Tipping Point

Bring on the four horsemen because when the unthinkable happens to a server in a restaurant, it’s damn near apocalyptic.

That unthinkable thing? A customer not leaving a tip.

Or in Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy’s case, leaving a TWENTY CENT tip on a $61.00 tab.

Oh, the horror!


Apparently, LeSean McCoy and his boys went to eat at PYT, a burger spot in Philadelphia. According to the server, McCoy and his buddies were rude from the beginning and throughout their entire meal. Admittedly, the server forgot to put in an order for their appetizer, for which he claims he apologized. Unhappy with their allegedly ugly experience at PYT, LeSean wrote $.20 in the tip line.


Twenty cents on a $60.00 tab might not like seem like the end of the world to you, but to a server, it’s like someone kicking them in the stomach. Trust me, I used to be one.

Now, in the wake of TipGate, many people have come to LeSean’s defense and contended that tipping is not mandatory and that “gratuity” itself implies that each customer has discretion to choose (or not choose) to be gratuitous in tipping.

Duly noted. But tipping, believe it or not, is just as much of a societal norm (at least in the United States) as is saying “please” and “thank you” or not letting a door slam shut in the face of the 93-year-old grandma who’s walking behind you or referring to someone as special needs instead of retarded.

Welcome to the 21st century.

Are there waiters who give shitty service? Duh! Of course there are! Just like there are teachers who forget their lesson plans, doctors who write prescriptions first and ask questions later, pilots who fly tipsy, and comedians who tell awful jokes, everyone has an off day at work.

Let’s, just for a moment, side with LeSean McCoy and believe that his server sucked.

Did he have the right to leave a paltry 20 cents to get his point across? This is America, so yeah, just like you have the right to leave the carton in the fridge once you’ve drunk all the milk, it was totally his prerogative. But just like leaving an empty milk carton in the fridge can start a fight with your bae, leaving a bad tip can get you blasted on the Internet.

Within in the first few minutes of interacting with your server, you already know whether or not you like them. Whether it’s how quickly they acknowledged your presence or how they brought your bread basket without you asking, you’ve formed your opinion early on.

So here’s a model we can all follow.

If you’ve decided within the first several minutes that you don’t like your waiter, be an adult, grab a manager, and calmly explain to them why you’d like a different server. Ten times out of ten, they’ll get you a new server who, believe me, is going to do everything in their power to make you feel comfortable. And if you get a replacement server who goes to the ends of the Earth to ensure you have the best experience, really, there’s no.reason.not.to.TIP!

What LeSean McCoy did (or didn’t do) doesn’t make him the world’s worst athlete, but it is a glaring reminder that those in the spotlight must make more careful choices. Dude, you signed a 45 million dollar contract. Tip now, complain later, and if it sucked that badly, bash the restaurant all over social media.

And for those folks out there without LeSean McCoy-type celebrity who still feel tipping is optional, stay your broke butt home. Your local grocer has a wide variety of 10 for $10 microwave meals in the freezer section that better suits your budget.

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