Today we ate at Steak N Shake.

Upon checking out, my card was swiped and I was told I was all set. There was no option to fill out my receipt and add a tip – simply a closed out order. I asked the cashier, Jackie where I should write in the tip, she replied that this was impossible because she had already closed out the transaction. I told her to fix it then, because who was she to block Anastasia from her tips? And how long was this going on? How many servers in this crappy litter diner are being screwed out of their pay because Jackie doesn’t feel like adding tips onto their open checks?! Jackie replies, “Well you didn’t ask me if you could leave a tip.” I pointed out that this was a restaurant and typically people leave tips. In a situation where you have to take your bill to a register to pay, I have NEVER in my life not been asked, “Would you like to leave gratuity?” – Have you?

Jackie goes on to shrug; she clearly doesn’t care that she’s making the executive decision to deny servers their tips. This isn’t right. I ask for a manager. She goes and gets Anastasia. I repeated, “No, I need to speak with someone in a position of authority. You can explain to Anastasia yourself why she was not allowed to receive a tip..I want to make the manager aware of what you are doing.” She says he’s busy and proceeds to take the person behind me. I calmly  point out, “I am not done here.”  and remind her that I asked for a manager. She points to him, standing a few feet away and claims, “You can clearly see he’s busy.” I said, “Well I’m a guest who needs him, he will have to find a minute…” She argues, “No, you can clearly see he’s busy..” pointing to him again and again proceeding to check out someone else. Meanwhile everyone else she checks out is not offered the opportunity to leave gratuity. I point out how convenient this all is for her, and she actually replies, “No ma’am it isn’t.” I say , “Really? Because you are wronging your coworkers here and you are REFUSING to facilitate me speaking with a manager to report you.. that sure seems convenient to me… would you rather I announce to the entire restaurant staff exactly what you are doing, and let them work it out with you???” She again shrugs and claims the manager is busy. I point out, “You did not even tell him that a guest is asking for him!!”  She gives up and takes the two steps to approach him and returns with him. By this time a couple servers have come within earshot. Good. They need to know that Jackie is screwing them.

I explain the situation to Ever (what his nametag said). He simply states that he cannot void my transaction to re-do it with a tip. I point out that voiding shouldn’t be necessary , that Jackie never gave me the opportunity to leave a tip, that she’s screwing the servers out of their pay. I ask him if he’s ever been a server ? He says he has. I ask him how he would like it then, if he was depending upon those tips to feed his children or pay his rent and some other person in the operation made the executive decision to deny him his hard-earned money. He agrees that he would not like it. He promises to explain to Anastasia what Jackie has done and claims he will address this with Jackie too. I am not sure if he truly will or not, I’d like to notify corporate that this has gone on.

Meanwhile, I do hope word has traveled among the other servers that Jackie is tip-blocking them and that they take matters into their own hands. This is just so wrong.

**Will post a follow-up should Steak N Shake take the time to respond to me.**


***2.28.2013 Follow up…. ***

Haven’t heard back from the company, wrote them again:

“This is my 2nd time contacting you. I shared with you, a story of one of your cashiers denying customers the opportunity to tip their servers. IF you care about your employees even a little bit, could you please respond and let me know? So far, you havent responded, which indicates that you do not care about your employees, which means I should see what I can do to get a boycott going. No one likes to give their money to companies who treat their employees poorly. And no one really needs Steak N Shake anyway…”