Hawaiian Restaurant Adds Surcharge For Customers Who Don't Speak English

Fed up with being stiffed on tips by foreigners, a restaurant in Hawaii has added on a mandatory 15% gratuity for customers who don’t speak English.

From the AP:

The Waikiki restaurant told KITV that its customer base includes many international travelers who, by custom, do not tip. The restaurant says it’s merely trying to help its customers and wait staff.

About 17 percent of the nearly 7 million tourists who visited Hawaii last year were from Japan, where people do not leave tips in restaurants.

Complaints about non-tipping tourists are nothing new. Last year, some of NYC’s boutique hotels that cater to overseas customers decided to add a mandatory gratuity to drinks at the bar in order to combat the “I’m from Europe and we don’t tip over there” syndrome.

However, the Hawaiian restaurant’s decision to add the surcharge to only non-English-speaking customers’ bills is problematic, at least from a logistical point of view. Many tourists know at least a few words of English and a good deal of them are conversant. At what point does someone qualify for the surcharge?

And of course this does nothing to stop cheap travelers from English-speaking countries like the UK, Australia, Ireland… or the U.S.

Hawaii Rights Commission to Review Mandatory Tips for Foreign-Language Diner

Thanks to George for the tip!