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.
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.
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?
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.