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Bad Tipper Called Out On Twitter

One of my favorite restaurant Tweeters came up big in defense of their employees today.

Screen shot 2010-06-30 at 8.44.27 AM

This move was brilliant for many reasons:

1) It shows that Bogota Bistro cares about the livelihood of their employees first.
2) It shows the rest of their fans and followers the courtesy they expect of guests that have an excellent time at the restaurant
3) It’s great PR! I saw this and immediately created this post. It’s like putting the bounced checks of local customers on the wall for everyone to see. This is Bogota Bistro’s bulletin board, and they have the right to put whatever they want on it.

Who out there in restaurantland wants @Marv_Drumz to patronize their restaurant? As a restaurant owner, I know I sure wouldn’t.

If you still think, “the customer is always right,” you are surely wasting your time and energy on shitty customers like Marv. What do you think? Does the punishment fit the crime?

Follow me and Bogota Bistro on Twitter.

{ 25 comments… add one }
  • Waiting June 30, 2010, 12:27 pm

    Yes, the punishment fits the crime. $3 wasn’t even 10% which is the minimum someone should tip for even mediocre service. If the person admitted the problem wasn’t the service and they are just too cheap to tip then they are taking benefiting from the tipping system without contributing to it- which is shitty. If they are too poor to tip then they are too poor to eat out.

    I will completely support a restaurant who is ballsy enough to call a guest out – especially in such a polite manner.

  • Diana Strinati Baur July 1, 2010, 12:11 pm

    Here in Italy, it would have been a perfectly legitimate tip. But staff in Italian (and indeed most European) restaurants are paid a wage that they can live from, and so the tips are really what tips were probably originally intended to be, a courteous “thank you” for giving great service. It took me a long time of living here before I got over the guilt of not giving 20 percent automatically. And I am acutely aware how much tipping adds to the bill now when I go to the states.

    Having said that, do what is culturally appropriate. 20% is what that person gets for doing their job well in the USA. I reiterate this to my European friends when they rail against heavy tipping when going to the states. I tell them to get fast food. Service, for the most part, is simply NOT included in your restaurant bill, and the tip is your way to pay for service. It is what it is. Stiffing the waiter is stiffing his/her kids, his/her spouse, or his/her sick mom. It’s not cool. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. But, when in NY……

    • Erin September 13, 2010, 12:06 am

      Whenever I travel (only once out of the country) I always research what is appropriate to tip where I am going (among other things in order to fit in as best I can…). I think that is only fair. As a server I really loathe ‘being from another country’ as an excuse not to tip. Frankly, it is rude.

  • Mary July 1, 2010, 12:20 pm

    Seriously? Now we have restaurants using social media to FORCE people to tip because the restaurants don’t want to pay living wages? Get real.

    Of course, it’s a Park Slope restaurant, so you can’t expect much in the way of courtesy or customer service.

    And for the person who claims “If they’re too poor to tip then they are too poor to eat out” — way to be a snob, dude. It’s none of YOUR business if anyone tips or not.

    • Hagan July 1, 2010, 1:08 pm

      I guess it’s none of our business, but if the social pressure doesn’t come from each other, where will it come from? Blog posts?

    • Waiting July 21, 2010, 12:38 pm

      There’s nothing snobby about speaking the truth. Maybe you would prefer me to say it more tactfully?

      If you can’t afford to tip, you can’t afford to eat out. If tipping an extra 20% is simply not affordable to you then you really, really cannot afford to eat out.

      That’s the problem with American debt – people barely scraping by and spending money they don’t have.

      It is very much my business, since I wait tables.

  • Christian July 1, 2010, 1:05 pm

    I always say, “The customer is always right, except for the few times when they are wrong.” And I’ve been on both sides of the fence.

  • Tim July 1, 2010, 4:31 pm

    I think calling a customer out via social media is crass. One, it is hypocritical to pay a server a server min wage and then tell the customers they tipped too little. Second, servers over the long run average out their tips. Some customers tip too much others tip too little, but the average is usually what that server is worth. I am sure it gave them good press, but it also made them an enemy in this person who they called out. It turned a raving fan (since they were twittering about the restaurant in a positive mannor) into raving enemy. Not a smooth move and I bet the owner wasn’t in control of the tweet and probably regrets that it was sent out.

    • Hagan July 5, 2010, 5:53 pm

      I would say that it strengthened their true fan base. The raving fans that are also regular, average tippers will like that they are defending their employees.

  • Restaurant Vet July 1, 2010, 7:26 pm

    Pathetic move by the restaurant. No excuse at all. Tipping is not mandatory and the restaurant is clearly just enabling bad attitudes of it’s severs. How about reaching iutvto the guest to see if there were any issues? Like hires like. I don’t know the restaurant but I sense a bunch of C players who don’t understand real service.

  • Bo July 3, 2010, 2:53 am

    I’m embarrassed for the restaurant and wouldn’t be surprised if they lost business because of the immature calling out. What are we, 12?

    • Hagan July 4, 2010, 9:25 am

      How would they lose business? This post was featured on Food News Journal. Do you want Marv at your restaurant?

  • Patrick July 4, 2010, 1:46 am

    Im surprised by the backlash against the restaurant… I think they did the right thing here especially with the type of customer this guy was… Dude that guy is F’in ridiculous. Did i ever send you his tweet after i called him out too?


