The UPI guide to proper tipping in the 21st Century for LeSean McCoy and other concerned parties

In light of recent events, UPI breaks down the nuances of expected tipping etiquette.

By Matt Bradwell
UPI alumnus Walter Cronkite would probably agree with us that one should tip fairly. (UPI Photo/Ezio Petersen/File)
UPI alumnus Walter Cronkite would probably agree with us that one should tip fairly. (UPI Photo/Ezio Petersen/File) | License Photo

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WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- On Monday, Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy became the center of unwanted national attention when he intentionally stiffed the waitstaff at a Philadelphia restaurant and bar.

"Our staff was beyond excited to see him walk into our burger joint and was excited to serve him," PYT owner Tommy Up posted on Facebook.


"That's twenty cents on a tab of over $60. Twenty cents that our server has to split with the food runner and the bartender. Two dimes from an insulting multimillionaire."

To help professional athletes, celebrities and everyday people avoid McCoy's gaffe, UPI's proud Trending Team has put together a handy guide to tipping like a regular, decent person in every conceivable scenario.

The service was great.

"I think 15 percent is generally considered the norm, [over] 20 percent is for particularly good service." says entertainment reporter Annie Martin.

"Having been a server, I always tip 20 percent or more and a lot of my food service friends do that, too."

It's assumed that anywhere one drinks and dines regularly has consistently good service. In this case, tip well and add half the value of every drink or other item scratched from your tab for being a loyal customer. If nothing is ever comped for customer loyalty, find a new regular spot.


The service was between average and mediocre.

"I usually estimate 18 percent," says UPI's Washington reporter Gabrielle Levy.

Levy's mental formula is "give 20 [percent] for good service and 15 [percent] for bad."

Whatever one tips in this case, remember that the service was not poor.

The service is terrible. The waiter is my new nemesis. This restaurant is my white whale.

Remember, people working for tips in the service industry do not have the same payroll protections as those in other industries. The federal minimum wage for servers is $2.13 per hour if they are working for tips. While labor efforts and humanitarian movements nationwide seek to change that, it's not going to happen between dessert and the check, no matter how room temperature your third helping of endless shrimp at Red Lobster was. That's what Yelp! is for.

"I feel like service has to be pretty appalling for me not to tip 20 percent," says editor Juliegrace Brufke.

"In my experience, 10 percent, even when you hate your service, is really frowned upon because you so rarely know why the service is bad," advises Levy.

"Ten percent is equivalent to zero," adds Senior Editor Kristen Butler.


I'm Eagles running back LeSean McCoy and the last time I dined out I humiliated myself by stiffing a waiter at a restaurant notorious for its poor service.

"One hundred percent," says Butler.

For Brufke, that may not be enough.

"He needs to pull a Johnny Depp and leave like $4,000 to redeem himself."

"Enough to make headlines," echoes Annie Martin.

"Whatever the number is," observes Managing Digital Editor Rafael Bernal, "enough that the server will voluntarily put it on Twitter."

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