Banning Bad Tippers

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endearing about Samurai steakhouses in the Benihana mold. I'd always assumed it was the chefs' talent for flipping itty-bitty shrimp into their toques, or their ability to simultaneously pun and chop onions. But it turns out there's an even better reason to love Japanese steakhouses – their owners stand up for their servers.

While I can't vouch for official policy at all of the many Japanese steakhouses across the country, Kanpai Japanese Steak and Seafood House in Winston-Salem made headlines last week when it banned a bad tipper from ever eating there again.

"We can't keep continuing to serve her anymore because the servers and chefs are not willing to serve her," manager Michael Lam told a local television station.

Monica Covington clearly wasn't leaving bad tips because she was so dissatisfied with her experience at Kanpai. According to reports, she's dined there multiple times, and seems to be intent on remaining a customer. After she was refused service, she collected hundreds of signatures on a petition accusing the restaurant of unfairly standing between her and her teppanyaki.
Like many bad tippers, Covington apparently assumed it was her right to forgo tipping. But she forgot that restaurants also have the right to turn her away.

It's a right that's not exercised too frequently, partly because restaurant owners risk raising the specter of a civil rights violation. (It didn't go unnoticed in Winston-Salem -- a city with a long history of fractured race relations -- that Covington was black.) In my experience as a server, the only guests I've seen ejected from restaurants are those who've publicly engaged in illegal activities. Managers will typically usher out patrons who use drugs, have sex or hit someone in the dining room – all of which happen in even the finest establishments.

But perhaps it's time to shoo away bad tippers with the same vehemence. If restaurant owners can't find money in their budgets to pay servers a decent wage, shouldn't they require guests to pick up the slack? Or at least make the most notorious offenders feel unwelcome? A restaurant isn't a public place like a school, where everyone's guaranteed admission no matter how badly they behave. Kudos to Kanpai for remembering that.
Filed under: Restaurants
Tags: customer service, featured, kanpai, kanpai japanese steak and seafood house, KanpaiJapaneseSteakAndSeafoodHouse, restaurant etiquette, tipping, waitress stories, WaitressStories, winston-salem

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Banning Bad Tippers - What Can I Get You Folks? - Slashfood  [/h6]
This is a article by, Hanna Raskin
 
What do you guys think, have we gone to far ??????????????....Why not have the sign in this Restaurant say......
              
                                                          "welcome, please wait to be seated"
                                                                   TIPPING MANDATORY

      ...................................................................CHEF BILL...........................................
 
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Hey, Bill, why don't you be the first to put up such a sign. Then let us know the name of the new place you're working, cuz your current one will be closed in a week for lack of patrons.

No matter the industry rationale for tipping, the fact remains that to tip or not remains the perogative of the one being served. Are there abuses? You betcha! But more times than not, if a tip isn't left it's because the server didn't deserve one.
 
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Hey, Bill, why don't you be the first to put up such a sign. Then let us know the name of the new place you're working, cuz your current one will be closed in a week for lack of patrons.

No matter the industry rationale for tipping, the fact remains that to tip or not remains the perogative of the one being served. Are there abuses? You betcha! But more times than not, if a tip isn't left it's because the server didn't deserve one.
I agree, how did we get to a point that a discretionary charge, became mandatory ??? would you eat at this restaurant, with its unwritten rule ????????. This Restaurant is telling everyone that if you don't tip, your not welcome. I think its wrong.............Chef Bill
 
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Whether bad tippers are stingy, ignorant or acting on 'principal',  the amount they leave should be up to them.  However, if this restaurant believes in what they are doing, perhaps they ought to raise their prices by 20%,  put it on the menu that gratuities are included,  and simply give the increase to the server.  How smart is that?  Many patrons love a place where tips are automatically included.  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lookaround.gif
 
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I don't think it's all that bad. If she has managed to offend every single one of the cooks why should she be allowed to stay? If the same guy came in twice a week for a month got drunk and abusive paid his bill and left no tip. i betcha at the end of the month I would be out of servers willing to wait on him cause I didn't provide a decent workplace. She is probably the same woman who would order off the kids menu and then expect the free dessert too.
 
