Consumer's Revenge Against Restaurant Not Honoring Coupons

Alan writes:

Three co-workers and I went out to lunch. We brought a coupon that said, “Buy one entree, and receive 50% off a second entree of equal or lower price.” Three of us ordered food from the Entree section of the menu, but one of us ordered something from the [cheap] Sandwich section.

When the bill came, they had given us the sandwich for half price. I complained to the waiter, pointing out that the sandwich was not an entree. He did not budge. I asked to speak to the manager. After a while, the waiter returned and said he had spoken to the manager, who also refused to honor the coupon. He said that the 50% was off the
cheapest meal on the menu, whether it was an entree or not.

For the next week, I scrounged up about 10 of the same coupons…

Then I returned to the restaurant with my co-workers. I handed out these coupons to other customers. The restaurant staff became furious. They wanted to kick us out, but we already had our food. They asked me which customers I’d given the coupons to, but I refused to say. I related the sandwich story, and they really didn’t have any recourse.

So I never did get the $3 or whatever they owed me. But I got way more than $3 in entertainment, satisfaction, and the admiration of my co-workers.

After we left, a waiter ran after us in the parking lot to write down our license plate number. Be we never returned.


Great story, Alan. Now, if you wanted to elevate this to the level of “Unscrewed,” what you could have done is called the manager ahead of time and promised to do what you were going to do unless they refunded you the difference you were owed. Say something like you feel like the deal on the sandwich was so amazing that you feel compelled to share it with the other restaurant patrons.


Edit Your Comment

  1. homerjay says:

    Why on earth is he NOT telling us the name of this pathetic establishment?

  2. Benstein says:

    The thing I don’t understand is why the waiter was so mad about it. If I was a waiter, I would be on the customer’s side (or at least pretend to be) to increase my tip.

  3. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:

    Awesome. And probably less legally risky than on “The Office” when they held the pizza delivery guy hostage until the pizzeria honored the coupon.

  4. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:


    When I waited tables, I always hated coupons because so many people tipped on the discounted total, not what it would have been in the absence of a coupon.

  5. missdona says:

    @Consumerist Moderator – ACAMBRAS: That’s so wrong. I love to use coupons, but I always tip on the total before discount.

  6. warf0x0r says:

    @Consumerist Moderator – ACAMBRAS: that was hilarious.

  7. Geekybiker says:

    So they brought the place a whole lot of business that the coupon was designed to attract…. And the place is mad?

  8. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:


    I know — people are SUPPOSED to tip on the pre-discount total (some coupons even include wording to this effect), but all too often, they didn’t. :-(

    But let me stop now, before this thread gets turned into a referendum on tipping in general. ;-)

  9. bohemian says:

    Exactly what was the restaurant going to do with the guy’s license plate number? He didn’t do anything illegal.

  10. DeeJayQueue says:

    @Geekybiker: I don’t think they brought the place any business, they just handed out coupons to patrons who were already there.

    If it were me, and both the waiter AND the manager were being a douche about it, I’d have asked for a split check with the sandwich guy’s stuff on its own. That way they’d have had to honor the coupon on the higher priced entree and sandwich guy can pay for his own food. OR, just not left a tip, but write on the check that the tip was left out to compensate for the difference in price between the discounted sandwich and the entree, plus a convenience fee.

  11. Eilonwynn says:

    @Geekybiker: No, they handed coupons out to people who were *already there* – ie people who would have paid full price anyways, but now wouldn’t be.

  12. chipslave says:

    All that resentment for what $10.

    I would have voted with my checkbook and just not gone back to the place again.

  13. bbbici says:

    Of course you should tip on the full amount pre-discount.

    BTW, if a bartender gives you a ‘free’ drink (other than one just offered to you), it is expected that you tip the bartender close to the drink price. i.e. if you receive a free drink valued at $10, you should give him a $5-10 tip.

