Out for dinner with friends and family, Jasmine Marks, claims that the service at La Fisherman, in Houston, was not up to snuff to get the mandatory 17% gratuity in the bill.
Marks said she was trying to enjoy dinner recently with several friends but she said the service was not up to par; the wait staff was rude, their drinks didn’t get refilled and they didn’t receive their entire order.
When the bill came, Marks said there was a problem. The restaurant added an automatic 17% gratuity because their party had more than 5 people in it, but Marks didn’t feel like the staff earned the full tip so she asked to speak to a manager.
“We asked her, could the gratuity be removed? Could we give our own tip? She said it was part of their policy and there was nothing she could do about,” Marks said. “If you’re not satisfied with the service, you shouldn’t have to pay gratuity.”
The gratuity policy was clearly marked on the restaurant’s menus. But Marks said when they questioned it the workers wouldn’t let her or her friends leave; she claims they locked the door and called the police.
“She was like, ‘You have an unsettled bill and ya’ll can’t leave until you pay it,’” Marks said. “We paid our bill for what we ate, we paid the bill.”
Marks said it was only the 17 percent tip they were questioning.
“She said, ‘That’s fine. If you don’t want to pay the gratuity we have HPD outside,’” Marks said. “I asked the police officer twice, maybe three times, is it against the law if we don’t pay the gratuity and he never gave me a straight answer.”
Houston’s Better Business Bureau is now looking into the complaint.
In the end, the family ended up paying the 17 percent gratuity because they wanted to avoid any further problems.