Lawmaker targets inclusive tipping

Everybody has a pet peeve, but when a lawmaker has one it can become a bill.

Rep. Rep Ralph Rosen, R-Laconia, would like to prohibit restaurants from including tipping in the price of a meal.

The practice, which usually occurs in some of the state’s fine dining establishments, irks Rosen. When Rosen raised the issue, the restaurant said he could give whatever tip he wanted to. But other patrons may not be so outspoken and pay it — whether they want to tip the waiter or not, he said.

“A gratuity means it should be freely given,” he said. “Now I’m a pretty generous tipper. I have three kids who worked restaurants to get through college. I normally start out at 15 percent and go up when warranted. I just don’t want to feel like I have to pay it.”

If restaurants want to charge a service charge, then they should at least call it a service charge, and not a gratuity, Rosen said.

New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association official say they are aware of the bill, but have not seen the language and have not yet taken a position on it. – BOB SANDERS

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