Discrimination is alive and well in Westport.
And apparently, it’s legal.
Matsu Sushi — one of Staples students’ favorite restaurants — tacks a tip onto the checks of teenagers.
Some of theirs, anyway.
Without telling them ahead of time.
Isaac Stein described the practice in yesterday’s student newspaper, Inklings.
“In the event that there is a group of teenagers at a table, the server and I will usually make the decision to add a 15 percent tip to their bill at the end of the meal,” the manager — who requested anonymity — told Isaac.
However, Staples senior Morgan Garrison was hit with a surprise 20 percent gratuity.
The manager told Isaac that the tip is “not applied to regular customers, or teenagers that the restaurant knows are going to leave an appropriate tip.”
Morgan called her tip “baffling, especially because we had waited for our food for close to an hour.”
The Matsu Sushi manager claims that before the policy was enacted, 30 to 40 percent of teenagers “would just walk out without tipping at all.” Staples student Izzy Spada counters, “I was chased out the door of the restaurant for tipping somewhere between 13 and 15 percent.”
Some restaurants note their tipping policy on the menu. Bobby Q’s, for example, says that parties of 8 or more will have 18 percent added to their bill.
Though Matsu Sushi seems applies its policy randomly — to only some teenagers — and does not disclose it beforehand, it may still be okay.
According to Isaac, lawyers for the website justanswer.com say that because no law prohibits discrimination based on age, the policy is “technically legal.”
(Federal Title VII, and Connecticut law, bar discrimination against anyone 40 or older.)
However, the lawyers say, it “appears to be very bad business.”
Though Matsu Sushi is popular with Staples students, it’s hardly the only restaurant in town. It’s not even the only sushi spot.
Education takes many forms. Staples students can learn a very good lesson — and teach one to restaurant owners — by eating summer rolls at a place that doesn’t try to roll them.