Monday, November 23, 2009

Tip your waiter or get arrested in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania!

Leslie Pope and John Wagner were hauled away from the Lehigh Pub in handcuffs by the police in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania last week. Their "crime"? Refusing to pay a tip!
If you're frustrated by poor service at a restaurant, think twice before you decide to not tip. You may be in for a bit more than just a dirty look from the waiter.

"Nobody, nobody wants to be forced to pay a tip or be arrested for terrible service," Leslie Pope said when her happy hour ended in handcuffs.

Pope and John Wagner were hauled away by police and charged with theft for not paying the mandatory 18 percent gratuity totaling $16 after eating at the Lehigh Pub in Bethlehem, Pa. with six friends.

Pope claimed that they had to wait nearly an hour for their order and that she had to get napkins and silverware for the table herself.

"At this point I became very annoyed because I had already gone up to the bar myself to have my soda refilled because the waitress never came back," Pope said.

After the $73 bill came, the group paid for food, drinks, and tax but refused to pay the tip. After explaining the bad service to the bartender in charge, Pope claimed he took their money and called police. The couple was handcuffed and placed in the back of a police car.

"I understand that, you know, we didn't pay the gratuity, but it was a gratuity, it wasn't something that was required," said Wagner.

The owner admitted that the group waited unusually long for their food, but said the pub was extremely busy that night. He said managers offered to comp the food, a claim the couple denies ever happened.

Obviously we would have liked for the patron and the establishment to have worked this out without getting the police involved," said Deputy Police Commissioner Stuart Bedics.

Police charged them with theft since the gratuity was part of the actual bill. However, it is doubtful that the charges will hold up in front of a judge. The couple is scheduled to appear in court next month.

Bet that's one place that's gonna lose some patronage!


The Happy Catholic said...

Mandatory tipping sounds like an invitation for waiters to be jackasses

Anonymous said...

first off, The Happy Catholic, 18% gratuity is designed for parties of 8 or more, which i will explain. in this case, their bill was 73 dollars? so, after the math of tipping out (cuz anyone who has serverd before knows the waiter tips out also) so we have 1% to the bar, busser, food runner. so off of that 1 table of 8 guests, the SERVER has to tip out 3 dollars (73 rounded up to 100 and 3% of 100 is 3) so please explain why someone should have to PAY 3 dollars TO WORK. It is a general resturaunt regulation to add 15-18% on all parties 8 or larger. so before you try to be an asshole and stiff someone because you went to a busy resturaunt with 8 of your friends and expected McDonalds speed, next time JUST GO TO MCDONALDS. trust me, the server doesnt want to take care of your needs if your going to bitch. also, this story fails to describe the type of bill it was. obviously it was seperate checks, because 8 people ordering food is more then 73 dollars. (thats assuming that the tip is NOT included because anyone whose smart knows 18% of 57 is not 16 dollars) so at a bill of 57 dollars thats roughly 7 dollars a person?? i dont think so. I am not in any way justifying that automatic gratuity allows your server to be shitty, because thats not the servers fault, thats the boss' fault for hiring a shitty server, I am just defending the servers that work hard and then people come in like "whats my bill at how much does this cost what can i get for free" i know from expierence. I.E someone saying they should get something for free cuz they "spent money" in my resturaunt.

Anonymous said...

I think you might have some valid points but they are near impossible to discern due to lack of punctuation and poor grammar.


Anonymous said...

The Lehigh Pub has a long history of bad service: