You've probably heard by now about Philadelphia Eagle's star running back LeSean McCoy infamous $.20 tip to a server in a Philadelphia restaurant. Mr. McCoy and three of his companions dined at PYT and left a 20-cent tip on a $60 tab. The restaurant took a photo of the receipt, posted it on their Facebook page and Internet chaos ensued. Mr. McCoy stated he got bad service, the restaurant stated Mr. McCoy and his party were rude, all fodder for an online "he said/she said". Business scribes jumped on this juicy opportunity to write whether businesses should use social media to publicly shame people. Welcome to "Tipgate", everybody.
Although it's debated what really happened, I can guarantee you Mr. McCoy and party did what we all do when we are not satisfied with a dining experience. The server or manager asks "How is everything?" and we answer "It's fine." Internally we may feel the service may be less than spectacular or the food mediocre, yet we assure the staff it's alright. As patrons, the biggest disservice we can do to a restaurant is not be honest about our experience, particularly a restaurant we really like. Sure, it can be uncomfortable and it stings for a operator to hear, but that's what a restaurant needs to hear. You want your favorite restaurant to stay in business, right? Well then be honest with them-good, bad or indifferent. Feedback from customers is vital to a restaurant's livelihood.
So as opposed to letting the manager know he was not having a good experience and giving them the chance to correct it, Mr. McCoy made "a statement" by leaving a 20-cent tip. A statement that has backfired and portrayed Mr. McCoy as a cheapskate. It makes you wonder what if he had approached the owner/manager during or after the meal and complained about the service. Obviously the owner is enamored by Philadelphia athletes and probably would have bent over backwards to correct the situation. Mr. McCoy may have then praised them online for improving the experience, but more importantly to PYT, he would have probably become a regular.
-Richard Averitte, Marketing Director, ShiftZen