Bar shames bad tippers on Facebook, gets torched online by guests

An Ohio-bar is getting torched after it started to publicly shame it's guests who failed to leave appropriate gratuity.

Cherry Street Pub owners Billy and Lorena Smith took to Facebook after noticing a troubling trend of guests saying the service was terrific but leaving tips below 10%.

Here's the full post:

To all of the great “friends” of The Cherry Street Pub-

This message is not to the majority of our wonderful customers, but rather to the very irritating minority.

We pride ourselves on delivering the absolute best pub food and service available anywhere, and frankly feel that we do a damn good job of delivering. That said, we do not claim to be the cheapest, and that includes our service. We try to only hire the best servers and we demand the best from them. These fine people are working hard to support themselves. Many of them are paying tuition, raising kids, etc.

We have had a lot of customers lately who have told management how great everything was including the service, and then proceed to leave a tip less than 10%. That includes people who have left notes on credit card slips that said things such as “terrific service” underneath an 8% tip. FYI folks…..nice words will not pay the server’s bills.

So in an effort to make sure that our staff remains happy and able to support themselves we have a very simple request. If you are not prepared to give a 15 to 20% tip for good service then please go somewhere else.

Lastly, here is a quote from Men’s Health April, 2016.

“We don’t want to make it a constitutional amendment that says that you have to leave a 15 to 20% tip on a restaurant check like a reasonable, well-adjusted, nondouchey person. But some of you aren’t giving us much of a choice.”

Please share this request with all of your friends.

Very Sincerely,
Billy & Lorena Smith
Proud Proprietors

This reminds us a bit of the #NoShowShame movement in Australia, where restaurateurs publicly shame diners who failed to cancel or show up to their reservation.

A gutsy post

The post was definitely gutsy. We all hate bad tippers. It directly affects the livelihood of the service staff. And the bar owners did a relatively good job being polite and civil in their post, though we'd say telling people to "please go elsewhere" might've been the spark that set off an Internet inferno.

At the time this story was written, the post has over 1,000 comments and 800 shares, many negative.

"I have owned a restaurant for 25 years. Most patrons tip 20 - 30%. Demanding a certain tip is bad taste & bad business. If a server makes 35% at one table & 10% at another table it all evens out. The people that walk in your door keep your business going period. Worst PR post I have ever seen. Bad business in my opinion. Just saying........................."

"Wow! The way you Talk to people. I would not come there anyway!"

"As a retired restaurant onwer and spent 46 yrs in the business, I would never insult my customers that way,it all works out 10% here and 25 % there it all works out ,You won't be in business long ,trust me !!!"

A lot of the negative comments shifted the onus of the fair wage burden from the customers to the bar owners, saying that if the owners are so worried about their employee's well-being, they should pay them more. It's a common rallying cry (among many reasons) in the the movement to end tipping.

"This is why tipping should be optional, and restaurants should raise their prices and pay their employees adequately."

"This is all fine and good, but if you really feel that way, pay your servers a liveable wage instead of the 3 dollars an hour you're probably paying them. And if it's really that much skin off your bones, just include the 20% gratuity to the bill."

"If a tip is demanded/expected, especially at a given rate, it's a service fee. Add it to the bill and make customers pay it instead of pretending it's a tip. It's a wage subsidy."

Obviously, this is a very charged topic -- for both staff, operators and guests. There's plenty of misinformation and ignorance about the restaurant industry in the thread, illustrating the need for some sort of education with the general populace about how the restaurant industry works. 

But this is also a warning of what can happen when one takes to social media to vent a little. Sometimes things go well, like with an Indianapolis brewery who wrote an epic Facebook post banning a customer for sexually harassing the women staff; other times things can go awry like this post.

It's perfectly fine  to stand up for your employees. As their manager, you should be looking out for their well-being as well as the establishment's. If you feel the need to take to social media to talk about some real-life issues, go for it. Try to do it with the utmost class or, if you feel the need to go out guns blazing, be ready for the pushback that often comes with it.