“Come and fill your growler with any of our 6 draft beers,” Beer 88 suggests on its website. “You can bring your own or purchase one of ours!”
If you do take the Lynchburg, Virginia beer-and-burger joint up on its offer, you’d better buy that growler with a credit card or with a stack of small bills. If, by chance, you pay for your tab with a pile of coins, there’s a possibility that Beer 88’s owner will call you out online, accusing you of having “no home training,” a Southern-ism suggesting that you might’ve been raised by wolves.
Over the weekend, a Beer 88 customer paid for his $45 meal with a $20 bill and a lot of change, adding an extra 40 quarters to cover a $10 tip. Rather than sighing deeply, counting those coins, and putting them in the cash register, the restaurant responded by taking a picture of the quarter-covered table and shaming that person on Facebook.
“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,” Beer 88 wrote, adding the hashtags #wearebeer88notcoinstar, #nohometraining and #workingwiththepublic.
According to WSET, the reaction online was solidly Team Quarter, as commenters alternately telling the restaurant that the post was in poor taste or suggesting that they, too, were going to pay their next bill with a handful of change. Beer 88 continued to make things worse, commenting that apparently everyone had just missed the “SARCASM and HUMOR” of the post and closing a half-assed apology with a reminder that paying in coins was “annoying to people that work in the restaurant/retail industry.”
The person who left those quarters as payment understands what people in the restaurant industry have to deal with, because he’s a 17-year-old server who used his own tips to pay for his meal. “I walked there with my friends and that is all I had to take with me,” Naulty told MUNCHIES. “As a waiter I have a lot of change at the end of the day. Without a car I can't just drive somewhere to change it all in whenever I want.”
Naulty, who works at a restaurant called Country Cookin’, had saved his change until he had enough to treat himself and two of his friends to lunch. “The only way to have done it differently would have been to pay for only my meal with my $20 and not paid for my friends,” he said. “I can't say I am sorry for covering them. I love to buy others meals.”
None of the boys could believe that the restaurant posted their payment online – and Naulty’s mother wasn’t thrilled about the #NoHomeTraining hashtag either. “If anybody met Cohen, they know it couldn't be the farthest thing from the truth, and you know... he's a good kid," Kim Naulty told WSET.
Yao Liu, the owner of Beer 88, apologized for that hashtag, but that’s as far as she was willing to go. “I was going to delete [the post], then after all that they said, you know what, I'm not backing down, because, originally, we never meant anything bad to them," Liu said. (Beer 88’s Facebook page has since been deleted entirely).
“I don't wish them anything but good, but they never really seemed to feel sorry about what they said,” Naulty said. “[And they] insulted our parents, if not us.” Despite all that, Naulty seems to be taking the highest of high roads, and has pledged to use his spare quarters to take one stranger out for a meal every week. “Though [the quarters were] enough for the meal and a great tip, I was blasted on Facebook by the restaurant for paying in quarters,” he wrote on his new Quarter Boy Facebook page. “It was not a good day. Then I had a great idea. I love paying for people’s meals even if I have to scrape together my last quarters to do so. This whole thing made me realize how much I love doing this and why... Even if I get made fun of for it!”
Naulty has asked restaurants who don’t “mind a register filled with quarters” to comment, and he seems to be ridiculously enthusiastic about turning Beer 88’s unwarranted nastiness into something pure and wholesome. He’s also raising money to pay for some of those good deeds, with a fundraiser that he’s calling “Turning a bad day around one meal at a time!”
It’s too bad nobody is gonna want to take Liu out for a meal. We’ve heard that she’s having a pretty crappy day.
This article originally appeared on VICE US.