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Whether bad tippers are stingy, ignorant or acting on 'principal',  the amount they leave should be up to them.  However, if this restaurant believes in what they are doing, perhaps they ought to raise their prices by 20%,  put it on the menu that gratuities are included,  and simply give the increase to the server.  How smart is that?  Many patrons love a place where tips are automatically included.  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lookaround.gif
Here here
 
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>Many patrons love a place where tips are automatically included. 
<

Wish you could quantify that "many,"  cuz I don't believe it.

Personally, I don't know anybody like that, and wouldn't patronize a restaurant with such a policy. It just promotes mediocre service. Why should a server do a particularly good job if, at the end of the day, the pay will be the same?
 
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I don't think it's all that bad. If she has managed to offend every single one of the cooks why should she be allowed to stay? If the same guy came in twice a week for a month got drunk and abusive paid his bill and left no tip. i betcha at the end of the month I would be out of servers willing to wait on him cause I didn't provide a decent workplace. She is probably the same woman who would order off the kids menu and then expect the free dessert too.
 
How could you compare her to a person that gets drunk, and abusive. The article says nothing about her being rude or unruly. Looks like the employees run this restaurant, maybe if the owner had some nuts, he would have done things differently....................Chef Bill
 
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fair enough,  says nothing about her being a drunk or abusive, it's an unfair comparison. However I suspect that the customer has other issues then just being cheap.
 
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fair enough,  says nothing about her being a drunk or abusive, it's an unfair comparison. However I suspect that the customer has other issues then just being cheap.
 
Hey Gunnar, you would think, I know we have all had some people in our Restaurant that we wished on others. Look at the interview with the manager, no one really has anything bad to say about her, except the tip deal...................Go figure...........Chef Bill
 
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well, of course the manager is just going to say it's about bad tipping. That's managerese for "she's got all sorts of issues, the one we are picking for the public record is bad tipping, that way we can't be sued for libel or slander." /img/vbsmilies/smilies/tongue.gif/img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif
 
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What an awful situation.  The woman comes in and patronizes the restaurant repeatedly and then gets booted for not leaving a tip.  I think it's absurd to ban her from the restaurant.  Things could have been dealt with more properly.  First of all, what did they do?  Pull her aside and tell her they couldn't wait on her again?  I think a more appropriate way of dealing with it would have been for the manager to have a conversation with the woman about the purpose of gratuity.  Furthermore it should have been explained to her that none of the servers wanted to serve her due to her lack of generosity and that service wouldn't be available unless she contributes.  A restaurant should have an open door policy and have given her the chance to leave on her own accord.  "You are welcome at our restaurant any time however we can no longer force our wait staff to serve you when they knowingly know that they cannot make their earnings from your table."

Regarding inclusive gratuity:  I'm not opposed to this, I've seen this work in europe.  Yes there are instances where service is not as high quality as you would like but to be honest I don't see much difference in service here where most waiters/waitresses feel entitled to 15% regardless of service.
 
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Gunner, I say, charge a "Per Person Service Charge" of $2.50 to $3.00 per person, cut and dry. I don't know where this whole thing came up about a % of the bill. Why would it cost more to tip a person, because their meal cost more, was the costlier meal more work, or heavier ?????................Chef Bill
 
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It's incredible to me that you can read all sorts of things into a person's behaviour when all you know is one thing about her.

I can think of all sorts of reasons why she might not think tipping is appropriate in one of those places.

Gunner, let me ask you this. If you attend a concert, do you then go backstage and tip the performers? Do you tip the clowns at the circus? How about the bullriders at the rodeo?

