Family Locked in Restaurant After Refusing to Tip for Bad Service

A family eating at a restaurant in Houston was locked inside the restaurant after they refused to pay for bad service.

Jasmine Marks and members of her family were eating at La Fisherman when she said they received poor service such as rude wait staff and missing orders and empty drink glasses.

The trouble started with the bill came. The restaurant's policy for groups larger than five people is to automatically add 17 percent gratuity, Marks did not think that the service reflected the full tip and asked to speak with the manager, according to KPRC.

"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," she continued.

The gratuity policy was clearly marked on the restaurant's menus, but Marks explained that after they spoke to the managers the workers prevented them from leaving, claiming that they locked the door and called the police.

"She said, 'That's fine. If you don't want to pay the gratuity we have HPD outside,'" Marks said. "I asked the police officer twice, maybe three times, is it against the law if we don't pay the gratuity and he never gave me a straight answer."

Dan Parson, president of the Better Business Bureau, suggested that patrons know the policies of the restaurant before eating there.

"Consumers need to understand the policy going in. 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," he said.

The family ended up paying the 17 percent gratuity to avoid any further problems.