The staff of a local Houston, Texas, restaurant, La Fisherman, locked a family inside the establishment after they refused to tip the wait staff for what they deemed was inadequate service.
Jasmine Marks was hoping for an nice night out to dinner with friends and family at the La Fisherman located at 1935 Hwy 6 in Houston. After the meal, she received the bill that included a mandatory 17 percent gratuity. However, the party believed the service was sub-par and did not feel it was necessary to tip that much. Marks complained that the staff was rude did not refill their drinks and made mistakes with their orders, reported the Daily Mail.
Although the gratuity policy was clearly visible on the menus, Marks still questioned the amount she had to pay.
We asked her, could the gratuity be removed? said Marks, according to KPRC. Could we give our own tip? She said it was part of their policy and there was nothing she could do about. If you're not satisfied with the service, you shouldn't have to pay gratuity.
Marks then said the staff would not let her or her friends and family live without paying the full amount. She said they locked the door and alerted the authorities.
She was like, 'You have an unsettled bill and ya'll can't leave until you pay it,' Marks said, according to KPRC.. We paid our bill for what we ate, we paid the bill.
Marks, however, maintained it was only the tip they were protesting. She believed she was in compliance with the law when she paid for the meal.
She said, 'That's fine. If you don't want to pay the gratuity we have HPD [Houston Police Department] 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.
Eventually Marks and the party conceded and paid the 17 percent tip.
The manager of La Fisherman, who was not identified, said they do not have an issue when a customer does not want to tip the service. However, the restaurant has reportedly called the police of similar situations before, reported KPRC.
Houston's Better Business Bureau is looking into the issue at this time. President of the BBB Dan Parson , recommends customers familiarize themselves with the restaurant's policy before sitting down and ordering food.
Consumers need to understand the policy going in, he said, reported NECN. I mean every sign walking in the door. What credit cards do you accept, not accept? What are your hours? Seventeen percent gratuity for the six of you? If you don't like it, leave.