This is so absurd and completely outrageous. A young college couple, John Wagner and Leslie Pope, were handcuffed and arrested because they refused to tip an establishment that provided poor service. The 2 were arrested for an 18 percent gratuity = $16.35. This is the Lehigh Pub Restaurant in Bethlehem, PA,
It was an evening out that college students Leslie Pope and John Wagner will long remember.
Not only did they get what they called lousy service, they got handcuffed and arrested.
All over a $16.35 tip.
They were with a half-dozen friends at the Lehigh Pub in Bethlehem last month, so the establishment tacked what it called a mandatory 18 percent gratuity onto the bill of about $73, according to reports.
Pope and Wagner refused to pay.
"You can't give us terrible, terrible service and expect a tip," said Pope, a 22-year-old Moravian College senior who's a Pottsville native, according to the Lehigh Valley Express-Times.
They had to find their own napkins and cutlery while their waitress caught a smoke, had to ask the bar for soda refills, and had to wait over an hour for salad and wings, they told NBC10.
The pub, which was very busy that night, took the $73, but then called the cops, who treated the matter as a theft.
The menu clearly states, "18 percent gratuity added to check of parties of 6 of more," and a similar message is printed on receipts, a pub employee said this morning.
A court date is scheduled for next month.
What would they do if it happened again? a reporter asked.
"Honestly, probably gonna pay the tip anyway," said Pope, prompting Wagner, 24, a Lehigh University grad student, to laugh. Link
Mandatory Gratuity for lousy service?! Pffft!
Despite this practice, why would an establishment mandate such rule when the customers are extremely unhappy with the service? And going beyond their mandate, they call the police for a measy $16.35???!!
I could probably understand this policy (since many restaurants widely utilize it) based on past experiences where patrons "forgetting" to tip or tipping less than 10% with parties of 6 or more. Yes - the waitstaff needs to make a living but tips should be earned and not expected. And calling the police made this situation worst!
This restaurant and staff are going to learn a very HARD lesson.
This is BAD public relations and it has now become national news.
Since patrons were the ones arrested, there will be no future patrons coming to this restaurant!
Already - bad reviews are pouring into this restaurant!
, I haven't counted - but multiple bad reviews have already been written about the Lehigh Pub - all in one day! And it is still growing! Here are more bad Reviews from Metromix
! Angry Comments from Chowhound
People (most importantly, patrons)are banning together online to boycott this restaurant!
The damage has been done!
To the owner and manager of Lehigh Pub, here's a $16 tip - begin filing for Chapter 11. You will go under!