  14. Tristan Smith says:

    I think this really depends on weather they honor the coupon when some one just orders 2 sandwiches

  15. DeeJayQueue says:

    @bbbici: where did you come up with that? If someone hands me something I didn’t ask for they’re not getting anything extra for it. Now, if I’m running a cash tab on the bar and he puts a drink down and doesn’t take any money, I leave what was there and put in the extra to account for it. That way it’s paid for when the time comes to settle up.

  16. forever_knight says:

    @Consumerist Moderator – ACAMBRAS: except that the pizzaria never did honor the coupon. michael just realized that he had kidnapped that kid and told dwight to pay him, sans tip.

  17. hypnotik_jello says:

    @bbbici: huh. if the drink is valued at $10 why would you give him $5 (50% tip)?

  18. Amelie says:

    That’s incredibly douchey of the restaurant, since had you had two checks (entree + entree with coupon) and (entree + sandwhich), they couldn’t very well back out of the coupon on a two entree bill.

  19. Amelie says:

    For the love of god, not’s let get into another stupid tipping free-for-all.

  20. ogman says:

    @Benstein: It’s all about winning. The war against the consumer is completely out of hand and companies have now trained their employees to hate the customer and want to win at all costs. If the consumer tries to exercise any control over the way they are treated then they must beat back into submission.

  21. IrisMR says:

    Oh awesome. It would be nice to know the name of the restaurant though. That’s one heck of an important detail!

  22. harumph says:

    @ogman: to be fair though, i have been an employee in restaurants, etc. there are plenty of total douche customers in the world to go around. i cannot tell you how many times i had people complain about total b.s. just to get something free. usually it was people with plenty of money too.

    that said, well done, these people deserved what they got.

  23. Death says:

    Another thing to keep in mind here, although tangental, is that you never want to piss off the people who are about to prepare your food. Besides the obvious voting-with-your-wallet thing, you probably don’t want to eat there again as you’d surely be getting more than you paid for.

  24. anonymouscoworker says:

    In Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich, she makes that point over and over, especially at the end when she’s working at Walmart and describes how she has developed a combative relationship with the customers.

  25. JustRunTheDamnBallBillick. says:

    You know, its possible (Probable) that they include the sandwich as an Entree. On most menus anything that isnt an app or salad is considered an entree. I think the person who asked if they would have given the discount on 2 sandwiches has a good point.

  26. Bladefist says:

    I would have left 0 tip, and went on with my day. Servers also have to tip out to the bussers and the hosts. So not only would he have gotten 0 tip, but at some places, he would have actually lost money due to tip outs. Some places atleast. Other places do it differently so that the server cant lose money. This alone would have made the server think twice next time.

  27. Spencer says:

    I’ve run into this on a few occasions before and the ironic thing is that if the people ordering the food had instead ordered a bunch of “sandwiches” and not “entrees” the restaurant would have likely denied use of the coupon altogher.

    Whatever though, it’s not like there is a lack of dining establishments here in the USofA. Its tough for a restaurant to stay open and a little word of mouth can absolutely kill a place really fast.

  28. oneswellfoop says:

    Honestly, the entree is the main portion of the meal, after the app, before dessert. There can be multiple entree courses, but your main meal is the entree. You didn’t tip the server I’m sure, and you actually cost the server money(because in almost all restaurants the server tips the support staff based on sales, not on tips). As a server or a manager, I would have done the same thing.

  29. KernelM says:

    I don’t even see why it’s an issue whether the sandwich is counted as an entree or not. The discount should be taken based on the second most expensive item.

  30. Wrathos says:

    I’m really surprised the coupon didn’t have a big fat asterisk that stated something akin to:

    * applicable to entrees, salads, sandwiches, tapas, soup bar, bar tabs, restroom tips, bread bowls, and complimentary sliced orange/fortune cookie plate.

