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Island server beneficiary of ‘Tip Challenge’

By PAULETTE LeBLANC - | Nov 4, 2020


Islander Stephen Longest is one of many happy recipients of the “Tip Challenge.”

Simply put, the “Tip Challenge” is when a restaurant patron leaves a 100 percent tip, which equals the size of their check.

Having been a server for at least 11 years, although he said it’s usually been a second job, Longest is very familiar with the commitment to hard work one must make to bring home a decent wage waiting tables.

“My parents instilled in me a good work ethic,” Longest said. “When the going gets tough, Stephen gets waiting tables!”

After the coronavirus hit and his salary was cut, Longest said he quit his job. To supplement his income selling real estate, he called the owners of the Blue Dog and asked if he could come back.

Although he’s not certain exactly when the “Tip Challenge” started, Longest said it has become a national trend. This was the first time Longest personally had customers who rose to the challenge and admits the gesture brought tears to his eyes.

“Some of the other servers have had really nice tips,” said Longest. “One of the locals was handing out their stimulus check.”

Longest said it’s great when patrons remember that servers have families, kids and all the same obligations as everyone else.

In light of how many others have been hit hard in the midst of the pandemic, he was sure to share his good fortune with everyone working in the kitchen.

“Be polite and tip well,” said Longest. “This happened at the perfect time. We’re very appreciative of generous customers. That money was really helpful.”