Boy Paid At A Restaurant With Quarters, They Shamed Him Online, But Now The Restaurant Regrets It (Interview)
Money is money, right? Wrong. Some people can’t stand customers using coins to pay. How dare they?! The audacity! Using money to pay for goods and services?! Unbelievable!
Boy Paid At A Restaurant With Quarters, They Shamed Him Online, But Now The Restaurant Regrets It (Interview)
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We’ve all been in situations where we want to (or need to) use all the loose change that has accumulated in our lives. We might have found an unexpected cache of coins behind the couch because we were out of money and needed to do some grocery shopping. Or we (finally) broke the pink piggy bank that we’ve had since our fifth Christmas. The point is, we have a bucket-load of coins that need to be spent, but doing that can sometimes be embarrassing.

Money is money, right? Wrong. Some people can’t stand customers using coins to pay. How dare they?! The audacity! Using money to pay for goods and services?! Unbelievable!

When he was 17 years old, Cohen Naulty from Lynchburg, Virginia, paid for his and his friends' meals at a restaurant with quarters and was shamed for it online. Cohen reacted in the best way possible: he started a charity campaign to treat strangers with food at restaurants that don’t mind taking quarters. The ironic cherry on top? Cohen was paying with coins because he works as a waiter at another restaurant and gets lots of quarters as tips. Thus the legend of Quarter Boy was born!

Cohen’s story went viral and the restaurant ‘Beer 88’ that shamed him got a rude awakening: people criticized the pub for its policy and suggested that people punish it by also paying with coins.

The restaurant responded by saying the whole situation was just a joke and wasn’t meant to shame anyone, then removed the statement. In response to receiving threats, the restaurant owner Yao Liu officially apologized for what happened.

As for the fundraiser that Cohen started up, it received a lot of attention and donations from the public. Cohen still pays for strangers’ meals to this day. Godspeed, Quarter Boy.

We attach symbolic value to paper bills and metal coins to make society function. However, some coins are intrinsically more valuable than others. For example, United States quarters have cores of pure copper and are clad with a mix of 75 percent copper and 25 percent nickel (there’s a joke about ‘quarters’ and ‘nickels’ here somewhere, I’m sure of it). These metals aren’t as valuable as, say, gold. But why is gold more valuable than other metals and elements?

BBC and Investopedia explain that there is a logic as to why we use specific chemical elements as money because they are valuable in and of themselves. We can’t really use gases or liquids as currency. Imagine what a pain it would be to transport money that way. Paying for a carton of milk with a bottle of mercury? Buying an apple with a balloon full of helium? No thanks!

That leaves us with metals like iron, copper, lead, silver, gold, palladium, platinum, and aluminum. But not all of them are equal. For example, iron, copper, and lead corrode over time. We don’t want our coins to lose value quickly now, do we? Nor do we want to constantly polish and maintain hundreds of coins. What are we? Dragons?

‘Noble metals’ like platinum or palladium would be ideal for forging coins because of how non-reactive (non-corrosive) they are. The downside? They’re too rare. What we need are metals that are rare but available enough to make commerce viable. Enter gold and silver. And gold is as close to perfect as we can get. Gold is rare but not too rare, doesn’t corrode, is easy to smelt and work with, and is beautiful in an intense way.

Bored Panda reached out to Sam Dogen, the founder of Financial Samurai, to talk about precious metals, the gold standard, as well as why some people dislike individuals who pay for goods and services with coins.

"Metals such as silver and gold are called 'precious metals' because they don't corrode, they provide a sustainable store of value, and humans are physically attracted to its color and feel. Gold and silver are abundant enough to create coins, but rare enough where not everyone can have them, or a whole lot of them.

"Economics and societies have placed value on these precious metals, and have thereby continued to perpetuate its worth. When currencies get devalued, precious metals tend to rise in value, which gives them even more value due to their insurance properties and stability," Dogen explained succinctly.

He went on to reveal why we ended up letting go of the gold standard: "Countries started abandoning the gold standard because gold could not grow in supply as quickly as paper money and coins to help stimulate the economy. There was deflation and high unemployment in the early 1930s. As a result, President FDR abandoned the gold standard in 1933, which allowed the government to print more money, stop deflation, and stimulate the economy. Simply put, abandoning the gold standard provides more monetary policy flexibility."

In Dogen's opinion, some individuals dislike customers who pain with coins because they are "impatient and too judgmental for their own good."

"Loose change is seen as inconvenient, heavy, and perhaps even dirty. If you're not spending money using a credit card, you're perceived as inefficient and behind the times. I personally put everything on a rewards credit card for the points, cashback, convenience, and purchase protection."

