Friday, February 26, 2010

Kanpai Japanese Steakhouse is RAAACIST!!

Oh brother.

Here's another one of those stories about "equity" and "fundamental rights."

It turns out that Monica Covington of Winston Salem, NC, has started a petition campaign against
Kanpai Japanese Restaurant for its refusal to serve her. Kanpai claims she's a "a habitual bad tipper."

Interestingly, some of the local news reports botched the story. Apparently Covington stiffed the Kanpai staff on numerous occasions and they'd had enough of this woman. Kanpai's response is published at WZZM 13 Grand Rapids:

At the time, Mrs. Monica Covington was a frequent customer. On many separate occasions, a server of our establishment attended to Mrs. Covington. Each time our server waited on Mrs. Covington no gratuity was left. Shortly after this incident, Mrs. Covington returned with a party that was originally composed of six people, which later turned to five. The same server waited upon this party and added the 15% gratuity to her bill without the manager's knowledge. When this case was pointed out to the manager, the problem was soon remedied and the gratuity removed from the bill. Even after the gratuity was removed, Mrs. Covington and her party left no gratuity. What followed shortly afterwards, on a separate occasion, Mrs. Covington returned with two or three other diners. Our Servers and even Chefs told the manager that they refused to wait on their party. The manager, in hopes of appeasing staff and customers alike, formally asked Mrs. Covington if she would mind a 15% gratuity added to her bill and was explained in detail as to the reasoning why. Our compliance with North Carolina Law, and our stated intentions in protecting our staff members and allowing Mrs. Covington to dine with us, was clearly stated and in an appropriate manner. Absolutely NO discrimination occurred whatsoever.

We feel that WXII News Channel 12 misrepresented our story. Although they spoke with our general manager Michael Lam for 20 minutes, only a very small portion of his comments were aired during their broadcast. We would hope that their journalistic creed would go beyond showing simply one side of the story.

And see Piggy Nannan, "I Support Kanpai, Shame on Monica Covington!" Following the links there, don't miss the comment thread at WXII12: "Customer Called Poor Tipper; She Calls For Boycott: Winston-Salem Woman Starts Petition Demanding Fair Treatment. " For example:

Where is this going to lead to? Al Sharpton picketing in front of the restaurant and a civil lawsuit?
Bingo: "Woman Called Poor Tipper Procures Lawyer."

And one more from
WXII12:
As a General Manager of a restaurant & bar myself, I find the idea that this woman is trying to sue is ludicrous ... Obviously she has a history of thinking she can do whatever she wants. An added gratuity is not a new concept for larger groups. I completely understand that the customer is always right, but restaurants, like any other business, also have the right to institute their own policies, this includes gratuities. If a patron doesn’t like the policy they have the choice to dine elsewhere. Furthermore, many people outside the restaurant world do not understand that most good restaurants bend over backwards for every patron they get and want to make them happy, not only so they will return, but also so their employees are paid appropriately as well. Margins of profit in the private sector do not allow employers to pay wait staff $7.00 or more an hour, unless patrons want to see their meals starting to cost 20% more. That is the true essence of partnership between a restaurant and its staff. What is good for one is good for the other. I commend the decision of this restaurant to protect their staff, because we all know that good help is hard to find.

5 comments:

Trish said...

I would like someone to ask her what her definition of a good tip is. I want to hear it from her what she tipped after her last 5 or so visits.

tyleyy said...

I 100 percent agree with this restaurant, I am a waitress at a very expensive restaurant and when I don't receive a tip I am tipping out money out of my own pocket. Most servers don't keep all the tips they receive, at the end of our shot we also have to give money to the bus boys, bartender, expos, etc according to our sails. I also only get paid 4.25 a hour so when that paycheck comes it hardly even fills up the gas in my car. I wish the management at ny restaurant did the same as this one did. I always give exceptional service and when I don't receive a tip after that it is rude and I think everyone should know that we live off our tips and not our 50 dollar paycheck every two weeks.

Dennis said...

As a young married airman with children in the Air Force I worked two or three jobs in order that my family had all that they needed. One of those jobs was as a bar tender at an officer's club. Because we received tips we received only a minimal pay from the club. I expect that is no different than what happens else where. We were some what lucky in the fact that most officers knew we were enlisted people who were working to make ends meet so they tipped accordingly.
As things would have it life has been good to us so when we tip at any place where tipping would be required we always tip well. These young people who do these jobs are the ones willing to make the effort to provide good service and make their own way so they deserve to be compensated for their efforts.
The money they receive not only goes to support them, but in many cases goes to improve their ability to compete in the world. They deserve our reward for good service provided. What better way than that is there to reward those who would work instead of go on welfare.
Adding a tip for larger groups is standard at most good eating establishments. This can be rectified here by adding a statement on the menu to that affect.

Kenny said...

After reading the comment's of others I stand corrected. There are two sides to each story and I wasn't thinking of the hard working employees who work at food establishment's. My bad. .But the lady in question claims she wasn't part of a large party and claims what they wanted from her in gratuity was excessive curious to what you all think. Once again my apologies to anyone that were offended by my comments :D

Dennis said...

Standard tip in most places is 15 percent. If my wife and I believe that the service was excellent we give 20 percent. There are times when we may exceed that.
It is my understanding that the person who received the service had "stiffed" the wait staff on prior occasions. It has been my experience that those who expect and demand the most usually give the least.
Because we believe in excellence we try to reward excellence when we see it.