If This Is a Problem For You, The Problem Is You

Good grief:

Diners at eight Gator’s Dockside casual eateries are finding a 1% Affordable Care Act surcharge on their tabs, which comes to 15 cents on a typical $15 lunch tab. Signs on the door and at tables alert diners to the fee, which is also listed separately on the bill.

The Gator Group’s full-time hourly employees won’t actually receive health insurance until December. But the company said it implemented the surcharge now because of the compliance costs it’s facing ahead of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate kicking in in 2015.

“The costs associated with ACA compliance could ultimately close our doors,” the sign reads. “Instead of raising prices on our products to generate the additional revenue needed to cover the costs of ACA compliance, certain Gator’s Dockside locations have implemented a 1% surcharge on all food and beverage purchases only.”

Obviously, the owner of this restaurant is a complete dick, not to mention that the federal minimum wage for waiters hasn’t changed in decades and remains stagnant at $2.13, and in Florida it is $4.91.

But here is what really bothers me- the fact that instead of just being grateful that he can now have healthier employees for a 1% price increase, and doing what a sane person would do, which is be elated you are going to have healthier and more committed employees less likely to leave for a job that does offer benefits, and quietly passing the cost on to the consumers. When I ran a clothing store for a few years, the biggest kick in the dick was having to replace employees, because it always seemed like you got one trained to where you worked like a team, and they would quit.

Instead, he decides to be a sociopath, alert all his customers, consequently shaming his employees (they are the ones who get to explain that they are being charged more to the teahadist customers), and then provide other sociopaths with no sense of perspective to shout at said waiters for being moochers. After drinking. Nothing could go wrong in that situation. In Florida.

And what is so maddening about all of this to me is that WE ALL FUCKING BENEFIT WHEN THESE PEOPLE HAVE INSURANCE. I’m not Richard Mayhew, but the more people in the pool, the more risk is spread about, and having waiters and waitresses who are normally the invincibles prone to not having insurance because they are young and in shitty paying jobs helps all of us. Now they are insured when they need medical treatment, instead of just hospitals eating the costs and passing it on to the rest of us.


And the logic behind it all is so depressing. The owner is actually counting on the dysfunctional nature of our nation to make his political statement- he wants people to be pissed off they are paying an extra 15 cents. It’s the only reason to spend the time and money and energy to recode your POS system to include the charge.

There are just too many assholes in this world.

*** Update ***

I should add that this kind of thing really fucking strikes a nerve, because I spent a lot of years working in the service industry as a dishwasher, then a busboy, then a bar-back, and then a waiter. I had a good owner who was fair and decent and good to us, but we still made shit and were always at the mercy of the customer, who may have had a shitty day and then takes it out on us by running us around for hours on a 200 dollar check and then tipping five bucks even though the service was impeccable. And it happens a lot more than you think, and I suppose fittingly, I got screwed more at the “better” restaurants with wealthier clients than I did elsewhere. So when I read shit like this, about an owner making his employees lives worse for no reason, it just fucking infuriates me. This Mr. Pink dickhead shouldn’t be allowed to have employees.

And this is why I always, always, over-tip. Always. I rarely eat out, but when I do, I make sure I can take care of the people serving me. And you know what? When you tip well and are not a dick and come back a lot of times, you would be shocked how already good service can become better. There are a lot of cool waiters and servers out there, in all ranges of life, and you can meet some really cool people in different stages of their trip, and you can actually have a great meal and some good conversation and a lot of smiles just by not being a total dickhead.

There have been a lot of times when I traveled alone to conferences when I would meet super cool people working in a bar or restaurant, and you talk to them, they will tell you where to go to find good live music and IPA, where the best burrito place is late night, and several times I’ve waited until his/her shift are done and gone out on the town with someone who knew the area.

I guess I just do not understand why so many people do not realize that being a total dick is more effort and less rewarding and just bad for you mentally and physically.

97 replies
  1. 1
    Jeffro says:

    And it’s hard to protest this, because if you patronize the restaurant and then tip the s*** out of the waiters…you’re still putting money in the owner’s pocket; if you boycott the restaurant (assuming you previously went or would normally go) then you’re taking money out of the waiters’ pockets.

    Maybe just drop by the restaurant when they’re busy and hand ’em each a couple of bucks, loudly announcing, “This is for having to put up with That Guy – glad you’re now covered under Obamacare”?

