Students Arrested for Not Paying Tip

College students Leslie Pope and John Wagner and four of their friends went to the Lehigh Pub in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The bill came to $73, which they paid, but they refused to pay the mandatory $16.35 tip, because they said the service was lousy. So they were arrested.
They had to find their own napkins and cutlery while their waitress caught a smoke, had to ask the bar for soda refills, and had to wait over an hour for salad and wings, they told NBC10.

The pub, which was very busy that night, took the $73, but then called the cops, who treated the matter as a theft.

The menu clearly states, "18 percent gratuity added to check of parties of 6 of more," and a similar message is printed on receipts, a pub employee said this morning.

The students will be in court over the matter next month. What do you think? A mandatory tip for groups of six or more is common in the US restaurant industry in order to keep waiters from being stiffed when they can't serve enough other tables to make up for it. However in this case, the policy seems to be a license to give poor service. Link -via reddit

(image credit: Flickr user me and the sysop)

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i live in America,Where you can eat where you like,leave a tip if you want to or not.if you dont like the resturant rules eat some place else. 2 of my kids are food servers and i still believe. you leave a tip only when service is good. if not No tip
it's not up to the manager as many of you believe it to be.
the one paying the bill
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i do not eat where i can not leave a tip of my choice
i 0 out tip and leave it on table or leave before i eat
i will be the one to choose how much and where i eat
i have a son and a daughter that has and will be in tbe bussiness again, i will still pay for service earned THATS AMERICA
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You say "I'm claiming that the entire system is retarded, and I refuse to participate in it." but
that is not true.

Refusing to participate would be avoiding restaurants that have table service because you are expected to tip.

You are participating, but participating very badly. The waiter has agreed to accept a lower wage for waiting on you with the expectation that you will pay for your service, and then you cheat him by not paying for the service. That would be like a student letting you tutor him for an hour and then handing you a $5 bill.
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In response to the "how can it be mandatory" question I've seen here, it's pretty simple:
If the menu says (as I'm assuming it did, because it usually does) that gratuity will be automatically included in the bill for parties of say 8 or more, it becomes a part of your bill not paid at the end of the day when you refuse to pay it. I can understand why people think this is crazy, but I honestly am going to side with what some people (probably servers themselves) are saying here.
And I'm not saying I would give worse service to a bad tipper. I have people come in who have never tipped me. I still put on the fake smile and they would never know my seething anger as I'm politely serving their table because to treat someone badly because they didn't tip me would be tacky. I afford the same courtesy to servers who for one reason or another offer me less-than-stellar service. 15 percent just because I know lots of things can factor into the service I get that I may not be aware of if I am not working there. I give people the benefit of the doubt and/or just try to maintain a standard of class. Even if they are plain terrible.

Oh, the argument that a server's job is easy is a joke. It's not a job you need a degree for, but you're on your feet all day and believe me, people are more often rude to servers than they are kind. It can be both physically exhausting and emotionally demanding, even if it's not rocket science. It's the same way in retail. You take a lot of crap from people for some of the lowest paying jobs.
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Do servers really want to do away with tipping in favor of a living wage? I made tons of money through tips throughout highschool and part of college. I certainly made more money than if I got paid $12 an hour. Did I get stiffed a few times? Sure, but I also got huge tips more often than that as well. I'm guessing it's the mediocre servers that want to do away with tips.
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