When a mother and her teenage daughter went to a local diner for a meal, mom was outraged when the server handed her a slip at the end with an offensive addition on it. Although New Jersey locals have loved the Wayne Hills Diner for years, a new policy has struck locals the wrong way. The dinger management decided to force customers to pay a gratuity for all items, whether or not they wanted to.

Although the restaurant could simply have increased their prices and paid their servers a livable wage, the restaurant decided to make it obvious that they were shirking the responsibility and forcing customers to cover the tab. The restaurant decided to implement the change because the diner is frequented by students who are notoriously bad at tipping restaurant workers. And that’s why Melissa Desch, a mother of one of the students at Schuyler-Colfax Middle School, has come forward to speak to the media about her outrage at having to pay a tip at the diner.

Desch believes that paying servers a tip is a form of price gouging. While there is a strong debate as to whether restaurants should pay their employees a livable wage – or force the customer to pay tips to make sure these workers have enough food on their table, Desch didn’t care. She was angry that she was forced to provide a tip – even though the service was not necessarily good or bad.

“My daughter looked down at her bill and realized that there is a charge for a tip, an 18 percent charge per child.”

Desch has been a lifetime patron of the diner. She was stunned that they changed the policy to start forcing customers to automatically tip. She thinks the restaurant has purposely targeted children “because they’re kids, and they don’t know any better.”

The receipt encourages diners to leave a larger tip even though they’d already been charged for it.

“Even adults don’t always tip, and it’s not anything against the servers, but you can’t assume that these kids don’t know what they’re doing,” Desch said.

She confronted the owner about the issue, but the owner said it was “policy because the kids run out, and he feels that they don’t tip well, and they don’t know how to tip was the explanation.”

One manager at the New Jersey diner said the tip is added to any preteen’s bill because they just don’t know how to tip properly.

The manager said, “We have kids coming in here every Friday, 20 to 25 at a time. The kids don’t leave no tip. (We charged these large groups gratuity) because my employees need to get paid. They don’t work for free.”

Because the diner got so much negative press over the issue, they hired a lawyer.

“We love the kids. They’ve been coming for years. We’re a family-owned business. There’s too much publicity for nothing.”

But Desch and other outraged parents demand changes.

“There are enough parents that are willing to not let their kids go back there, and if it’s the same group she’s [her daughter] always hanging out with, it could be 20, 30 kids. I’m never going to go back, not after this,” she said.

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