  2. 2
    scav says:

    Hand out brochures demonstrating the probable additional health costs due to eating his meals rather than a healthy equivalent one?

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    So the cost of Obamacare is only 1%? What a deal!

  4. 4
    Thoughtcrime says:


    We’ll be healthier too, because now we won’t have as many sick waiters bringing us food.

  5. 5
    danielx says:

    How is that managers want people to know that they’re roaring, screaming, flaming assholes? I’ve heard that some of them enjoy it…

  6. 6
    GeneJockey says:



    One percent. ONE FUCKING PERCENT, so that these folks no longer have to worry about being bankrupted by an unexpected illness, which the rest of us end up paying for anyway.

  7. 7
    Jordan Rules says:

    If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense.

    Sociopaths keepin it real.

  8. 8
    jl says:

    Well, if the area code on the bill is correct, it is in central Florida. If you get to feeling scared enough… No, won’t take that any further, even as a joke.

    Edit: just don’t go there, and the place will go away sooner or later. That would be best revenge.

    Probably sooner than later. What is rib sauce doing with chicken salad and fries? And ‘No bread’ No bread!? What kind of restaurant is that anyway. It’ll go broke soon, Obamacare or no.

  9. 9
    🎂 Martin says:

    The first commenter there got it:

    A 1% surcharge is claimed needed for healthcare, but $2.49 for ice tea is reasonable?

    That ice tea has a 1200% markup over cost. Any pleas to ‘we don’t want to raise prices’ is utter bullshit – the price of their menu items is already arbitrary relative to any direct cost borne by the restaurant. They could have absorbed that cost in any number of ways that no customer would have noticed. Sure as shit that $2.49 ice tea isn’t price competitive with anyone.

  10. 10
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Putting that surcharge on the tabs is the owner’s way of venting his rage at the near sheriff.

    Petty, vindictive, and assholish, too be sure.

    Typical Rethug.

  11. 11
    LanceThruster says:

    Ramen, brother.

  12. 12
    ninedragonspot says:

    We’ve had this for a few years in San Francisco, after Healthy San Francisco was enacted in 2007. Some restaurants, including favorites of mine like Zuni Cafe, started noting Healthy San Francisco surcharges on their bills (the restaurants were also suing the city over the policy and trying to drum up public support in opposition of the measure). Any time I saw this surcharge on my bill, I left a note about the owners being assholes and mentally crossed the restaurant off my list. Fortunately, there are lots of good places to eat around here that aren’t owned by assholes.

  13. 13
    Comrade Jake says:

    Can one of our Florida residents tell us how popular these “Gator’s Dockside” restaurants are? I’ve never heard of them. Is this a big chain in FL or are we talking about five stores?

  14. 14

    This kind of shit is beyond maddening. And what’s really driving this–and this is something I’ll believe till the day I die–is that these assholes aren’t really angry that this might cost them some money; well, they are pissed off about that, but not as much so as they’d have us believe. The real thing behind all this is that they’re seething at the thought that somebody, somewhere is getting a small break that they didn’t really “deserve”–and naturally, they’re the ones best suited to say who “deserves” and who doesn’t.

    There really are these weirdos out there. They bitch and moan because .000039% or whatever it is of their taxes goes to help hungry children eat. They say they’re pissed off at the government “stealing” their money to throw at worthless moochers. But it’s more than that, because these are the same people, who if they hear that, say, the Methodist Church int heir town is now spending money to feed and clothe poor people or something, they go off ranting about how the lousy, degenerate poor people don’t deserve that help, and they’ll say this even if they aren’t Methodists, and not one penny of their hard earned, holy money is going to help them.

    They don’t really care about the cost, not really. It’s a handy excuse to hang their sadism on, but they don’t care all that much about it in the end. What they really care about is that somebody who’s been going through life having been dealt a shitty hand at birth and struggling haplessly to overcome that is now getting a little help. That’s the thing behind all this. They’re sadists, but they don’t even have the guts or the commitment to be active sadists. They just want to wallow in the warm feeling they get thinking about somebody else suffering needlessly. As always, the iron proof of this is the part of that Republican presidential debate in late 2011 where everybody cheered at the thought of somebody without health insurance dying needlessly. Nobody should ever forget that picture. It should be what everybody thinks of first whenever they hear the words “Republican” or “conservative”.