  31. Skeptic says:

    I had a problem sort of like this at Cost Plus. They had a buy one and get one free deal (or something like that). I bought a bunch of different kinds of ornaments in matched pairs to get the identical ones free, which is 50% off the pair. Instead, the computer rang up everything and gave me the least expensive ones free. Given the range in prices for the ornaments 2-$10 or so, the different methods of calculating made for very different savings.

    So, I returned everything and had the cashier ring up the each of the matched pairs in 10 different transactions so that I always got the identically priced item for free, not a lesser priced item. I saved a lot more money. They could have done that at the restaurant, demanded two separate checks and used the coupon in the check that didn’t have the sandwich.

    BY BBBICI AT 03:36 PM

    Of course you should tip on the full amount pre-discount.

    BTW, if a bartender gives you a ‘free’ drink (other than one just offered to you), it is expected that you tip the bartender close to the drink price. i.e. if you receive a free drink valued at $10, you should give him a $5-10 tip.

    Depending on the bar and how many drinks are involved, giving free drinks may be a no no and a way for the bartender to unethically swell his tip jar by stealing product from the bar and giving them to customers for extra tip money–tip money that can’t be calculated or estimated for tipouts or taxes based on his register receipts.

  32. erratapage says:

    Usually, these coupons have a big asterisk that says, “Discount taken on least expensive item,” right after the part that says,”good on any item with the exception of appetizers, side orders and desserts.” Without a copy of the coupon, I can’t tell whether the consumer has a valid complaint, but I do appreciate the method of resolution.

    A little guerilla consumerism probably made the company think twice about the way their ad was listed.

  33. nick_r says:

    @Consumerist Moderator – ACAMBRAS: I use coupons or discounts as an excuse to tip MORE than normal, since I’m already saving money.

  34. smitty1123 says:

    @ogman: Well, when I worked retail I found that about 1/3 of the customers I encountered were uninformed idiots. Case in point, I worked at a bookstore/movie rental store and I would routinely get requests like this: “do you have that new book by… oh, what’s his name… I think the cover is blue… I think it’s on the bestseller list”. Gaaaa. I get aggravated just thinking about it. In fairness to the company, we were trained to do whatever we could for the customer (they routinely told us that a shopper would tell three people about a good experience, but fifteen about a bad experience). Despite that, most of my coworkers really didn’t like the customers because of those few times that we had to help a stupid, self-involved jerk.

    Now granted, there are jerks on both sides, but those few super jerks tend to ruin thinks for everyone (much like everything).

  35. drjayphd says:

    @zouxou: Ah, tipping and getting out of speeding tickets, those two topics you discuss at your own risk here.

  36. skrom says:

    @Consumerist Moderator – ACAMBRAS:

    Sorry but I only tip on the service received. If I get the same service whether I order a hotdog and fries, or a lobster and filet mignon why should I tip more just because I ordered more expensive food. Its BS. You get a straight $5 tip regardless of what I order if I get good service

  37. Smackdown says:

    @skrom: and in return, you get a lifetime of bad karma and “sneezers” on your return visits. The system might suck, but your one-man protest doesn’t change anything, it just makes you come off like a cheap jerk.

  38. jamesdenver says:


    Please tell me you’re being sarcastic.

  39. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:


    Just makes me super-glad I don’t wait tables anymore. I don’t have the patience for people who would tip $5 on a four-course meal.

  40. MaliBoo Radley says:


    I sorta agree. This is how some folks that wait on me have gotten $5 tips on a $10 check. If the service stinks, no tip.

    Generally speaking though, I get decent service most places I go. It’s rare that service is bad enough for little or no tip.

  41. skrom says:


    Not sarcastic at all, its BS that someone does the same job and gets different pay depending on what is ordered. Why in the hell are restaurants the only business exempt from labor laws. Why dont they make a law that that eliminates tips and forces restaurants and bars to pay their employees a livable wage like every other business in the country. They should put on the menus what the food costs and pay their employees $10.00 an hour like any other business

  42. BensAngel says:

    “Mandatory” tipping is a stupid, unbalanced, anti-consumer practice that should be abolished forthwith. Restaurants etc should charge, on the menu, the cost of preparing your food/drink and serving it to you and then pay their staff accordingly. If I receive exemplary service then I should be able to choose to “tip” the wait staff as a sign of my appreciation.

