According to this article in the Philadelphia Enquirer, two college students in Pennsylvania were arrested after they refused to pay a restaurant mandated $16+ tip on a $73 bill.
They were with a half-dozen friends at the Lehigh Pub in Bethlehem last month, so the establishment tacked what it called a mandatory 18 percent gratuity onto the bill of about $73, according to reports.
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.
After refusing to pay the additional gratuity, the restaurant called the police who then arrested the two for theft. When asked if they would do it all again in the future, one of those involved said that they’d pay the tip next time.
I personally would *never* pay an 18% gratuity if it wasn’t deserved–mandatory or not and would be more than happy to call the police for not getting what I was paying to receive. But in the end I’m sure that a lot is missing from the story (from both sides) but it would seem to me that three things are at play here:
1. The waitstaff knew they’d get 18% regardless of how they performed.
2. Those that were arrested aren’t telling the whole truth.
3. Both the restaurant and police overreacted.
So what do you think about this one? Is it right for a restaurant to tack on an 18% gratuity and then call the cops when it’s not paid? Do you believe the stories on both sides? Were the cops a little ridiculous in their arresting the pair? Whatever you think about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear what you think.