    This asshole is pissed off that fewer poor people are going to have to deal with going through life without any medical care. And he’s too much of a weasel to even own up to it, so he’s trying to shunt all the resentment at the 1% boost in cost for fixing the problem onto his staff. And in all likelihood, whatever shit the staff will have to deal with from asshole customers is most likely something else that gives him a warm, happy feeling. There really aren’t words to describe the loathing I feel for these creatures.

  15. 15
    khead says:


    This + the iced tea comment = all I need for a fun filled weekend on FB and the rest of the Internets.

  16. 16
    jl says:

    A manager quoted in the story says that they are ‘”just trying to keep the employees I have that I’ve worked hard to train,” But they had to hire a person to manage their ACA benefits. Must be a place that did not offer health care benefits before.

    And… they complain about trying to keep employees. A case of short sighted management that cannot put one and one together and think things through?

    Story mentions a joint in CA that is doing a 3 percent surcharge for health care that apparently is not related to ACA ( or is?) Story doesn’t say whether the CA joint is slapping it on the bills. That sounds like a weirder story.This FL place just sounds like nasty and maybe non-to-bright business management.

  17. 17
    The Other Chuck says:


    Personally I think the restaurants pointing out the Healthy SF surcharge on the bill backfired. People are used to seeing it, are apparently quite happy to pay, and now they’re being reminded that oh yes, this city has health care. The mass foodie exodus has still yet to occur.

  18. 18

    @🎂 Martin: I agree that the markup is really big (general guideline is 300%) but there is some variability with “free” refills.

  19. 19
    Cassidy says:

    @Comrade Jake: They’re “niche” popular. Casual guests will go and may go back a time or two, but the food is shit. They have regulars, as any sports bar does. They make it by, but they’re not breaking records or anything. For me, there are about a dozen places I’d rather go to that has better food, more beer, and better liquor.

  20. 20
    MikeJ says:

    Funny how I’ve never seen anybody add an invasion tax since the gubbmint requires you to contribute to slaughtering innocents whether you want to or not.

  21. 21
    Mnemosyne says:

    Signs on the door and at tables alert diners to the fee, which is also listed separately on the bill.

    I guess it’s a good thing when restaurants put a sign saying THE OWNER OF THIS RESTAURANT IS A DICK! right on the door as I walk in so I can leave before ordering anything.

    Of course, losing business will just be another sign of the Evils of Obamacare to this asshole, rather than the fact that he’s advertising to all of his customers that he’s an dick who screws over his employees every chance he gets.

  22. 22
    FridayNext says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    There was one in Gainesville when I was in grad school. Sadly, it was very popular with students and local drinkers. VERY crowded on game days home or away. Food was greasy and bad. But great portions!!

  23. 23
    Joseph Nobles says:


  24. 24
    Pincher says:

    @Comrade Jake: As a resident of Florida, living in a city with one of these restaurants, I can tell you the place is foul and I would never eat there. It is completely awful. And now I have a great excuse to keep boycotting the place.

  25. 25
    🎂 Martin says:

    @ranchandsyrup: McDs can do it for $1, any size. And they’re covered by ACA as well.

    The restaurant owner is simply trying to appeal to assholes, and the end result is he’ll get a restaurant full of assholes. I’m sure the staff will really appreciate that.

  26. 26
    kc says:

    What a dick move.

  27. 27
    Belafon says:

    Put a sign out front that says “The owner thinks having sick employees handle your food is a good idea.”

  28. 28
  29. 29
    Cassidy says:

    @🎂 Martin: Having been to Gators, they were already a place full of assholes. Cheap beer and rebel yells.

  30. 30
    Joel says:

    I love this move, because then I know who to boycott. Some of the restauranteurs in Seattle also self-identified in this fashion, though not quite as obviously.

  31. 31
    jl says:

    Since the theme of this thread is dense dicks (and not dense in a good way!), Georgia governor Nathan Deal proposes to solve problem with health care costs by repealing EMTALA (The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act) that requires ERs to provide treatment in certain emergency situations regardless of ability of patient to pay.

    So, I guess ‘go the damn ER’ is not part of the GOP health care reform plan anymore?

    Deal is the guy who tried to weasel out of his failure to prepare for the first Atlanta blizzard, or ice storm, or whatever, by trying to blame the weather forecasters, right?

    Georgia Governor Has Genius Plan To Save Money: Don’t Let Poors Go To The Emergency Room

  32. 32
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    I know I want sick people showing up to work at the places that serve me food.

