Quote of the Day - The tipping custom originated in England when small sums were dropped into a box marked T.I.P.S. --TO INSURE PROMPT SERVICE.
Like some of the rest us have done from time to time, he took a big group. Unfortunately, the food wasn't good, and the service wasn't much better. So, Mr. Taveras didn't leave a big tip. He left under ten percent.
Consequently, he got arrested.
For not leaving an 18 percent tip. Technically speaking, for theft of services. A misdemeanor crime, all for voting with his wallet. He left a tip, but not the kind the restaurant wanted.
Seems that Soprano's had a requirement that if you brought a large party, here more than eight, then you had to tip 18%. But, neither Taveras nor anyone in his party knew that. They didn't see it on the menu, and although Soprano's claimed that the waiters told the party, Taveras and his group said they didn't know.
This story has flown across the internet because we are all confused on the issue, and don't want to have a restaurant with bad service and bad food to tell us how to tip. That in itself is a license to steal. Even in Denmark.
It seems to me that if anyone should have been arrested, it was the restaurant personnel for not delivering what was promised. But, that too would have been wrong.
So what happened to Mr. Taveras? The New York District Attorney saw it the same way you and I do. A tip is just a tip, and it is discretionary, not mandatory.
Even if the restaurant says otherwise, you'll be glad to know.