A restaurant has kick-started a parenting debate after adding a mandatory 18% tip to bills. But only if the customer is a child.
The Wayne Hills Diner in New Jersey state that “gratuities are appreciated” but while adults are offered the opportunity to decide how much they’d like to tip, for children and teenagers a compulsory “tip-tax” has been put in place.
The child’s tax was first revealed by mum Melissa Desch who was upset after a 90% tip was unknowingly added to her 11-year-old daughter’s milkshake bill.
“It’s not about how much she paid, it’s the simple fact that she didn’t have a choice,” she told WCBS-TV.
“So she was double tipping the server because she didn’t realise that they were actually adding the tip onto her bill.”
A spokesperson for the restaurant told nbcnewyork.com that large groups of children had been visiting the restaurant and staying for an hour or two, with the vast majority of them not leaving a tip afterwards.
They went on to explain that as many waiters and waitresses often rely on tips to supplement their wages, the not leaving of tips was unfair, which is why the mandatory tip has been added. They went on to note that the menu clearly states “management reserves the right to add gratuity”.
But it seems the Internet is somewhat divided about whether the restaurant should have added the compulsory tax for teens.
“@waynehillsdiner wow you add tips for kids and teens. #BadBusiness,” one user wrote on Twitter.
“@waynehillsdiner newsflash. Tips r voluntary -not mandatory. U were wrong to force kids to tip hope your biz suffers,” added another.
But not everyone thought adding a tip for children was a bad idea.
“If they eat, its only right to tip. Doesn’t matter what age you are,” one user wrote on Twitter.
“How about these parent teach their kids some manners and how to tip,” another shared.
It’s not the first time in the last few months that the subject of children in restaurants has made headlines.
The thorny issue was ignited after the former Blue Peter presenter took to Twitter to blast a “negative and mean hearted” couple who disapproved of noisy children being in Pizza Express.
Her tweet sparked a debate on social media about whether children who are being noisy should be allowed to dine in restaurants.
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