Forget about getting bad looks from the waiter/waitress, not paying a tip might land you in jail, especially if it is the mandatory 18% gratuity for groups of 6 and above.

Leslie Pope and John Wagner arrested for not paying gratuity for ba service

College students Leslie Pope and John Wagner went to Lehigh Pub in Bethlehem with half a dozen of their friends on Oct. 23 for happy hour but instead of having a great experience at the pub,  they got handcuffed and arrested for not paying the mandatory 18% gratuity.


The group reportedly had to wait more than an hour for salad and wings and had to approach the bar themselves for drink refills and find their own napkins and silverware as their waitress smoked outside.Source:

So, as anyone would think, they decided on not paying any tip. The bill was $73.87 with an extra $16.35 for gratuity. They paid the tab for food, drinks and tax but refused to pay the gratuity. The waitress took the money from them but decided to call the cops. The cops handcuffed and arrested the couple on the charge of theft since gratuity was part of the bill.

“I understand that, you know, we didn’t pay the gratuity, but it was a gratuity, it wasn’t something that was required,” said Wagner.

The owner admitted that the group waited unusually long for their food, but said the pub was extremely busy that night. He said managers offered to comp the food, a claim the couple denies ever happened.

“Obviously we would have liked for the patron and the establishment to have worked this out without getting the police involved,” said Deputy Police Commissioner Stuart Bedics.

Police charged them with theft since the gratuity was part of the actual bill. However, it is doubtful that the charges will hold up in front of a judge. The couple is scheduled to appear in court next month.Source:

I personally have a problem with the mandatory 18% gratuity for groups of 6 or more. When I go in a group, I still get one person to take care of me and if he/she screws up, gives us attitude, spits in the food, forgets about us or just delays food, then there is nothing I can do, I still have to pay the premium tip. What is the waiter or waitress’ incentive to give me a better service? It is not that I am making him/her do more work as a group of 6, rather than 3 groups of 2 each?

What do you all think?