    Oh, hang on.

    Raise the minimum wage, ensure guaranteed low-cost health coverage, tax people to pay for it and then America can finally think about getting rid of the damn tip.

  33. 33
    pseudonymous in nc says:


    But they had to hire a person to manage their ACA benefits. Must be a place that did not offer health care benefits before.

    Food service and related hospitality stuff hardly ever offers health coverage (and I refuse to call it “benefits”). I’ve seen too many charity boxes in bars because of staff who had accidents hauling kegs in the cellar or got the shit kicked out of them trying to break up fights and ended up with six-figure medical bills.

  34. 34
    Mnemosyne says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    I was going to say, Aren’t they covered by worker’s comp? And then I realized that the assholes who don’t get health insurance for their employees probably don’t buy worker’s comp insurance either.

  35. 35
    Paul Weimer says:

    I really think they get a hit from the hatred. It’s like a small version of “two minutes hate”

    “Isn’t it horrible how evil Obama is evil by making me pay for health insurance for my employees?”
    “Oh yes. Evil Obama is Evil.”

    Serotonin hit of hatred, for paying that extra “1%” for a tasteless burger.

  36. 36
    hells littlest angel says:

    I’ll bet the restaurant owner is in love with Ted Cruz.

  37. 37
    dmbeaster says:

    How about the 5 percent surcharge for the owner’s hookers and blow expenses?

  38. 38
    NotMax says:

    I am partial to not having my food handled by sick people.

    However, what’s being done is a shameful, vulgar stunt, insulting to the staff and the clientele. Almost certain the owner would flat-out refuse to provide documentation of his claim of costs and impact on the bottom line.

  39. 39
    jl says:

    @Mnemosyne: I think even FL must have a mandatory workers compensation program, though probably inadequate, and many employees will have problems not related to work.

    But I haven’t kept up with what Scott has been doing, so maybe my hunch is out of date.

  40. 40
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    Maybe said already, but the worst part of this is THERE IS NO UPSIDE. Your teahadists aren’t going to want to pay the 1% and everyone else will think you are a douchebag and stop eating there.

  41. 41
    Gex says:

    @jl: That’s a great idea! No one gets into an ER unless they can prove, ahead of time, that they are going to be able to pay their bill. No matter how much it is going to be, because we can’t know ahead of time what it is. And no matter if they have an insurance card, because who knows what that insurance will actually cover. Let’s set up a huge auditing facility outside ERs to run the financials of every potential patient to make sure no “moochers” get in the door. And hey, if a lot of maker types die while their numbers are being crunched, oh well.


  42. 42
    NotMax says:

    Also occurred to me to question whether the collected amounts are being deposited in a separate escrow account.

    Although fairly simple to intimate the correct answer.

  43. 43
    jl says:

    @NotMax: Ha, a few restaurants lied about setting aside the money collected for the SF program. The law as not implemented well at first, so some of the restaurants who were tagged initially simply didn’t report properly, But a few owners were caught just taking the tax money for themselves.So, I would not put it past them, at least for using ALL the money for ACA compliance.

  44. 44
    LT says:

    Yes! What you said! Dishwashing, busboy, barely lasted at waiting veteran says Yes!

    And please note that the doffuses are backtracking furiously on their FaceBook page:


  45. 45

    When you tip well and are not a dick and come back a lot of times, you would be shocked how already good service can become better. There are a lot of cool waiters and servers out there, in all ranges of life, and you can meet some really cool people in different stages of their trip, and you can actually have a great meal and some good conversation and a lot of smiles just by not being a total dickhead.
    […] I guess I just do not understand why so many people do not realize that being a total dick is more effort and less rewarding and just bad for you mentally and physically.

    This times sixteen jillion.

    @LT: Fucken aye.

  46. 46
    NotMax says:

    I guess I just do not understand why so many people do not realize that being a total dick is more effort and less rewarding and just bad for you mentally and physically.

    For goodness’ sake, never go to a blog named (wait, let me look it up)… Balloon Juice.

    /gentle ribbing

  47. 47
  48. 48
    Ruckus says:

    You never know about some employers. Heard a story about 2 guys, owned a machine shop in the early 70s, drank lunch every day at the same place. One day they called my friend into the office to say they couldn’t pay him and sitting on the desk was last months lunch tab. $1,100. That’s why they couldn’t afford to pay people. Not that they would ever think getting drunk in the middle of the day was wrong and that there may be some responsibility to do what they said they would do, pay people for their work.

