A Virginia restaurant is facing backlash after it appeared to mock a teenager online for paying for a meal with coins.
It happened on Monday when Cohen Naulty treated a few friends to lunch at the Beer 88 restaurant in Lynchburg, Va. with the tip money he earned working as a server at Country Kitchen. After the meal, the 17-year-old paid the US$45 bill with a $20 bill and mostly coins and left a $10 tip.
But the restaurant was not happy with the coins they received. They even posted a photo of the coins on Facebook with a caption of,
“We’ll just caption this…How NOT to pay at a restaurant, cause that’s the nicest thing we can think to say about this ridiculousness. #wearebeer88notcoinstar, #nohometraining, and #workingwiththepublic,” wrote the restaurant based in Lynchburg, Virginia.
The post, which has since been deleted, included a number of hashtags such as, #nohometraining, #atleasttheyleftatip, and #workingwiththepublic.
Naulty said he and his friends couldn’t believe the restaurant would shame him on social media.
“It’s just U.S. currency,” he told local news station WSET on Monday. “I’m allowed to use it. It’s not illegal. I’m not doing anything wrong.”
The said post offended Naulty and his friends.
As part of it, the restaurant received some backlash to the post with a number of commenters saying it was uncalled for and some even threatening the establishment. In response to the criticism, Beer 88 posted a follow-up message explaining that the initial post was intended as a joke.
“It was posted in a light-hearted way of saying that something like this can be annoying to people that work in the restaurant/retail industry,” it read. “In no way did we publicly shame ANYONE for paying OR tipping. We try to keep our page funny and relatable. And had no idea that this would be offensive to anyone.”
Yao Liu, the owner of Beer 88, told WSET that the restaurant didn’t mean any harm by the post.
Liu said, “I do apologize because, you know, I didn’t see it the insult.”