Saturday, May 05, 2012
Gratuity Dispute by Colored Folks Spirals Out of Control at Houston Restaurant - Every waitperson knows, BLACKS DON'T TIP!
HOUSTON -- A dispute over an included gratuity for a large party of diners at a West Houston seafood restaurant spiraled out of control with the eatery's employees locking the front door and the police being called, according to TV station NBCDFW.
Where did the incident take place?
The gratuity dispute took place at La Fisherman Seafood, located on Highway 6 in West Houston. The restaurant is a family-owned business by three generations of fishermen, featuring Louisiana seafood dishes created from locally caught fish and shell fish.
What was the problem with the gratuity?
According to one of the diners, Jasmine Marks, the group of diners felt that the service at their meal was sub-par. According to the International Business Times, Marks suggest that the waiters were rude, messed up their food orders and would not refill their drinks.
The diners requested the included gratuity be waived and that the diners be allowed to leave a tip commiserate to what they felt the quality of service was.
How did the restaurant respond?
The diners were informed that the included gratuity was policy for groups of diners over five people and could not be waived. When the group of diners insisted that they would not pay the gratuity, the staff of the restaurant locked the doors, essentially holding the party, and called the police, something that apparently they have done before. The position of the restaurant was that the patrons were refusing to pay the full amount of the bill. The police did not take any direct action and when asked were uncertain about what the law was concerning nonpayment of a required gratuity,
How was the dispute resolved?
Eventually Jasmine Marks and her party paid the 17 percent gratuity in order to end the stand-off, albeit under protest.
Has there been any fallout over the incident?
The Better Business Bureau is investigating the incident. In the meantime, the BBB advises dining patrons to be aware of restaurant policies, including which credit cards are accepted and whether a gratuity is required for a large party, before they dine at an establishment.
The Yelp review page has a number of reviews of La Fisherman that have obviously been inspired by the incident. It is unknown how many of these negative reviews have been posted by people who have actually dined at the restaurant.
La Fisherman has also gotten a number of positive reviews, predating the gratuity incident, particularly for the quality of the food.