  49. 49
    jackie says:

    John — You are so right. Be kind to your waitperson.

  50. 50
    kingdo_goodbomber says:

    lol whaa whaa! what a bunch of fooling crybabies if you don’t like it then eat somewhere else.

  51. 51
    NotMax says:


    Be kind to your waitperson.

    Am linguistically grateful that the term ‘waitron’ suffered a quick death.

  52. 52
    Geeno says:

    The reason tips are shittier in posh restaurants is that the people who frequent them never knew anyone in the service sector and think that “those people” will be grateful for any condescension they show, however small.
    Odds are if you’re lower to middle middle class, you’ve worked one of those jobs in college or had friends who did so you understand how much that tip is counted on and what these people go through. I don’t think the wealthy actually consider them people in the first place.

  53. 53
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    “Waitron” sounds like a job Bender might have.

  54. 54
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    I don’t think the wealthy actually consider them people in the first place


  55. 55
    billB says:

    The Revolution has started in Washington State, talk of 15$ min wage, 68% polled for it. Politicians are not going to stand with azzholes like this if they know they will lose to 68% in the next election. Tell everyone you know, 10 bucks an hour is NOT good enough. We want every citizen to live a decent healthy life.

    Call me a socialist and I will say NO I am a Human that cares about his Country and my fellow citizens!

    AND if this means mittens romney can’t afford a show pony and an elevator for his cars, so be it.

  56. 56
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    Fuck that noise. Not only am I never going to Florida again, but I’d NEVER eat at a place called Gators.

    Again, fuck that noise.

  57. 57
    RyMaN600 says:

    Not just health insurance for food service workers, but can we guarantee them some goddamn sick days already? I’ve never, ever understood the logic of restaurant owners forcing servers and cooks to drag their asses into work sick where they can spread contagious diseases.

    I don’t want sick people handling my damn food, I want them to feel free to either stay home or see a doctor without risking instant poverty. This isn’t some cushy entitlement for shiftless layabouts, it’s common effing sense.

  58. 58
    John Cole says:


    I don’t want sick people handling my damn food, I want them to feel free to either stay home or see a doctor without risking instant poverty. This isn’t some cushy entitlement for shiftless layabouts, it’s common effing sense.

    It’s the same absence of logic or presence of illogic that makes people scream bloody murder when undocumented citizens and their children receive medical care and vaccinations. “They are coming here for free health care” the wingnuts scream. Meanwhile, I’m screaming THESE PEOPLE ARE FUCKING HERE AND SICK AND I DON’T WANT TO CATCH IT. CAN WE SPEND A COUPLE HUNDRED BUCKS AND STOP SPREADING ILLNESS AND DISEASE? TO WHITE PEOPLE, TOO? BECAUSE MORE THAN LIKELY THEY ARE PICKING OR HANDLING YOUR FOOD.

    Not to mention they are paying payroll taxes and really aren’t freeloaders. Oh, and btw- they are also people, for fuck’s sake.

    Hate and fear trump logic every fucking time. It’s the same with needle exchange programs. Why throwing out a couple thousand clean needles is such a mortal sin, but sitting by while helpless people give themselves Hep C and HIV and who knows what else is somehow godly and acceptable and moral is beyond me.

  59. 59
    jonas says:

    Great new business plan: set up a similar restaurant across from this guy; pay a decent wage and don’t act like an asshole on health benefits; steal all his good employees. = Profit.

  60. 60
    trollhattan says:

    That’s seriously fucked up, and can only hurt the wait staff, but I’d completely support a 2% flair surcharge. That said, I want to see more than the minimum eighteen pieces of flair.

  61. 61
    jonas says:

    Well-paid employees = Happy employees = loyal employees = effort towards customer care = profit. Works every frickin’ time. 9 times out of 10 when I’ve met one of these cheapskate asshole business owners who think the way to get ahead is giving their employees the bare minimum and bitching about every little expense, they’re on about their 5th business venture, all of which failed mysteriously because some how their service just wasn’t up to par or they fucked up some huge account because of some dumb employee’s carelessness, etc, etc.. They just can’t figure it out.

  62. 62
    jonas says:

    @John Cole:

    Oh, and btw- they are also people, for fuck’s sake.