  43. balthisar says:

    @Smackdown: I’m remembered by servers because (1) I frequent a couple of places quite a bit, and (2) because I am a good tipper. But… that’s the exception. There’s no way in hell that a bad tipper is always going to be remembered for that “next time.” And that assumes that that “next time” the customer gets the same waitperson.

    Also, unless it’s a mom and pop place, kitchen staff don’t even see waitstaff aside from the occasional cigarette in the break room. Computerized ordering systems make the “spit on this one for me” kind of obsolete. There is still an avenue if either the waitperson decides to risk doing it while being visible, or have the server (busy places have dedicated servers) do it for him or her.

    I’m not saying be a bad tipper (I’m not), just that the physical consequences aren’t generally all that risky. Your eternal soul is the only thing at risk.

  44. Trick says:

    A coupon is a coupon. If you get $10 or 10% off your meal and it is applied before tax, you then pay the tip on that.

    Just because you are a waiter/waitress doesn’t mean you are entitled to more than 15% to 20% of the total bill.

  45. Trick says:


    “Mandatory” tipping is a stupid, unbalanced, anti-consumer practice that should be abolished forthwith. Restaurants etc should charge, on the menu, the cost of preparing your food/drink and serving it to you and then pay their staff accordingly. If I receive exemplary service then I should be able to choose to “tip” the wait staff as a sign of my appreciation.

    We recently had nine people for dinner and with anything above eight, they added 15% automatically.

    OK fine.

    If the service is good, I’ll do far more than that.

    What a shame they thought 15% $131 was enough for their work. It cost them about $30 bucks…

  46. Spencer says:

    If I get bad food or bad service I tip poorly if at all. I realize that in the case of the food being bad, its not really his/her fault, but thats the place he/she chose to work, so that must be the level of tipping he/she is willing to accept.

    As a former bartender/server I find the whole concept of tipping hilarious, especially as a bartender. I barely did any work at all (make drink) and I’d get about 20% tips on average. Sometimes much more.

    As a server you get less for more work, but as anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant/bar knows, a server is lower on the food chain than a bartender.

    I wish the USofA would go to the European model. No tipping and service personnel is paid a wage commensurate to the level restaurant (who would be willing to pay more or less depending on expertise/experience/expectations).

    Oh also, almost all servers/bartenders have a problem saving money. It’s from constantly getting paid with large amounts of cash and getting a useless check on paydays.

  47. Spencer says:

    @Trick: That “mandatory” tipping is not so mandatory. All you have to do is take it up with the manager and say you refuse to pay out on it. It’s a dick move, but since you’re not stealing anything, the manager has no recourse and has to rescind the charge.

  48. Skeptic says:

    BY R4YGUN AT 07:33 PM

    @Trick: That “mandatory” tipping is not so mandatory. All you have to do is take it up with the manager and say you refuse to pay out on it. It’s a dick move, but since you’re not stealing anything, the manager has no recourse and has to rescind the charge.

    If the menu says “18% Service charge added to all parties of 6 or more” and you are a party of 6 or more you have no recourse except to go somewhere else. The fee is stated up front, just like the menu prices.

    While I might not agree with the service charge for large parties at least most restaurants call it that rather than a gratuity, which it isn’t unless it is strictly voluntary.

  49. Teapotfox says:

    I’m still not understanding why this was such a big deal in the first place, when, as others have said, the party could have simply split the check and gotten exactly what they wanted, coupon-wise. There would be no reason for the server to refuse and then the terms of the coupon would not have been in dispute.

    If Alan had devoted as much thought to that at the time as he clearly did to his elaborate coupon revenge scheme, he might’ve realised, I guess.

