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“Let them eat wings!”

Louisvillians flocked to the KFC Yum! Center on Dec. 12 to see Beyoncé perform, packing the place and creating a predictable ripple in the community about the show.

But it appears someone in the Beyoncé camp may have committed a dining faux pas – a man who called in and picked up a huge carry-out order Thursday evening said he was trying to feed Beyoncé and her crew.

The bill came to $911.28 – and the man left no tip.

Worse, Highlands Buffalo Wild Wings cashier Mahogany Lucas said when the man asked to order food for himself separately, she decided to give him his food free.

And still, no tip.

When the call came in initially, Lucas asked her manager if they could handle the huge order, which consisted of 200-plus boneless wings, 100-plus traditional wings, 20 orders of chicken tenders, plus multiple orders of fried shrimp, fish tacos and more, along with five burgers and four salads.

She said the caller indicated that he needed the food by a certain time and added, “He was very rude.”

She said the man kept coming back, making three trips that created a lot of extra work and confusion for the restaurant.

“It put us two hours behind,” Lucas said.

No tip.

Lucas said the Buffalo Wild Wings staff generally splits gratuities, so everyone involved that night got the shaft. She said she went out of her way to get the order filled by the time the man requested. Lucas — a single mom — had hoped the extra work she and her co-workers put in would be rewarded monetarily.

His name was apparently "Chris."
The first order. Two more orders followed.

She posted her story on the Facebook page of Blue Ivy Carter, the daughter Beyoncé has with rapper Jay-Z, and addressed it directly to the pop star herself. As of Thursday afternoon, there was no response.

I sent an email to KFC Yum! Center PR and marketing contact Sandra Kendall on Wednesday in hopes the person who placed the order could be identified, but that message had not been answered by Thursday evening.

Did Beyoncé even know this happened? Did she eat any of the chicken wings in question?

It’s possible the unidentified man was an employee of the Yum! Center or the show promoter, as opposed to Beyoncé.

Regardless, it’s mind-boggling that someone could be so careless in our social media-driven society. I mean, if you’re going to place such a massive order and then stiff the restaurant, why drop Beyoncé’s name?

Yes, that probably helped sway the manager’s decision to approve the order, but if Drew Brees and Miley Cyrus both got burned for poor tipping, Beyoncé’s camp should know better.

That said, many if not most people will argue that tipping on a to-go order is unnecessary, and the line is definitely fine and subject to perspective.

FirstWeFeast.com surveyed a panel of dining experts in New York to compile the Complete Guide to Tipping in 2013, and for carry-out orders the conclusion was that tipping up to 10 percent is appropriate, depending on the situation.

Basically, if someone just drops a box of Chinese food into a bag for you on a seven-buck pick-up, you’re probably not on the hook to tip. But a complicated order for hundreds of items that totals nearly $1,000? That’s not simple Chinese take-out.

A 10 percent tip in the case of the Great Beyoncé Feast would have been $91, which would have been a nice bump for the B-dubs staff on a Thursday night.

Heck, given the extra effort put in, you’d think whoever that guy was dropping Beyoncé’s name would want to tip more than necessary. Good karma, good PR – everyone wins. And my guess is Beyoncé’s camp isn’t hurting for money these days. Heck, tickets to last Thursday’s show ranged from $48-$256 a pop.

There’s tip money in there somewhere.

Students at Lincoln Elementary Performing Arts School had made a plea for Beyoncé to visit their school last Thursday, but the pop star was a no-show.

“We’re trying to get Beyoncé to come to our school because she’s a great role model for a lot of us,” fifth-grader Tristan Boyer told WAVE-3 reporter Janelle McDonald.

Hopefully, those youngsters will learn their tipping etiquette from someone else.

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Kevin Gibson
Kevin Gibson tackles the 3Rs — retail, restaurants, real estate — plus, economic development. He loves bacon, loathes cucumbers and once interviewed Yoko Ono. Check out his books, “Louisville Beer: Derby City History on Draft” and “100 Things to do in Louisville Before You Die.” He has won numerous awards for his work but doesn’t know where most of them are now. In his spare time, he plays in a band called the Uncommon Houseflies. Email Kevin at [email protected]

9 thoughts on “Did Beyoncé snub B-Dubs in Louisville?

