Kids are bad tippers. There, we said it. Is that controversial? Perhaps. Do you have to agree? You sure don't. To us, though, it's fair to say that younger people generally have less experience in restaurants. Thus, it's logical that they have less of a concept of what an appropriate tip looks like. Is this true of everyone? Of course not, but we're fire-starters. (We wouldn't put it past some kids we grew up with to literally start a fire as opposed to leaving a good tip.) That said, one diner in New Jersey agrees. Thus, the New Jersey restaurant has added a teen tax.
Can we flipflop here? Perhaps you'll allow us to pivot our stance just a little bit? Kids may be bad at tipping, but a teen tax seems a little unnecessary. Here's the story.
Wayne, New Jersey's Wayne Hills Diner sees a lot of young patrons. According to the diner's owner's lawyer (yes, that's correct), groups of up to 30 teens have been coming to the restaurant. They'll stay for hours, order plenty of food, and leave without tipping. While 30 teens may be a bit of an exaggeration, we get the point.
The restaurant's stance is that they reserve every right to add 18 percent gratuity. That's right; the mandatory teen tip percentage is fixed at 18 percent. As far as who gets the fixed tip rate goes, it seems the diner isn't too rigid.
Recently, an 11-year-old customer received the tax. We've never been good at math, but 11 is barely even a pre-teen. The teen tax, it appears, is more like a young person tax that can be applied whenever the diner wishes.
Young restaurant-goers and their parents alike are in a bit of a tizzy over this. It seems unfair on the surface. In a business where team members depend on tips, though, it's hard to say the teen tax is ludicrous. We want the kids to tip on their own. Until they do, though, it seems the Wayne Hills Diner will continue to make gratuity mandatory.
This post was originally published in November 2017.