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Is It Acceptable for Restaurant Owners to Take Tips From Servers?

Is It Acceptable For Cafe Owners to Take Tips From Servers?

The owners of a Philadelphia cafe think it's OK to confiscate tips meant for servers, and explained their actions as being for the good of the community. They said they were collecting tips in order to help pay for restaurant renovations that would benefit everyone, including customers and employees. The cafe owners added to their defense that they pay their servers above minimum wage to start, and the server who outed the tip pirates said that wage is $7 per hour.


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14th-amendment 14th-amendment 8 years
Let me phrase that a little more clearly. Only the customers should be determining who is or isn't entitled to his tip. The only way to insure that the customer's tip is going to the person he intended to tip is to prohibit employers from pooling the customer's tip. Once it is pooled, there is no way to distinguish who it was intended for. If business owners don't want customer's deciding who should receive their tip, they should have to put out no tipping signs. Why would a business want to prevent customer's from determining, for themselves, who is entitled to their tip? Do you think it could be because business owners want to claim the tips as their own. Do you think business owners would intentionally prevent their customers from entitling a worker to their tip so the business could steal it for themselves. That's what I believe is happening in America. The question that remains is, why are our judges helping them? Why are judges ruling that employers may require tip pooling? What right does a judge have to rule that the customer's tip can be collected and appropriated without any consent from the customer?
14th-amendment 14th-amendment 8 years
If customer's want their tip shared, they can share them themselves. There is no reason business owners should be appropriating the customer's tip to certain types of workers. A tip is the customer's private property. If business owners don't like the fact that our Constitution protects the liberty of our citizens to tip who ever they like, they should put out no tipping signs. Tips must be recognized as the property of the person to whom it is physically presented. This way we can insure that the customer, and the customer alone, is the only determining who is entitled to his tip. When employers are errantly allowed to pool the customer's tip, the customer loses his right to determine who should legally be entitled to his tip. Subsequently, the courts are unable to accurately determine who is entitled to the customer's tip. Subsequently, employers are able to fraudulently benefit themselves to the customer's tip due to the fact that there is no clarity as to whom the tip actually belongs.
Just-Oh Just-Oh 9 years
Without exception this is a thoroughly unethical practice. Menu prices are meant to cover restaurant overhead, gratuities are intended to compensate wait and bus staff who can earn less than minimum wage in many states.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
I don't even like it when places put tips together and divide it up. I want to pay the person who served me for their services, I don't want to pay the bitch who didn't actually make a tip all day or pay for renovations.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 9 years
I used to be a waitress and I can't even IMAGINE not getting my tips. That was my living money... the "paycheck" I got at the end of two weeks was basically beer money.
EllaDee EllaDee 9 years
Tacky owners.
So-Fab So-Fab 9 years
Servers have to deal with so many buttholes every day they deserve every penny of their tips
Colleeninator Colleeninator 9 years
I wonder if the owners have ever worked as waiters? And regardless of whether the waiters were made aware that they wouldn't be "waiters" and that they wouldn't get to keep their tips (as was implied by the response from the cafe on, the people that are GIVING the tips don't know. They're letting people believe that they're rewarding the waiters for their good service, and the money never goes where they expect it to. I have to say I agree completely with nancita. If that's what you're doing with the money customers are giving you, your customers need to be aware.
Beauty Beauty 9 years
Wow. Not OK!
Berlin Berlin 9 years
Hell it would be better to take places that pay $3.25 an hour and get to keep all your tips!
bluebird bluebird 9 years
Yikes! I'm a server, and I know I wouldn't want to share my tips with the owners of the restaurant I work at, even though it desperately needs repairs. Thank you to everyone who tips their server!
karisaamy karisaamy 9 years
If the owners need more money they need to increase the price of their goods, not take money out of the hands of their employees. Totally unacceptable.
amber_castaldo amber_castaldo 9 years
This is terrible. Tipping is for the service that is being received at that time. If them need extra cash have a tip the renovations box so customers have a choice.
nancita nancita 9 years
McDonald's used to do the same thing: put out tip jars and then keep the money for the management. I think it's one thing if that's your policy and it's stated, but if people think they are tipping the servers and you are taking it, that is low.
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
They should charge more for their food and let their patrons pay for "renovations" the way every other restaurant makes their money. If their food isn't worth it, then they can't afford the renovations. I'm surprised anyone would work there. They live in Phily, and for $7/hr. they could work anywhere.
anniekim anniekim 9 years
The owners actions are completely unacceptable! As I understand it these actions are also illegal under federal law regarding tip pooling. Isn't this the same legal ground as the recent decision against Starbucks/in favor the barristas? Regardless of legality it is reprehensible.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
I love that people think $7.00 is a working wage - obviously these are people who have never lived on $7.00 an hour. I mean living on your on and paying for everything.
shanimalcracker shanimalcracker 9 years
Wow, that is awful. The owners should know there are other ways to get the revenue they need for renovations, even if it consists of having a tip jar devoted solely to the cause.
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
I'm honestly surprised someone said that it was ok. Maybe the owners are sugar readers hahaha. Tips are meant for servers for their hard work. If the owners need more money, they need to raise their prices
SDTransplant SDTransplant 9 years
I agree with everyone that this policy of taking away servers' tips is so wrong. While getting paid $7/hr in some states is above minimum wage, I still don't consider that to be a living wage. Tips are meant for servers and should stay that way!
javsmav javsmav 9 years
wow. that's so wrong. I would immediately stop going to a cafe if I found out they were doing such a thing.
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 9 years
I should start a grassroots campaign in the neighborhood to make sure that nobody tips at ALL when they go there. It would have no effect on the servers, after all. It would only screw the owners.
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 9 years
This cafe is right around the corner from me! It used to be a coffee shop and I'd go in there to grab a cup to go on my way to the dog park. I haven't been there since it reopened and now I never will. As a member of the community they are claiming to serve with this policy, I call bullshit.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
No. What I pay for my food is what gets to go back into the restaurant. I tip my server as an appreciation of her service, and she needs to get to keep that.
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