    @appetiteforgood hell no as much people as I made go to that #Bistro they should pay me for promos

    Doesnt even feel bad about it at all…

    Even tho tipping isnt mandatory but if your waitress/waiter did a great job and didnt get tipped for it, thats BS and its awesome they have their employees’ back

    • Hagan July 4, 2010, 9:24 am

      The guy is a jerk – I wouldn’t expect him to apologize. “As much people as he made go to that #bistro …” probably the other guest(s) at the table with him that night. Surprised he even has a dining companion.

  • Jake July 5, 2010, 4:10 pm

    Having been in the hospitality business for over two decades including managament and ownership I support the esatblihments defense of their server. Severs live soely off tips. People working at McDonalds often make significantly higher hourly wages than servers, receive more hours and are ofeten offered things like health care and paid vacactions that are a rarities in the service industry. To say that tipping is “optional” is technically true, but the reality of the situation is that if everyone stopped tipping menu items would increase in price about 30 percent to compensate (such as other nations where tipping is less formalized but employees are paid a livable wage). The IRS monitors and taxes tip income based on sales. Including FICA contrbutions from employing restaurants (see UNITED STATES V. FIOR D’ITALIA, INC. (01-463) 536 U.S. 238 (2002). When you stiff a server you are contributing to both the server’s and the restaurant’s tax liablity without adding to their income.

    Additionally, apparently Oprah had the gall to say on her show recently that in these hard ecomic times it is acceptable to tip ten percent. FALSE! Sales are down these days specifically because of these hard econmic times and many establishments are cutting employees and shifts. Reducing the employess remaining income by at leat a third is not a fair way to compensate for your own shortfalls. If you can’t afford to tip, you can’t afford to go out, it’s just that simple. If your service or food was truly bad most managers will deal with it appropriately when properly informed, it’s service etiquette.

  • Ruby July 5, 2010, 5:37 pm

    Free will, people. Free will. I can tip or not, you can complain about my tip – and I can choose again not to patronize an establishment which uses the internet to shame their customers.

    • Hagan July 5, 2010, 5:47 pm

      Here’s a link to a thread where a server comments on Oprah saying it’s ok to tip 10%:


      Look at all those boors defending her. It’s a shame.

      If your free will includes not tipping for great service, as is customary in America, I would assume you regularly get bad service.

    • charles December 11, 2010, 6:57 pm

      And I can dip my balls into your drink. Free will.

      • Hagan December 16, 2010, 7:29 am

        But Charles, I ordered coffee, not tea ;-)

  • Paystyle July 6, 2010, 3:05 pm

    I don’t have a problem with what the restaurant did. I just think it’s funny that the righteousness comes from a restaurant that sucks so bad–food AND service.

  • Ali July 7, 2010, 12:17 am

    As a former server at a nationwide casual italian restaurant in Oklahoma City, I earned $2.10 an hour plus tips. My background is in customer service (former airline reservationist) so I always wanted to please the customer and make them happy with great food, great atmosphere and fabulous service. My personal experience is that some people will generally tip 15%. I’ve busted my butt and received a $2 tip when they were served wine, additional salad and breadsticks, appetizer, meal AND dessert. Older people like my mom think it’s customary and acceptable to leave $1/plate. It’s absolutely NOT acceptable. As a single mom, how can I meet the basic requirements of rent, car insurance, gas, food, utilities, etc. on tips like this? At the restaurant, they explained that you cannot expect to receive a normal paycheck with the $2.10/hour because your tips will offset it; therefore, you should only count on your tips. I also had to tip out to the bartender and the busboys to ensure that my tables were turned for the next available patron. As someone who dines out, I’ve also been the recipient of exceptional service as well as poor service. Either way, I point it out to the manager if it’s to the extreme one way or the other. When a server meets all of your needs at the table, leave them a decent tip to let them know they’ve performed well. Otherwise, they second-guess why you’ve said everything was great, taken a to-go drink and remaining food from the table and left a dollar as your token of appreciation. If you can’t leave a tip of at least 15% (preferably 20% these days), then stay at home or eat at McDonald’s. Okay, I’m getting off my soapbox now….

    • Hagan July 7, 2010, 6:39 am

      I totally agree.

      People understand that you have to tip. What’s wrong with the idea that if you can’t afford the 15% you can’t afford the restaurant?

  • pie July 12, 2010, 5:16 am

    Well, if the people who can’t afford to pay that 15% don’t go to the restaurant, then the restaurant ends up making less money because there’s less patronage. Let people leave the tip they want. No one is entitled to the tip. If you can’t afford your rent, get a cheaper place or sell your stuff.

    • charles December 11, 2010, 6:55 pm

      Spoken like a true cheapskate. If your server goes out of their way to make you dinner more enjoyable, you should compensate them. Otherwise, keep checking for pubes in your dinner when you go back o the same place again and again tipping like a loser.

  • charles December 11, 2010, 6:53 pm

    I love seeing articles like this. As a server/bartender who works in an upscale sushi restaurant/club in Orange County, CA I am still amazed at when I get a 10% tip knowing i gave amazing service and engaged the customers to the fullest. The worst is when you connect with the guests, the women give you a hug on their way out and the guys shake your hand, only to find that they left $10 on a $180 tab. This isn’t my full time job, but not tipping your waiter after they have provided you with a service is the same as stealing. I don’t enjoy making you losers martinis.