This Diner is Imposing a Special 'Teen Tax' Because They're Such Bad Tippers

As anyone who’s worked in the food service industry will attest, being stiffed on a tip after busting your hump over a bunch of demanding people is absolutely infuriating. It’s soul-crushing and downright cruel. It's also the reason why a diner in Wayne, New Jersey just started charging its teen customers an extra fee -- to protect its waitstaff from hordes of young patrons who repeatedly fail to tip their servers.

As you might imagine, it's provoked some mixed reactions, and at least one parent is pissed.

The recently implemented 18% "teen tax" was devised by the owner of the Wayne Hills Diner after experiencing frequent surges of 20-30 teenage customers staying for extended periods of time at the establishment without leaving a tip for the waitstaff, according a report from the local CBS affiliate. The decision has been met with anger from parents, some of which consider charging minors more for something than other patrons to be unfair, especially when their kid was planning to tip in the first place, and ends up double-tipping the server instead.

It's such an insult, some one mother insists she won't be visiting Wayne Hills anytime soon. "It’s not how much [my daughter] paid, it’s the simple fact she didn’t have a choice," she told CBS.

While the decision may be controversial among some young customers and their parents, the diner's waitstaff -- and, for that matter, all servers who have been repeatedly stiffed by patrons -- are likely to see things a little differently. The move is also likely to reignite an ongoing debate over the movement to eliminate tipping in restaurants in favor of increasing menu prices across the board to pay restaurant workers at all tiers a living wage. 

As if there were any question, let this just be a reminder to be nice to your servers and c'mon, leave a damn tip, people.


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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.