sucked, food was good though.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 3:48:21 AM EST
[mafia accent ].. Hey ya know he practically disgraced me in front of my family, that rubberneck is lucky he didn't end up in the freezer with cousin franky" [/mafia accent]



J
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 3:50:09 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/12/2004 3:54:27 AM EST by Brohawk]
If Mr. Soprano would pay his beloved waitresses a decent wage they wouldn't have to depend on tips to survive.

I dated a waitress for a while and she was paid $2.01 an hour. She was a single parent and depended on tips, not her employer, for making ends meet.

Since she opened my eyes to the way servers are paid, I've been fairly generous when tipping. That job definitely isn't worth the salary.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 3:54:39 AM EST
If it said tip or gratuity on the menu then the restaurant is fucked. If it said service charge and it was indicated to the customer, then the customer owes the charge.

and FYI - by definition, a "fee" may also be considered a tip, which is a favor or gift in return for service.

Link Posted: 9/12/2004 3:55:56 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 4:01:57 AM EST
Uh, a tip or gratuity is optional, not mandatory...that's why some restaurants call it a "service charge", which is mandatory to pay...if I were that guy, I might be considering a lawsuit...a big one...
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 4:03:49 AM EST
oh - and for those who don't know, it has been repeated many times in threads just like this -

employees are guaranteed FEDERAL MINIMUM WAGE ($5.15). The $2.13/hr is what they get paid by the employer, plus tips. They whine about only getting $2.13, yet the employer must make up the difference to FMW if they do not clear FMW with tips. In some states, like Kalifornistan, the min wage is higher than FMW. Also, the $2.13/hr wage only applies to time when tipping is potential- they must log their times differently when cleaning, doing inventory, etc.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 4:08:23 AM EST

Originally Posted By mikejohnson:
oh - and for those who don't know, it has been repeated many times in threads just like this -

employees are guaranteed FEDERAL MINIMUM WAGE ($5.15). The $2.13/hr is what they get paid by the employer, plus tips. They whine about only getting $2.13, yet the employer must make up the difference to FMW if they do not clear FMW with tips. In some states, like Kalifornistan, the min wage is higher than FMW. Also, the $2.13/hr wage only applies to time when tipping is potential- they must log their times differently when cleaning, doing inventory, etc.

I worked at a liquor store when I was going to school and the owner didn’t have to pay min wage do to the fact he had under a certain number of employees
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 4:14:53 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/12/2004 4:16:44 AM EST by vito113]

Originally Posted By mikejohnson:
oh - and for those who don't know, it has been repeated many times in threads just like this -

employees are guaranteed FEDERAL MINIMUM WAGE ($5.15). The $2.13/hr is what they get paid by the employer, plus tips. They whine about only getting $2.13, yet the employer must make up the difference to FMW if they do not clear FMW with tips. In some states, like Kalifornistan, the min wage is higher than FMW. Also, the $2.13/hr wage only applies to time when tipping is potential- they must log their times differently when cleaning, doing inventory, etc.



$2.13 + tips! National Minimum wage here in England is $8.10 + Social Security Benefits and will be $8.73 from Oct 1

ANdy
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 4:26:56 AM EST

Originally Posted By mikejohnson:
If it said tip or gratuity on the menu then the restaurant is fucked. If it said service charge and it was indicated to the customer, then the customer owes the charge.

and FYI - by definition, a "fee" may also be considered a tip, which is a favor or gift in return for service.




Agreed, but they have to add the service charge to the bill. If he paid the full amount on the bill, then he did nothing wrong. No different than when I get a oil change, if they only put the parts on the bill, and forget the labor, not my error.

Really bad PR for that business, and for that town IMO.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 4:54:45 AM EST

Originally Posted By mtechgunman:
I wonder what happens if you "hog and jog" or "eat it and beat it" in a resteraunt like that one. do they shoot you or something?