    That said, I also don’t understand the purpose of the waiter pursuing him into the parking lot…

  50. BeFrugalNotCheap says:

    I’m still wondering what in the HELL the waiter thought they would gain by copying down the license plate of the OP? That’s actually kinda spooky…Hope the waiter was’nt some sort of “Mr. Ripley”-type character who took this whole episode personally. Guess they wanted to feel empowered. *shrugs*

    Oh, and about tipping? I had one friend who REFUSED to leave a tip, justifying it by saying the waitress is’nt doing anything special…just bringing him his food. It’s one of the few times in my life where I wanted to punch someone in the face. Let’s just say we don’t hang out any longer.

  51. vitonfluorcarbon says:

    It’s been many moons since I waited tables. A really stressful job – having to deal with crappy hosts/hostesses, cooks and dishwashers making minimum wage, so no real motivation for excellence from most of the staff.

    However, when the customer had a gripe, it was my job to be on their side. Any form of disagreement I did what was in my power, but if that wasn’t enough that was when I always got the manager involved. Let the manager be the bad guy. I sure as hell wasn’t going to be the bad guy since my tip rode on my service.

    Some customers really tipped on service, regardless of the price of the meal. But most tipped crummy because they were cheap (servers make about 1/3 of minimum wage (15 years ago it was $1.35/hr,) and need the rest in tips to get above minimum wage) and others tipped purely based on the cost of the ticket, but were giving usually at least 10%. 15 years ago when I did this, I had to report a minimum of 8% of my total sales as “tip income.” I did a good job, and 99% of the time easily made that quota.

    If you sense that your server is doing whatever they can for you, please err on the side of generosity. All too often, they have to apologize to you for things out of their control (a cook with an attitude, etc.) and still make your stay pleasureable. Granted, I’ve had plenty of servers who are just fricking lazy – the still will get a tip, but you can guarantee that they will be lucky to get that 8%…..

    I probably would have volunteered to ring the meal up differently to get the extra $1-2 in savings for the cheap-ass customer BEFORE I even brought the tickets out and never had the manager involved. I never wanted to rip a customer and hated having to do all the “suggestive selling” that I was forced into…

    That being said, this person seems to be a little too anal about this being an issue worth elevating to this level. The waiter pursuing them in the parking lot? Seems pretty far fetched to me.

  52. gniterobot says:

    @Consumerist Moderator – ACAMBRAS: I truly hope you are not a moderator.

    Tips ought to be based on the service offered, not the quality of food.

    If I go out to a place where a 4 course dinner is offered and the service is attentive I tip accordingly, not based on the price. If I get a quick bite and get out then I tip accordingly.

    The amount of work and quality dictate the tip, not the price of the food. I wish there was a standard for that so we could tip what is appropriate and not what is expected.

  53. magus_melchior says:

    @BeFrugalNotCheap: They may have tried to press charges (like fraud), but I’m sure the police told them to go pound sand.

  54. Ass_Cobra says:

    I’ve never understood how people could be so allergic to the concept of tipping. If you would like to go somewhere and have your meal served to you, expect to add 20% to the stated price. Think of it as a shipping and handling charge. Similar to the poster above I refuse to go to dinner with people that don’t think tipping is something one should do. If it happens, I’ll pick up the other party’s portion of the tip to avoid being thought of as a cheapskate but that’s it, they’re on the do not dine with list.

    As for people that simply don’t leave a tip, quit being such cowards. If the service was so truly horrible that you feel justified in leaving no tip, you should at least have the courtesy to speak to your server about it and explain why. If the server doesn’t seem to get it, do future patrons a favor and speak with the manager about your experience. If your only feedback is no tip you are at best thought of as forgetful and at worst a cheap asshole. No one gets that you are a dissatisfied customer.

  55. mammalpants says:

    “Hello, police? There’s a mad woman in the parking lot and she’s handing out great savings on entrees!”

