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Tiffany's Restaurant of Toms River Complaint - Mandatory Gratuity - Poor Food Poor Service And Gratuity Policy

Review by Hag on 2009-05-11
TOMS RIVER, NEW JERSEY -- Watch out for the deceptive practices at the Tiffany's of Toms River, NJ. With a party of 7, our table was on the receiving end of bad service, poor food quality and a mandatory 18% gratuity policy that was not made verbally aware to anyone in our party prior to being seating. The service DID NOT warrant an 18% gratuity for a party of only 7 (one being a child). The salads arrived without dressing, hot plates of food were handed over a seated child, portions were marginal and the server was unresponsive and did not earn 18%.

Plenty of people are going to find out about this deceptive practice and hopefully know better than to dine at Tiffany's of Toms River.
Comments:20 Replies - Latest reply on 2009-11-29
Posted by dan gordon on 2009-05-11:
its an extremely common practice at almost ALL restaruants. Policy is usually written on the menu. I'm sure if it were terrible they'd allow you to adjust the tip.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-11:
Dan is right. That's a common practice. Although if automatically applied to the bill I don't call it a 'gratuity'. I call it what it is -- 'A large party surcharge'. I do not care at all for this practice. Eh, what can ya do?
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-11:
In some cases, I gotta defend the practice. There are a lot of people who go out to eat with large parties that require a lot of individualized service and then have the ballz to leave only a couple of dollars on the table for the server. If you believe the surcharge (gratuity) was unearned, mention it to the owner/manager on the way out. You won't get your money back, but they'll know you didn't get your money's worth in service!
Posted by BokiBean on 2009-05-11:
If I don't get good service, I have no problems letting the brass know...in this case, you should tell the management you were unhappy because you were stuck leaving a tip whether you wanted to or not.
Posted by old fart on 2009-05-11:
I used to live in Toms River... where is it located...?
Posted by Ponie on 2009-05-11:
I'm in agreement with Boki. I'm not too shy to flap my gums to management when I'm forced to pay whatever is tacked onto my bill when service is poor. I think Crabman is on to something. Isn't a gratuity something you do with graciousness? If I'm forced to do it--what the hey is gracious about that?

Hag, look on the bright side. In our area, this 'large party surcharge' is 20% for six or more. :)
Posted by BokiBean on 2009-05-11:
Exactly, Ponie. And like Doc, I think that's it is acceptable to tack on a gratuity for larger groups, but the service and the food better be smokin'.
Posted by RestaurantGuy on 2009-05-12:
Most places now days add a auto grat on for large parties. HOWEVER... you do not have to pay it. The restaurant cannot make you pay a auto gratuity. The only thing that you have to pay for is the food. They are banking on the fact that most of the public does not know this and will just pay the auto gratuity. All you have to do is inform the manager that you are not going to pay the auto gratuity and you will tip what you feel is deserved.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-12:
Good info RG!
Posted by DigitalCommando on 2009-05-12:
If 4 people sat at the table next to the kitchen entrance and another 4 people sat at the furthest table away from the kitchen which causes the server to walk twice as far to service the outer 4 people (without penalty) but now if you put all 8 of those people at the same piece of wood, its a violation of efficiency that requires an auto gratuity? So I don't belive that it really has anything to do with the number of people per se, it has to do with the decrease in tips that are common with the "large party" dynamic. In other words, when more people are responsible for something, less people will be responsible for it, and it won't get done to a minimum standard without a rule in place.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-12:
Excellent point DC. Hag, unless they told you ahead of time that the tip had to be 18% you are free to change it to what ever you want. The 18% is only if they posted it or advised you of it ahead of time.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-12:
That's about the best explanation I've seen for the phenomenon of poor tips with large parties. Well done, DC! BTW, super...You no doubt noticed how tips are automatically added to your tab in Israel? OTOH...I've very rarely gotten bad service.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-12:
Doc, never had bad service either in Israel. Most everyone seemed to enjoy their jobs. I did notice you could walk into just about any restaurant you want on a Saturday and find the place 1/2 empty though, LOL.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-12:
Yeah, the one's that are open usually serve 'white steak'. You know about 'white steak'?
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-12:
You mean the St. Peter's Fish? Boney little rascals.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-12:
Nope, the St. Peter's Fish is a type of talapia. 'White steak' is pork. BTW: There's a great place to eat in Tiberias, right on the Kinneret. Sits on the waterfront docks. GREAT fish and appetizers! Open on Shabbat too (It's owned by Christian Arabs). Outstanding view of the Golan at night.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-12:
Think that is where I had my first St. Peters fish. Have no clue what the name was but it was done up in white with blue accents. One night in Tiberius was far to short. We did the boat tour of Galilee the next day, just an incredible place to be.

Pork is not a big seller in Israel, in fact the pigs that are raised in Israel are never allowed to touch the dirt. They have to live their entire lives on elevated platforms to keep them from touching the ground. (little tid bit I learned)
Posted by Marine 63 on 2009-05-15:
If the service was great than they deserve a tip, if not then they shouldn't get one regardless of how large the party is...T.I.P.S., stand for To Insure Prompt Service, you should have stated that to management and requested a refund of the tip.
Posted by jerseygirl30 on 2009-11-28:
As a waitress, I strongly support the 18%. Do you have any idea how many people tip horribly? Also, do you realize that as a waitress we only earn $2.13 as an hourly wage. Also I have been to Tiffany's in a large group. It does mention the 18% in the menu like every other place. Also, I have never had any issues there. I enjoy the service and the food. I feel like they are one of the best places in town to eat. And they always have entertainment going on throughout the week. If you do not want to tip your server then do not go out to eat. There is nothing worse then giving good service to get a bad tip. Also, I am not an idiot just because I am a waitress so never treat your server that way. I actually am a college grad working on my masters at the moment and people talk down to me. Sometimes I wonder if they realize I may actually have a better education than they do. Always be good to your server and if you have a complaint talk to a manager they will handle everything. Also, you do not have to pay the 18% but you better have a good reason besides that you are cheap.
Posted by PepperElf on 2009-11-29:
However, if the menu states a mandatory tip... it is still mandatory.

failure to pay the tip can result in being arrested.

as for the idea that "only good service gets tips"... that doesn't count when a large party comes in since there's more work the waitress or waiter has to do.


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