    Silly JC. We all know fetuses are the only people who count. If their “host” falls sick, tough shit.

  63. 63

    not being a total dickhead

    It really is, I think, one of life’s most important lessons, and why I think everyone should have to work a retail or restaurant job for minimum wage for at least a year.

    I mean, it really is a low bar. Think of other people. Don’t be a dick.

    How fucking hard is that?


  64. 64
    RyMaN600 says:

    Smedley Darlington Prunebanks up at #14 said it best: They just can’t stand to see anyone “lower” than them EVER catch a break in life, even if it ends up working out for everybody. Deep down these people are rotten and miserable, and they’ll be damned if the “undeserving” out there get away with having a slightly easier time than they did, or an easier time than they think they “should” be having.

  65. 65
    trollhattan says:

    Knew this whole thing rang a bell.

    Papa John Schnatter is no fan of Obamacare. The CEO of Papa John’s International has occasionally railed against the reform for months. Leading up to the election, he was a Mitt Romney supporter and fundraiser. Now that the election is over, he’s doubling down on his claim that the health care reform will force his company to increase pizza prices by 10-14 cents a pie. He estimates that Obamacare will end up costing his company $5-8 million annually.


    Nozzle, meet douche; douche, FOAD.

  66. 66
    jonas says:

    @trollhattan: I’ve ordered a Papa John’s pizza maybe twice in my life and it was the worst shit I’ve every eaten and the person who took my order and the person who delivered it could have not given less of a shit about their job. Nor could the CEO, apparently.

  67. 67
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Cole, you giant prick,

    I love you. Because you write this and put it out there, I love you.

    We are all in this together. When we realize this, all things are (suddenly!!) possible.

    Because we FAIL to adequately compensate our servers, ALWAYS tip your servers to the extent your wage allows you.
    We’re all in this together!

  68. 68
    danimal says:

    If liberals stop rolling their eyes at their crazy conservative uncle and START SCREAMING IN ALL CAPS, I really thing the political dynamics of health care will change by November 2014.

    These idiots need to be clubbed on the head (rhetorically) like baby seals. Embrace the outrage.

  69. 69
    jonas says:

    @MikeBoyScout: Absolutely. Unless the server is purposefully being a prick, at least 20%.

  70. 70
    jonas says:

    @jonas: Of course I tipped the guy — not his fault he works for a bullshit, halfass pizza shittery.

  71. 71
    MikeBoyScout says:

    @jonas: Never tip servers or anybody else who is totally a prick to you (i.e. those who would deny or degrade service because you are female, non-white or homosexual ….).
    There is a time to every purpose under heaven.

  72. 72
    jonas says:

    @danimal: ratio of batshit crazy outraged liberals to batshit crazy outraged conservatives, I estimate roughly 1:5. And that pretty much explains our electoral landscape.

  73. 73
    Ripley says:

    Pile on? They have a contact page: http://www.gatorsdockside.com/contact.asp

  74. 74
    jonas says:

    @MikeBoyScout: I have very, very rarely received what I think is outright rude or incompetent service (white, het, male, no surprise, natch), and even when I do, there has usually been some extenuating circumstance which I take into consideration — restaurant obviously short-staffed; unexpected rush; person just having a bad day, etc. I’ve reduced my tip on occasion for blatant carelessness (having been a waiter myself in my younger days, I can tell), but never just stiffed someone and told the manager they sucked. You never know what’s going on behind the scenes.

  75. 75
    Splitting Image says:

    I@🎂 Martin:

    The restaurant owner is simply trying to appeal to assholes, and the end result is he’ll get a restaurant full of assholes. I’m sure the staff will really appreciate that.

    I read an essay last year about a guy who banned tipping in his restaurant and implemented a mandatory 15% service charge. The few customers who vented their anger at him for doing this weren’t as upset by the extra charge as they were by the fact that it deprived them of the ability to treat the waitstaff like shit and threaten to withhold a tip.

    After a few months of doing this, both the restaurant owner and the employees felt that the removal of this class of customer had improved the working experience for everyone. (Except perhaps the other restaurants to whom the assholes had taken their custom.)

  76. 76
    Hungry Joe says:

    I tip 20% or more. Always. If you can’t afford to take care of the staff, you can’t afford to eat there. Period. I’d prefer not to tip at all; who am I to determine what someone’s pay will be? They should get a decent, living wage, with health care, like all workers everywhere. But that’s not the way it is, so I do my best to make it right. If my waitperson is doing a lousy job, so what? I should punish him or her financially? They’ll move on to another job eventually, hopefully one to which they are better suited. Meantime, I tip them 20%: They have to earn a living, they’re depending on ME, so I pony up. Every time.

