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Outraged Wayne Parents Boycott the Wayne Hills Diner for Adding a 18% Gratuity to Kids’ Checks

The Wayne Hills Diner, a restaurant popular among Wayne residents of all ages, recently found it itself embroiled in controversy.

The Wayne Hills Diner, a restaurant popular among Wayne residents of all ages, recently found it itself embroiled in controversy.

By Stefanie Batavia and Victoria LoVerde

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The popular Wayne Hills Diner recently made national news over a tipping scandal! Melissa Desch and her family have been customers at the diner for years. Almost every week, Desch’s 11-year-old daughter Isabella, a student at Schuyler Colfax Middle School, has been going to the diner with a group of 20-30 kids. After reviewing her bill several times, Isabella noticed that there was an 18% tip charge added. After hearing about the added tip her very angered mother considered this charge to be age discrimination. Desch has grown up in the town of Wayne and has been a loyal customer to the diner with groups of friends and has never received this charge, so she was confused as to why her daughter had been charged so harshly.

Desch had then followed up with the owner of the Wayne Hills Diner with her concerns. The owners’ attorney, Greg Donnelly, had explained that “the kids have been showing up in groups of 20 or 30, staying for an hour or two, and most don’t leave a tip. It’s not fair to the waiters and waitresses.” Desch and several other parents now outraged have decided to boycott the diner.

After being  featured on national news, the Wayne Hills Diner Facebook page has received several comments, and on that page, the Diner has a photo of their menu posted, which states, “management has the right to add 18% gratuity.” The diner isn’t hiding the tip, in fact, they made their policy very clear. The Diner has also said that many Schuyler Colfax students have neglected to leave tips in the past, which was what prompted them to add the mandatory gratuity in the first place. 

Wayne Hills students who frequent the diner were asked to give their opinion on the controversy.

Wayne Hills Junior Matt Verret agrees with the parents, saying, “If you’re old enough to be going out and responsible enough to be given money then you should be old enough to determine tip on your own.”

Siding with the diner, Jaclyn Levendusky, a senior, says, “If the diner clearly states on the check and the menu that they will be adding the 18% tip, then it is okay because many other restaurants do that. It would only become a problem if they were hiding the tip and purposely leaving it off the check, but still adding it.”

The Wayne Hills Diner’s “teen tax” was featured on Vice News’ Snapchat story on November 14.

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"Without an informed public, the democracy will cease to exist."
Outraged Wayne Parents Boycott the Wayne Hills Diner for Adding a 18% Gratuity to Kids’ Checks