New Jersey Diner Owner Defends 'Kid Tip' Policy

Wayne Hills Diner News 4 New York

What to Know

  • A New Jersey diner automatically adds tips to the checks of students and young people who eat there

  • Parents are angry, saying it's unfair and that tipping should be a choice

  • The diner owner says the restaurant often gets slammed from kids at the school across the street, and they often don't tip

It's customary to leave a tip when eating out, but one particular gratuity added to an order for a milkshake and fries at a New Jersey diner is angering parents.

"My daughter was coming to me, telling me that every time she and her friends went to the diner, they're being charged the gratuity," said Melissa Desch. "And when I asked her why, she said, 'Because they're children.'"

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Desch said her daughter Isabella and other students at the Colfax Schuyler Middle School frequently go to the Wayne Hills Diner, just across the Hamburg Turnpike from the school. The diner's policy of adding the tip applies to kids only, and Desch believes that's unfair.

"I was always told servers were always paid upon their service," she said.

Peter Logos, one of the diner's owners, defended the policy, saying that the establishment is hit with large numbers of kids at a time, especially on Fridays. That ties up waitstaff, who aren't often tipped.

He said the menu clearly states the diner will add an 18-percent gratuity at its discretion.

Some Wayne High School students said they first noticed the addition to their bills around the time football season started -- and did not mind.

"Some people just don't know how to do it, and it just makes life easier," said one student.

Another girl added, "I think it's good only because these people here work very hard, and they deserve more than 50 cents or a dollar as a tip."

But Desch believes tipping should still be a choice. She said her daughter won't be going back to the diner.

"It's not about the establishment," Desch said. "I've been going there since I was a child. But with them, they don't understand and they just pay the bill, And you know, she doesn't understand that she has a right to not pay a tip."

The owner said parents should teach their children how to tip.