For many people, tapanyaki (sp) is just a show; the food is secondary. And they're not even aware that there are separate servers (who, most often, merely deliver a drink and then disappear).

I'm not saying that's the case here. Just that I'm not so quick to call names when I don't know the circumstances.
 
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Actually yes, I have thrown money on a stage for a performer, several times. Once was a time when people did it as a show of how much they appreciated the performance, where do you think the idea of a tip came from?
As far as reading into anything, people are complex and no news story is going to get the full picture and no restaurant manager is gonna tell the complete truth when it comes to a customer or ex-customers behaviour and why they are no longer welcome.

I actually like KouKouvagia's idea. Come on in, earn yourself a bad reputation and noone will wait on you.


p.s. I am not an artillery man, the name is Gunnar/img/vbsmilies/smilies/peace.gif
 
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I would hate to think that if my mother or grandmother, on a fixed income , and who may not have understood that waiters and waitresses are not paid a living wage but depend on their tips to make up part of their income, were to be asked not to patronize a restraunt because the manager didnt have the were with all to at least go to their table and ask if there was a problem with the service since no tips had been left, and to explain how these staffers are paid.  Shame on them!  They do not know this persons circumstances and there for shouldnt have jumped to assume she was cheap.

And personally although iam not totally opposed to included tips, but  what recourse is there for bad service but to tattle to the manager.  I perfer to make my statements on service with a tip.  If there is a problem with the food that is not the waitstaffs fault I dont figure that into the tip. 

There iam getting off my soapbox now. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif  
 
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>Actually yes, I have thrown money on a stage for a performer, several times....<

Does that include performances which did not include G-strings and a pole?

>Once was a time when people did it as a show of how much they appreciated the performance,<

Once was a time when we bombarded poor performers with rotted fruit and even feces. We don't do that anymore either.

Or are you suggesting that would be an appropriate response to bad service in a restaurant?

The point is, without knowing one way or another, you attribute all sorts of behavioral characterists to a women who is a total stranger to you. And you offer these unfounded opinions as catagorical statements of fact.

Must be nice to be all-knowing.
 
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Lack of tipping properly, is not a good enough excuse, for a server to refuse to serve a customer. I would tell my server, its their job to serve the customer. the only reason, I would see as a good reason, is if there was a personality conflict, or the server wasn't treated well during other visits. Its up to the employees to put the restaurant first, if I owned that restaurant, and a server refused service for lack of a proper tip, the server would be gone. The Manager needs to manage their employees, its not up to the server to dictate, who they will, or will not serve.....................Chef Bill
 
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wow, Sorry to have disturbed you so much. First off, only ever been to a strip club twice, both times they were bachelor parties for someone else.  The times I am referring to are actually Renaissance and Theatre Festivals, "Pass the Hat"  style of performances. not unlike tipping a street musician. I don't seem to recall talking about throwing food , so I'll just ignore that one.

As far as attributing characteristics to someone, I already said I had made an unfair comparison and withdrew the statement, I didn't delete the post for continuity of the conversation. I then did make the following statement of I SUSPECT she has other issues then just being cheap.  I don't see how that makes me all-knowing, just aware that people and situations are more complex then they seem.



KYH, I truly apologize if you have been offended, I have always enjoyed your posts and book reviews and generally regard you as a helpful and knowledgeable person. I just don't agree that the restaurant doesn't have the right to ban someone and accept the fallout that happens with that action. As (usually) the largest male in the restaurant I myself have had to politely eject more then one customer in my duties at the behest of managers and owners alike. It happens, life isn't a black and white newspaper. story.
 
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>I just don't agree that the restaurant doesn't have the right to ban someone and accept the fallout that happens with that action.<

I never claimed, nor even implied, otherwise. A restaurant owner always has the right to serve, or not serve, anybody (except in those rare instances where the law specifies they cannot).

Like you, I suspect there is more to the story. But I don't presume to know what those other factors might be. That's where we differ.
 

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