For better or for worse, teenagers have earned a reputation among the food service industry for not tipping.
One New Jersey diner is doing something about it, but it’s also taking heat from parents upset about their kids being charged an extra 18 percent gratuity on top of their dining bill.
Wayne Hills Diner, a popular after-school hangout on Hamburg Turnpike in Wayne, New Jersey, according to their menu “reserves the right to add 18% gratuity,” but it’s the people to whom the gratuity is being added that’s getting them in hot water.
“My daughter looked down at her bill and realized that there is a charge for a tip, an 18-percent charge per child,” parent Melissa Desch told WABC.
Others at Schulyer-Colfax Middle School have been treated similarly, as several student receipts show.
“Then on the bottom, it says something about please leave a gratuity and they’ve already charged them a gratuity,” said Desch. “I was angry because I had been there the week before and I had been there with a group of five, some kids and some children, and I was not charged this gratuity.”
Could this be a form of age discrimination? Before talking to media, Desch took it up with the owner.
“He said that’s policy because the kids run out and he feels that they don’t tip well, and they don’t know how to tip was the explanation,” said Desch. “I said I could understand that, but again, they’re not being given the option, they’re being forced to pay them.”
If Wayne Hills Diner thinks it can make up the tipping shortfall by forcing it onto the bill, they might want to consider the fact that Desch and other parents, among others, are boycotting the diner.
“There are enough parents that are willing to not let their kids go back there, and if it’s the same group she’s (her daughter) always hanging out with it could be 20-30 kids. I’m never going to go back, not after this.”
What do you think? Should restaurant establishments be able to charge a “teenage tax” until kids grow up enough to understand the value of tipping?
Which will come, soon enough, especially when they gain the life experience of working in a restaurant themselves.
Watch ABC7’s coverage below:
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Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.
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