Restaurant Adds Mandatory Tip for Non-English Speakers

Hawaii's Civil Rights Commission is reviewing the legality
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2011 6:12 PM CST
Restaurant Adds Mandatory Tip for Non-English Speakers
Surfers catch a massive wave, at Waimea Bay on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011 on Oahu, Hawaii North Shore.   (AP Photo/Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Jamm Aquino)

A restaurant in Hawaii is under review by the state's Civil Right Commission because of its policy of adding a 15% gratuity to the bills of patrons who don't speak English. The Waikiki eatery says the policy isn't xenophobic—it's just that many customers come from abroad where tipping isn't customary and it needs to take care of its staff, reports AP.

The Consumerist notes that problems with foreign non-tippers isn't new in the restaurant world, but doesn't think this solution will fly. "The decision to add the surcharge to only non-English-speaking customers' bills is problematic, at least from a logistical point of view. Many tourists know at least a few words of English and a good deal of them are conversant. At what point does someone qualify for the surcharge?" (More English stories.)

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