The manager of a Costa del Sol restaurant at the centre of a storm over tipping has spoken out to insist his staff weren’t impressed by the latest ‘headlining’ tip.
The Playa Padre restaurant made headlines last week after a show of one upmanship saw waiting staff left a tip of €4,098 on top of the automatic (but voluntary) service of €371 added to the bill.
The generous diner was Catalan lawyer Raul Castañeda who went to the restaurant to make a point a week after financial trader Enrique Moris took to social media to complain that he had been asked for an added tip on his whopping bill.
Instead, Moris was lampooned on social media for his ‘nouveau riche’ attitude and pairing Dom Perignon with burgers and tequila shots.
Casteñada claimed he left the tip to make up for the insult from the previous diner and told La Vanguardia that each waiter would have taken home an extra €270 that night.
But speaking to The Olive Press, the manager of the restaurant played down the gesture and said in fact, large tips of that nature are par for the course at Playa Padre.
“It happens a lot at Playa Padre, we have a very high quality clientele, and it happens that people spend a lot of money,” said Rey Giarmon, 39, who has been manager since the beach club restaurant opened five years ago.
He wouldn’t speculate on the recent spat between strangers.
“I have nothing to say on the subject (of Raul Castañeda and Enrique Moris), each person does what they want. I respect my clients and I don’t get involved in politics or personal ideas, only what each person wants to do with their money”
He admitted that the team often get left tips that far surpass that of Castañeda’s four grand.
In fact, he said, that once the amount was distributed evenly between all of the staff of the restaurant – around 50 people – they would take home about €80.
“As general manager I make sure that everyone gets an equal share of the tip,” Giarmon insisted. “No one is tipped more than anyone else: from the person who cleans, to the person who looks after the toilets. We are about 50 employees in all”.
“As I have repeated many times, the tip is voluntary and so is the service charge (10%). When someone doesn’t want to pay it, they don’t have to. It happens rarely, but it does happen”.