  1. All rhetoric aside, the story basically boils down to this: 1) Man calls and asks if store can handle a large order. Store says yes (It could have said no).. Courteous planning by man; good sales for store. 2) Man picks up the food. No table service or delivery so no tip necessary.This is the essence of the story and it should have ended there. But the store (primarily the cashier) makes a stink out of not getting something that she’s not entitled to. There is no requirement to tip anyone for carryout, drive-thrus or retail! And i, for one, find the proliferation of tip jars to be in poor taste. If the man elected to leave a tip for picking up his own food, then great. But he should not be chastised if he doesn’t..

    The innuendo is also disheartening. This could have been someone picking up food for an office get together, a game watching party,or anything else involving a small group. No one knows that Beyonce was involved and it is doubtful that she’s ordering Bdubs given the other choices available to her. Could have been the roadies/crew making close to the same wages as the Bdubs cashier. Man might have to submit the bill as an expense, and maybe the crew is not reimbursed for tips or alcohol, etc. Who knows? But let the cashier take it upon herself to chastise Beyonce publically without a legitimate foundation and without any real information that Beyonce was actually involved. The only person who looks bad in this article is the cashier.

  2. If you order from Mickey D’s, the staff is paid at least minimum wage. If you order take out from a sit down restaurant, the servers are usually the ones who package, add condiments and check your order at $2.13/hour. I always tip if i order take out from a sit down. As a former server and manager, I know it is as much work to do a large take out order as table service, and usually causes disruption of your table service.

  3. According to Instagram, Beyonce is (or at least was at the time) on a 22-day vegan diet. Doubtful that the food was for her. For her crew, who knows. Typically people employed by such a large celebrity are hesitant to dispose their employer for security reasons, especially with food.

  4. Your bias and your name provide for today’s irony.

    There is no requirement to tip your server, but you tip because it’s the right thing to do, and many of us, including myself, tip when carrying out, usually in the 15-20% range.

    Why?

    Because I’m not oblivious, I’ve been behind the counter, a server, and I’ve seen the chaos and hard work in a kitchen.

    The cashier does not look bad at all, she was sticking up for her team, as tips are split (remember), and servers making peasant-like wages would have been compensated for the added wait times they faced to prioritize for your “office party”.

    Doubtful that Beyonce’s ordering Bdubs?

    Buddy, wake up and smell the roses, a touring lifestyle is anything but glamorous. I doubt her bodyguards were craving salads and calamari, and you don’t think Decca, or Vincenzo’s would have said yes to such a last minute proposal. Nope, they would have said you’re a “naughty girl” and hung up the phone.

    Remember NO tipping is necessary–servers see it all the time–so dodge the gratuity line at will Mr Objective!

    But ask yourself…who’s really got the sense of entitlement?

  5. “1) Man calls and asks if store can handle a large order. Store says yes (It could have said no).. Courteous planning by man; good sales for store”

    That’s not being courteous. He knew that he couldn’t place an extraordinarily large order like that and be guaranteed to get it, especially since he wanted it within a certain time frame. That was a self-serving question. (It was not an inappropriate question, but it was placed out of necessity, not courtesy.)

  6. You tip for carryout? 20%? Always? Good for you. Seriously.

    Your self-appointed principle is not a restaurant custom or even the norm. Please don’t chastise others who don’t follow your guidelines. But please continue doing what you do. (I worked food service and am an awesome tipper for servers, delivery, etc. — but I disagree with you when it comes to carryout).
    A cashier is not a server.They are not paid the same way. Please don’t confuse the two to try to make a point.

    If gratuities are required for large orders (even carryout) then post it and add it to the bill. I know of no restaurant that adds gratuities for carryout orders.
    All work is hard work, restaurants included. They don’t get special status just b/c their job involves work.
    Posting a complaint on a child’s FB page is poor form. Leave Beyonce’s child out of it.

    Also, you might want to check out the cashier’s FB page. She continually posts that she hates her job, hates her boss, and has been about to quit for a while. Maybe attitude has something to do with it? Maybe there’s a reason that she’s not a server. And she is apparently making tons of money on high fashion items. Really sounds like a serial complainer looking for attention.

  7. Not for a simple pick-up & go order, but if you have specific requests or the order is a lot of work for the staff, then yes, you tip. 5-10%.

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