Diner accused of cashing in on kids in Wayne, NJ

Thursday, November 9, 2017
New Jersey diner adds 18 percent gratuity to bills, accused of targeting kids
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A.J. Ross has the latest on the tipping dispute.

WAYNE, New Jersey (WABC) -- Sized up before they even walk through the door, the Wayne Hills Diner on Hamburg Turnpike in New Jersey is accused of charging kids extra for their after school snacks.

"My daughter looked down at her bill and realized that there is a charge for a tip, an 18-percent charge per child," said Melissa Desch, a concerned parent.

Desch says her 11-year-old daughter has been recently targeted along with her friends at Schulyer-Colfax Middle School.

Her daughter even brought home receipts revealing the diner staff tacking on an extra line of gratuity for tables full of students.

"Then on the bottom, it says something about please leave a gratuity and they've already charged them a gratuity," Desch said. "I was angry because I had been there the week before and I had been there with a group of five, some kids and some children, and I was not charged this gratuity."

Desch grew up going to the same diner after school and never experienced the added tip at the bottom of the bill.

She considers the new changes age discrimination and personally talked the issue over with the owner.

"He said that's policy because the kids run out and he feels that they don't tip well, and they don't know how to tip was the explanation," she said. "I said I could understand that, but again, they're not being given the option, they're being forced to pay them."

Desch and several other parents are now boycotting the diner and the controversy has made a lot of others also lose their appetites.

In response to several comments on the diner's Facebook page is a posted picture of the diner menu which reads in very fine print at the bottom "management reserves the right to add 18% gratuity."

"There are enough parents that are willing to not let their kids go back there, and if it's the same group she's (her daughter) always hanging out with it could be 20-30 kids," Desch said. "I'm never going to go back, not after this."

WABC reached out to the owners of the Wayne Hills Diner, but they declined to comment.