Philadelphia Eagle running back, LaSean McCoy recently visited a burger place, PYT, in Philadelphia to enjoy a meal with three of his buddies. Something happened in PYT that has gotten McCoy some unwanted attention. McCoy is a very wealthy man. According to NBC sports he signed a 5 year/45 million dollar contract in 2012. He has had a nice NFL career rushing for over 1,600 yards last year. This celebrity football player did not get the service he felt he should and allegedly was rude to the wait staff, even insulting them. When the check was presented for $61.56 McCoy, allegedly, gave a 20 cent tip. That comes to a robust .03% tip.
To be honest, I have no desire to debate whether McCoy was justified in leaving a 20 cent tip. I am writing to believers, to followers of Jesus Christ. I would like to remind you that we carry with us the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. What we do is a reflection on Him and can hurt His cause. Some may not be aware that Christians have the reputation of being some of the worst tippers. Thomas Steagald, a pastor, tells a story of his daughter working as a server when six Christians came in and told her, “We want to tell you up front that we will not be tipping you tonight because we do not believe in people working on Sunday.” You can read his account of that event here. I read a blog by a Christian server named Guy Malone who shared how embarrassed he was when he heard his fellow restaurant staff talking about how poor religious people tip. They did not want to work a Sunday shift or a shift that coincided with a Christian event like a concert.
The Daily Finance offers proof that Christians may not be such bad tippers after all. They cite a Cornell University study that says Christians give on average a tip of 17.3% which is in the acceptable range. The study goes on to state that only 13% of Christians give less than 15% for a tip. That is a low number but is still more than twice the number of unaffiliated tippers. You can read Daily Finance’s article here. This data shows Christians are on average good tippers but Christians are more likely to stiff a waiter than the general public.
Here are some general thoughts for my brothers and sisters to remember the next time they tip.
1. A reduced tip for poor service probably says more about you than it does the server. A generous tip given with advice on how the server could improve carries more weight than just a poor tip and an obnoxious complaint.
2. The accepted norm in the food industry is a 15-20% tip before taxes. Do not tip on the total bill but the pretax bill.
3. We should tip discretely. Matthew 6:3 says that when doing a charitable deed do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Don’t announce to everyone in the place you are a generous person. God knows.
4. Many servers do not want to be servers. Few people set out with the goal of being a server in life. This is not the case in high-end restaurants but many servers are serving because they are preparing for another career or they can’t find another job. They may hate their jobs and our rude treatment may make their day even more miserable. Proverbs 14:23 says there is honor in all labor. Christians should make a server feel good about what they are doing and help them enjoy their jobs.
5. If you order a light meal or sit at a table for an extended visit please adjust the tip. Even if you eat bread and water you are taking the only opportunity for the server to make a tip at that place setting. If we sit at a table long enough for two parties to dine we should leave enough for two tips.
6. The etiquette scholar says if you have a complaint with your server and it is resolved tip the full amount. If the blame is not the server’s fault and the problem was not resolved then reduce the tip to 10%. If the problem was not taken care of and the server was to blame the etiquette scholar says reduce the tip to 8%.
7. If you want to tip 20% an easy way to figure the amount is to double the check amount and then move the decimal one place to the left. A check for $100.00 is doubled to 200.00 and then move the decimal one place to the left and voila $20.00 is 20% of $100.00. It works every time and you don’t look so miserly trying to add up a tip.
Finally, let me remind you our Father will always reward our generosity. He is pleased with our generosity. Proverbs 11:25 says a generous person shall be enriched. You will enjoy yourself more if you are generous to those who serve you, I promise. 5 year/45 million!!! I wonder if there is a market for a 46 year old, 250 pound running back in the NFL.