  56. endless says:

    seems like a lot of tools here that don’t like tip.

    unless you eat out a friggin ton how much money does it cost you in the long run to be a bit generous with a tip for good service?

  57. harblz says:

    I am an American living in New Zealand where the culture is toward not tipping (or using coupons, for that matter) and wait staff are paid nearly a livable wage – something like NZ$12/hour. Result? A total change in restaurant style. 99 out of 100 restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, bistros, delis, ‘takeaway’ shops and pubs here are near-McDonald’s style or exactly McD’s style, with or without a few plastic lawn chairs. You enter, waddle up to the counter, stare at the menu (usually overhead, giving staff a lovely view up your nose), order at the register, pay, get a number, have a seat if you’re at such a fancy place, then wait. You will probably see wait staff only when they bring your food. You have to pretty much tackle them to catch their attention after that. What do they care? You’ve already paid. Another result is fewer staff – no busboys, no hostesses. I don’t like the style much but to go to a ‘real’ restaurant means paying much, much more.

    Ah well, I need to stop eating out so much anyway.

  58. deserthiker says:

    I can’t believe that some knuckleheads think that tipping should be based on the service and not the price of the bill. This “logic” might apply if the service started and ended with delivering food to your table. But in a fine restaurant a professional waiter does more than just slop the hogs. He has to be knowledgeable about all the foods involved, their preparation, the chef’s history and more. If you’ve ever had a bad waiter at a good restaurant (which is unlikely because they don’t last long) you know the value of a good waiter.
    Those who fail to understand the value of professional service should stick to fast food and frozen dinners.

  59. BeFrugalNotCheap says:

    That reminds me of a story my dad told me. Back in the late 60’s he used to hang out with a biker gang in michigan. They stopped into a road side diner and because there where about a dozen guys they took up three tables. The one waitress that waited on them was nice and seemed a bit miffed at their appearance and somewhat rowdy behaviour. My dad insists they did’nt do anything like throw food at the bussers or the like. Just laughed alot and were all around boisterous. Yet the waitress was reserved and polite and tended to their needs like refreshing coffee, etc. On the way out they left $100 tip for the waitress and while they all mounted their bikes and proceeded to drive from the parking lot the waitress came running out of the front door, jumping up and down and waving at them with a huge smile. Moral of the story: I’m not sure exactly. There’s too many. I just liked hearing about his exploits back then.

  60. BigNutty says:

    Classic. If everybody followed this type of strategy we could scare every business to do right or else.

  61. j-yo says:

    It sounds like the restaurant provided bad customer service in not honoring the discount on the least expensive entree. However, if you’re going to follow up by going back and handing out coupons to all the customers, may I suggest that you have too much time on your hands and should get another stress-relieving hobby?

  62. Blackcloud75 says:

    What about tipping? We haven’t talked about that aspect of the- hmmm? What did you say? We have? Oh. Ok. I’m ready to talk about tipping!

  63. clementine says:

    Since this has turned into a tipping etiquette post, does anyone here tip at Luby’s now that they have ‘wait staff’?

    This is a serve yourself cafeteria where you pick out your food and take it to your table. A waitress will come over and offer you a straw and then asks for a tip when you leave. You have gotten your own order yourself, taken it to the table you have picked out, and you get your own drink refills. Now why in the world do I have to tip? I do not need or use a straw. I would give a tip to the line servers because they actually do more work for me personally that the so called waitresses but they do not allow that.

  64. @gniterobot: I think “Consumerist Moderator” being in the name kind of gives it away.

    @j-yo: Aw, it probably didn’t take that long to do. Besides, what other hobby is going to provide that level of entertainment? Not to mention the joy of giving to others.

  65. bbbici says:


    No, no. Not if the bartender just hands you something without you asking. If you order a drink and the bartender waives payment.


    If I get a free drink worth $10 I’ll tip $5 if I have a $5 bill. I’m not giving a $20 bill for instance. Depends what bills you have. $10 is ideal.