  77. 77

    There are a lot of things this restaurant could list on his customers’ bills, like the surcharge the electric company adds for storm insurance, the surcharge the phone company adds for 9-1-1 service, the fee the credit card companies add for the privilege of using your Mastercard. But instead of presenting you with an itemized bill for your burger and fries, the smart business owner figures it into the price of the product, and the customer knows that. But this restaurant has to hang a little sign on each meal saying “I’m a right-wing jerk and a lousy businessperson. Enjoy your meal.”

  78. 78
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Comrade Jake: The one in Gainesville doesn’t keep a clean kitchen where I can eat anything that’s allegedly “gluten free” and actually have it be so. Plus, the prices suck and so does the vibe. But a certain tranche of aging ex-fratter apparently lurves the place.

  79. 79
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Mustang Bobby: too right, and in Gainesville the electrical bills and stormwater charges are higher than most, plus most Florida residents seem insensitive to the fact that utility bills are taxed out the freaking wazoo (another one of our genius regressive taxing schemes) jacking those bills up even higher. He probably pays huge tax bills on his phone lines as well.

    What a maroon.

  80. 80
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Cassidy: You know, I feel terrible interjecting at this juncture that when I had ties to the restaurant industry Gators Dockside was, er, a pretty big account that paid on time.


    That shithole (completely agree about the food) makes money.

  81. 81

    @Comrade Jake: I’ve never heard of this chain here in Miami. Based on the description when I googled it, it sounds like a Big Daddy’s/Flanniagn’s without the charm.

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    Cassidy says:

    @Another Holocene Human: I’m in Jacksonville. I think we had one close down. The other two are outclassed in every aspect.

  83. 83
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @Geeno: I agree with your comment one million per cent. My daughter worked at a Yacht Club here for a couple of summers. The work was not back breaking by any means but she did a lot of special requests for the members, gassed up their boats, and kept the bathrooms spotless [which was a huge sea change for that club]. My father-in-law [a long time club member] received a lot of compliments from other members for how hard his grand-daughter worked. I said something to my daughter later the first summer as to how much in tips she got. She gave me a blank stare and said ” I haven’t received a tip so far. I am lucky to get a “thank you” from most of them.”
    She received zero tips in her two summers. The bathrooms returned to their poor state after she left. They ended up hiring a cleaning service to clean the bathrooms and floors after my daughter left.

    Most rich are clueless, heartless bastards when it comes to treating service staff. The exceptions are [as you observed] people who had some experience serving or know friends or relatives who do/did.

  84. 84
    SteveM says:

    Obviously, the owner of this restaurant is a complete dick

    Or doing this at the urging of some organized cabal of dicks, quite possibly (this is an educated guess) the National Federation of Independent Business.

  85. 85
    fidelio says:

    @danielx: It’s a way for needy, anxious, insecure people to feel powerful, important, and in control of things.

    Remember, when you see people acting like this, they are either spoiled brats who do not realize other people are not the dolls and stuffed animals sitting around the little table at their tea party, sociopaths who see no reason to hide their disorder, or sad, scared little people who are overcompensating.

  86. 86
    fidelio says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): It goes beyond that. They are convinced that by allowing this suffering to continue, they are helping make the sufferers stronger and improving their morals–if they just have the strength of character to rise up and meet the challenge. So if you are dealing with hard times, all that misery is really for your own good. It’s why there’s often a lot of fuss about the “deserving poor”.You have to be poor for all the right reasons, don’t you know…

    It’s a particularly twisted version of Calvinism, which gets pretty twisted all by its own sweet self.

  87. 87
    Betty Cracker says:

    I’m another former server who is a big tipper. I’ve never darkened the door of Gator’s Dockside (by chance), and now I never will (by purpose). It is helpful when the pricks announce themselves with fanfare.

  88. 88
    fidelio says:

    @jonas: I have. The waitress abandoned us to flirt with a table full of cute guys, leaving the other servers to pick up the slack for her other three tables. So we gave the tip to the dining room manager and told her it was to go to the people who had actually brought us our food, and kept our glasses filled, and told her why. It was a nice fat tip, too. A couple at one of the other abandoned tables saw us doing that, and did the same thing.