You mean a chew and screw?!?!? LMAO!!! Is this story for real? HOLY F&%@# if it is.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 4:58:48 AM EST
Sounds like somebody didnt read the fine print on the menu.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 4:59:42 AM EST

Originally Posted By Burley:
Theft of service?




aka "defrauding the innkeeper"
aka "dine n' dash"
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 5:11:23 AM EST
Gratuity
A favor or gift, usually in the form of money, given in return for service.
Something voluntarily given in return for a favor or service,
as a recompense or acknowledgment.
a relatively small amount of money given for services rendered
as by a waiter
an award (as for meritorious service) given without claim or obligation.
This restaurant owner is a
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 5:27:10 AM EST
Without fail, I receive crappy service in these "mandatory tip" cases. A local restaurant tags it on for parties of four or more.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 5:34:56 AM EST
Standing up for his waitresses? Why doesn't he try PAYING THEM isntead of forcing his customers to

Avoid that place like the plague, asshats like him do not belong in business.

Wonder how many illegals he has working for him as well?
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 5:35:17 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/12/2004 5:36:44 AM EST by TheCynic]
I noticed recently that the resturants
in Boston changed line on the menu
from:

"A xx% gratuity will be added for parties of 8 or more"

to:

"A xx% service charge will be added for parties of 8 or more"

Kinda hard to argue that you didn't
want to pay the "service charge" in
court...


ETA: Crap, IamtheNRA, beat me to it. I
need to start reading the second page
before posting...
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 5:39:30 AM EST
Personally, I've got NO PROBLEM with this. If you don't like the policy or the prices of a particular restaurant, go somewhere else. It's that simple. This guy CHOSE to eat, and then refused to pay what he had been TOLD UP FRONT was. What an ass!

Many restaurants have a clear stated policy on their menu that a certain amount will be added to the bill for parties larger than six. In other words, the bill itself includes the tip, and it is already determined. If you cannot deal with that, go somewhere else.

To me, by reading the menu (and being told by the waitress) and then CHOOSING to order and eat their food, you have entered into a contract to abide by their policy of adding a certain amount to the bill. I'm sure there are resturants that don't do this - these guys could have CHOSEN to leave and go elsewhere. They did not, and I have zero sympathy. To me, this falls squarely into the category of people that refuse to be responsible for thier own actions.

If you were able to shove their food into your mouth, you should damn well be able to pay them the price that they told you up front !!
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 5:43:39 AM EST

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
Restaurant owner Joe Soprano said all the menus have the notice, and the waitress informed the group. He said he did not choose to pursue charges because of the money, but because Taveras' group was obnoxious.

"It's unfortunate it has come to this, but this guy was rude and abrasive. They practically threw food at us," Soprano said.



Oly hits it right on the head.
This guy was a prick, and got what he deserved.
I disagree with the mandatory tip, but this guy was asking for trouble, and got it.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 5:46:22 AM EST
I normally tip decent, but sometimes I dont, that is fucked up though.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 5:51:46 AM EST
Mandatory gratuities for parties over 6 are standard at most restaurants, and stated so on the menu, so they should have known.

OTOH, if the service sucked, I'd have said so and refused to pay rather than just walking out.

I'm not saying I like the policy (never have), but it IS posted everywhere I go....
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 5:53:35 AM EST
Gee... I'm trying to think of the last time I got a tip for delivering a truckload of freight on-time, safely...


hmm....


lemme see here.... NEVER???

I don't tip if I can help it. NOT FAIR??? Oh well, maybe the waitress should get a job that pays better.

"But there aren't any better jobs round here!"

THEN MOVE, BITCH!!!!!
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 5:54:49 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 6:05:57 AM EST
Heck 18% is too much, for that I will go get my own food and drinks.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 6:15:29 AM EST


A gratuity is optional to the customer. A "mandatory gratuity" is an oxymoron.
A service charge is probably--probably--collectible.

I would like to know how this is resolved, and how much the restaurant and the city settle the case for....

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