    Exactly, giving free drinks to increase tips technically ‘steals’ from the bar. However, long-lasting bars use free drinks as a marketing expense to reward influential or high-spending repeat customers, who are critical for ongoing business.

  66. nequam says:

    I have a friend who found a cockroach in his meal and was unhappy with what the restaurant (a local place in Boston near Fenway Park) did (or did not do) to make up for it. He printed up legitimate-looking coupons and handed them out before a game to fans as they came out of the nearby subway station. The coupons said: “Good for one free cockroach with every appetizer!”

  67. royal72 says:

    that’s a fun little story and got everyone fired up to toss in their two cents (me included), however…
    (a) why post the article if you don’t tell us the restaurant.
    (b) the restaurant should be asked and/or be able to comment in return.
    (c) i can’t believe the story is true unless given proof that can be checked.
    (d) without (a) through (c) this is not journalism, it’s “reality news”.

  68. gingerCE says:

    Okay, I’m not sure about this. I can see how a sandwich is an entree–even if the sandwich was ala carte (and I’m not sure it was in this case). I think the customer was in the wrong. However, I don’t think the customer was wrong to hand out coupons. If I was in the restaurant and someone handed me an unexpected coupon I would’ve said thank you.

  69. Trick says:


    If the menu says “18% Service charge added to all parties of 6 or more” and you are a party of 6 or more you have no recourse except to go somewhere else. The fee is stated up front, just like the menu prices.

    The menu probably did state the if there were 8 or more people. I didn’t look or care. I would have tipped no matter what.

    But since the restaurant decided to state they only wanted $131 I felt there was no reason to give more. If they would have not told me what to pay, I would have left over $160.

    The point being is that, the restaurant should have let me decide what I wanted to pay… the server would have been better off.

  70. pauljunk says:

    If something like this happens again just tell the waiter that it’s coming out of his tip. That should fix things.

  71. BensAngel says:

    @RowdyRoddyPiper: Your paradigm is precluding objectivity. Tipping in not an international phenomenon and the world still spins in places where tipping is not prevalent. You need to accept that there are other more equitable models that actually work better than “mandatory” tipping (i.e. tipping so somebody else can earn a fair wage).

    I go to a restaurant to be served a meal, the prices on the menu should include service unless I can choose to serve myself. Let’s see a resturant say okay to me when I walk in and say, “I’ll have the experience at the menu price please, I don’t intend to tip and would like to serve myself”.

    @endless: You are the tool I’m afraid. Spend some time overseas and you’ll understand tipping is a stupid system that is particularly unfair to service staff, there are no controls in place to ensure they get a fair deal and service quality is a subjective thing – I for sure don’t want my income based on this level of subjectivity. Pay the staff properly, include the service costs on the menu and encourage tipping for service over and above the call of duty. Everybody wins.

    @harblz: Doesn’t sound like NZ is the place for you, please go home. If you can’t find a restaurant in NZ unlike the ones you describe you’re too stupid to stay, we don’t want you here.

  72. Vegconsumer says:

    It’s obvious half the people complaining about tipping haven’t BEEN servers. The mandatory grat. (usually for 6 or more) is so you don’t get completely screwed by people who aren’t decent enough to tip 18-20% but can spend $50 on drinks.

    I hate to be rude, but if you can’t afford dinner + $18-20% tip, then you cannot afford to eat out. In most places, servers are paid below minimum wage. It’s not some awesome gift you are giving by tipping, it’s making the person’s hourly go up to minimum wage or more.

    I have a different job now, but unless you have been a server, you don’t know how hard it can be. People can be absolute jerks and you are at their mercy.

    I wasn’t there, so I can’t say if the server was rude in this instance. But if the manager won’t allow a server to do a discount, then that is out of the server’s hands. I do like the original fight back method, though, of giving coupons out!

    (Just remember, tip is calculated with tax and before discounts. Servers have to tip out with tax, so tippers shouldn’t skimp on this)