    The dining room manager was not amused. A server like that makes the rest of the staff’s lives harder than they need to be.

  89. 89
    redoubt says:

    @Betty Cracker: Thirding this. I used to be a shift manager at a nationally known pizza chain. I now tip 20% minimum. I tell friends–“If you go out to eat, and you ‘can’t afford’ to tip? Stay home and cook.”

  90. 90
    Rob in CT says:

    20% is typically my baseline. I might do slightly less if the bill has a bunch of drinks on it, ’cause of teh markup on drinks, but even then we’re talking over 15%. Even if I’m kinda annoyed, 15% is a bare minimum. If the tab is small ’cause the restuarant is cheap, I will round up and often hit 25%.

    On the rare occasion I find myself at a meal with my brother in law, far far less well off than I but (you guessed it) who works at a restaurant, he tends to put me to shame. 30% seems standard for him.

    So in comparison I’m cheap. But then I go out with my dad (88 yrs old and from a country with a bit less of a tipping tradition) and I always have to double back and throw some more money down, because for him 10% is appropriate. Fortunately dad doesn’t eat out much.

  91. 91
    Bugboy says:

    My MBA sister-in-law is a pain in the ass to have dinner out with. She is merciless on the waitstaff and settles for nothing less than perfection. Last time I witnessed this happen, I gently tried to extract a reason for her generally crappy attitude about waitstaff, and tipping. Her response was that she held this belief that such workers can bring in a huge paycheck for their work, cash on the barrel and tax free.

    I’m thinking this is not an unusual mentality, and having delivered pizza to pay my way through college, yes, you CAN bring home a lot of cash in one night’s work. But the catch was there was never a full 40 hour work week to bring in that kind of cash, only 2 or 3 nights a week, the peak times over weekends in particular.

    The the underlying truth is, if waitstaff work was so flush with cash, EVERYONE would be doing such work. It’s hard work and can pay well, but on the average this mentality about it being a big breadwinner is just a myth.

  92. 92

    You’re completely reading Mr. Pink wrong. His whole argument is that he doesn’t want to play ball with a system that’s about screwing employees to enrich owners. He’s an idiot, and he goes about it the wrong way, but fuck servers isn’t his point.

  93. 93
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Jeffro: I’d be good to walk in, pick a random server, tell him/her to find the manager, hand over the tip for what the meal would’ve been plus the pocket change for the “Obamacare service fee” in front of the manager, and explain that this was the proper proportion of expenses and pourboire for the meal the restaurant didn’t get to serve because the management is being d!cks.


    This FL place just sounds like nasty and maybe non-to-bright typical Floridian grifter-cum-Teahadist business management.

    Fixt. Welcome to the Sunshine State, where customers are marks and employees are lazy shiftless moochers who can be replaced by the containerful.

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    Jay in Oregon says:

    And this is why I always, always, over-tip. Always. I rarely eat out, but when I do, I make sure I can take care of the people serving me.

    Everyone—EVERYONE—I know who has worked as waitstaff (or other service job where tipping is expected) does this. Sometimes I think people should be required to spend a year working in a service job to truly get how crappy it can be, taking it from your employer AND the customers.

    The last time my father came to visit we went out to eat; he paid the bill and left NO TIP at all. I was horrified; after he got up to leave, I threw everything I had in my pocket down, and it was still like 5%.

    The next time I eat there I hope I get the same waitress; if I do I plan to make up for the last time. I didn’t get into it with my dad; he’s pushing 80 and isn’t going to change, and I only see him maybe once a year. I’ll just make a note to carry cash with me so I can afford to cover the tip.

  95. 95
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    And this is why I always, always, over-tip. Always.

    Yup, this is me. At a bare minimum, 20 percent rounded up, then typically a few extra dollars on top of that. I’m not Mr. Moneybags or anything, but I do think it’s important to look out for the people who are looking out for you.

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    Julie says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: Exactly. When you do that, you get things like this. Which, to give the city some serious credit, also (in part — there were other factors, too) gave us this.

  97. 97
    Redleg says:

    I am convinced that the radical, anti-health care portion of the GOP are all restaurant owners. They have all benefited for years from the low minimum wage and the especially low wages for tip-earning employees and then they bitch about a 1% increase in their labor costs. Then they are prone to complain about not being able to retain motivated employees. These people are scum.

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