Bubba staffer: “They embarrassed me at Cheap!”
Tampa, Florida – Broderick Epps says he loves to go out and have fun with his buddies.
What he didn’t enjoy recently is a night at South Tampa hot spot Cheap.
“It’s very embarrassing to go to a restaurant and be treated that way,” says Broderick.
For the past ten years, the well-known radio personality has worked with the nationally syndicated radio show “Bubba the Love Sponge.”
Broderick and a friend were at Cheap recently during a fight night. They were told there was a $20 minimum for each customer.
Both men agreed they were fine with that and just wanted something to eat.
When the bill came, Broderick says the service was terrible.
“My friends all tell me that I’m too nice because I leave good tips,” Broderick.
He says he tipped nearly 20 percent.
He was shocked when he says the waiter told him it wasn’t enough.
“It said $53.87. I gave him a $10 tip, so $63 and some change. He came back and said, ‘The 20 percent is not good enough for this bill.’”
Broderick says he tried to talk with General Manager Larry Ortiz, who was on the floor that night helping servers.
Ortiz admits that he didn’t give Broderick his full attention.
“Look, I know I was busy. I should have given him my undivided attention,” said Ortiz. “I feel bad about that.”
Broderick says the GM sided with the server that night and that he “backed his wait staff.”
The next day, Broderick checked his bank statement and saw that instead of $63.87, there was a charge of $70.
The restaurant claims that a woman sat down with them and that she needed to be charged the $20 minimum as well.
Broderick says his friend’s girlfriend stopped by the table briefly, but did not stay.
Ortiz told his story on Bubba’s show and says he feels terrible about what happened.
“I don’t believe I committed fraud, I’m sorry, I disagree with you, but I don’t believe I committed fraud,” Ortiz said.
Ortiz says he’s going to give a full refund to his customer. However, Broderick says he’s not after the money. He says he was upset about the way he was treated and that, he tells us, doesn’t have a price.
“If we clearly state a minimum, and the customer didn’t pay a minimum, then we could add it onto a tab,” Ortiz said.
In the last three years, Ortiz says this has never happened.
Meanwhile, Broderick told us, “Some people say I’m too damn nice. Next time I’m tipping a dollar. One dollar.”
“As far as the waiter goes, his employment will be addressed,” Ortiz said. “Lots of people are coming to my defense.”