[Houston] Jasmine Marks said she was trying to enjoy dinner recently with several friends at La Fisherman, located at 1935 Highway 6 South. She said the service was less than stellar; the wait staff was rude, their drinks didn’t get refilled and they didn’t receive their entire order. When the bill came, Marks said there was a problem. The restaurant added an automatic 17 percent gratuity because their party had more than five people in it, but Marks didn’t feel like the staff earned the full tip so she asked to speak to a manager. “We asked her, could the gratuity be removed? Could we give our own tip? She said it was part of their policy and there was nothing she could do about,” Marks said. “If you’re not satisfied with the service, you shouldn’t have to pay gratuity.” The gratuity policy was clearly marked on the restaurant’s menus. But Marks said when they questioned it the workers wouldn’t let her or her friends leave; she claims they locked the door and called the police. The on-duty manager at La Fisherman Restaurant told KPRC Local 2 they usually don’t have a problem with people paying their gratuity, but admitted they have called police for this type of issue before. That action has gotten the attention of Houston’s Better Business Bureau who said they are now looking into the complaint. Dan Parson, president of the BBB, recommends customers know the restaurant’s policies before they sit down for a meal. “Consumers need to understand the policy going in,” he said. “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.” In the end, the family ended up paying the 17 percent gratuity because they wanted to avoid any further problems.
Jesus Christ. Listen, I’m sure the tip/no-tip vote is split down the middle. I’d have just paid it. Not to avoid confrontation, but because I’m rich and I got better things to do than break down what I think satisfactory service entails. Others may disagree and say it’s not the money but the principle. Whatever. You’re at Long John Silver’s, so everybody relax with your moral codes and standards. Anyway, it’s legal to hold patrons hostage? Just padlock the doors and shake ’em down? I feel like most places in this situation would at the very least apologize, remind them of the restaurant policy that’s clearly advertised on the menus & offer a discount on their next meal. I mean the point of a restaurant is to have people come back, right? Not La Fisherman. The staff quickly got wind there was a potential 17% situation and went into DEFCON 1. Pressed whatever magic button they have apparently used before to turn their seafood joint into Attica. When you’re that much on the defensive, you’re pretty much telling everyone that you’re fully aware your service sucks for parties of 5 or more and there’s nothing we can do about it. Not a good look. Try to pull that shit on my claustrophobic ass and I’m gonna bite 17% off everybody’s faces until you open a motherfucking door. Have fun with the BBB.