Would you like to see the return of coins that have actual intrinsic value? What do you think of people who pay with coins for goods and services? What do you think of Cohen’s story and his fundraiser? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

Comments (86)
It would be hilarious if the restaurant that blasted Cohen wound up with a string of customers who keep paying with quarters.
Companies mocking people on social media is just unprofessional.
In Australia there is a limit to how many coins can be used as payment. We’re not supposed to pay more than $10 in $1or $2 coins. We’re not supposed to pay more than $5 in 5,10,20 and 50cent coins. The idea is so the restaurants etc don’t have to carry so many coins to the bank. You’ll find a lot of businesses waiver this rule to a degree.
July 2018 is when this happened. Do people scour articles looking for fodder for this site?
United States coins and currency are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues. This statute means that all United States money as identified above are a valid and legal offer of payment for debts when tendered to a creditor. There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a State law which says otherwise. For example, a bus line may prohibit payment of fares in pennies or dollar bills. In addition, movie theaters, convenience stores and gas stations may refuse to accept large denomination currency (usually notes above $20) as a matter of policy.
Joannie Goulet
Could we just stop the whole "online shaming" thing?
Hollie Newton
He left beer 88 a reasonable tip and they still mocked him on Facebook. Jeez I get it's a pain to count but working in retail you realise too many people give you a £20 for a £1.50 item or pay on card when your work in a store whose products were like 99p or 1.99 or something silly coins really make the difference
Jaffa Cake
I don't get it. I've been in to small shops before and paid with loose change and they're generally really grateful for it, apparently for every £100 in change you get at a bank it costs £7 in charges, people paying in change means you don't have to get change from the bank.
Jolijn Njamin-Geurts van Kessel
In the country I live there's a shortage on a coins, restaurants and stores urge you to pay the exact amount because they can't give you any change. We took out our kids piggy banks last week and payed for a groceries in small coins (10ct, 25ct etc) and the store owners were SO HAPPY that we got them all these coins
That's one hell of a nice kid! Good Job Cohen!
Kira Leseman
When I was a body piercer I had a lady come in for a genital piercing and she paid for it in pennies and nickels it was $75 and she tipped $20 all in change. It took a looooooong time to count and I took it to my bank to turn it to paper cash. It was super easy to exchange for bills. The lady had saved all her change until she had enough to get the piercing so she didn't have to spend her paper money. She was a great repeat client.
Steve Lor
I literally kept saying, "Money is money" as I was scrolling down and the second person from the Facebook comments thought the same. I mean, whether you pay with coins, bills, or card, at the end of the day it's still money that's going to the same place.
Christina Sersif
Money is money
Albert Ambrosia
Who gives a rats butt, quarters, dimes, nickles, pennies, it is all legal currency/tender. Bravo young man and as for the restaurant you should dedicate giving free meals to our VETERANS and DISABLED. I will now start paying with dimes.....for everything....
That kid is A1, and like they won't use those quarters in the register. If the kid stacked it so it could be counted easily then whats the problem, you can't infer if he did this or not from the picture though. Scattering the quarters so it makes a better blast pic seems like something a restaurant-that-shames-a-teenager-online would do.
it's me again
Kudos Cohen for handling this situation like a champ. What comes around goes around. We need more people like you in this world :)
Hendra Lim
well, i know it's an extra work to count those quarters or pennies. but, as long as the customer didn't came with hundreds of quarters/pennies when other customers are in line, it's okay
Forget food! Do you know how many loads of laundry that would pay for?! These people must be trumpnuts. Using the excuse "it was just a joke" is excuse #1 when people call him out on his sh*t
Cheryl Delaney
all I know is I never heard of "Beer 88" before, but now that I have, I will NEVER step foot in that establishment, no matter if they are the last place left on earth and I am starving.
Mary Tonningsen
Good for him! What an awesome kid!
Sue Clasen
Where I live in Europe, they are very grateful if you pay with coins, because if not at the end of the day if they are left without change at the end of the day, clients get grumpy if rounding the account doesn't favour them.
WTF is wrong with people? Money is money.
Julie Evans
I would have marched those pizzas straight to a homeless shelter. Either way, that kid is a hero for anyone with an empty stomach.
Bunda Athan
AWESOME!!!!!! LOOOOOVVEEEE his smile!!!!
Roger Haywood
When I was in Las Vegas, I won on the 'Wheel of fortune' machine. It paid in quarters. I gave half of it to a homeless guy. He did'nt complain one bit. In fact he was grateful. Money is money, no matter what the ammount or how its given out.
Jon Wong
love & respect cos you're worthy, quaterboy!
Lisa Hall
Best Feel-Good Story I've read this week! <3
domino's is not a local resturant.
Raph cuddy
i wanted to do that in australia with five cent coins it will take a long tim e to get enough though
Debbie Archimedes
He’s an idiot looking for attention. Go to the freaking bank and turn in the freaking change for paper! Douchbag.
They don't like it when it's all in loose change, they don't like it when you come with a large bill to pay because they don't have change, and other stupidities. A friend of mine received a nag from one of bank's employees where he pays back loans, and he got so mad at her that he collected the change (the smallest coins we have) for couple of months and went to pay balance once with nothing but them. The counting machine was broken, she had to count it by hand he spent couple of hours there waiting for her to finish, says he never felt more satisfied like then. Sorry for broken English, too late, too tired, but wanted to tell the story.
Teri Donovan
Bottom line, you must accept legal tender and coins are legal tender.
Mo Poppins
I don’t see why he wouldn’t be willing to convert those quarters into a more manageable form of currency. I agree with the Coinstar comment by the server. I do pay with change when my wallet’s getting to heavy and bulky, but it’s no more than a couple bucks, and do it a bit apologetically, but it is what it is.
Fred Burrows
Just a two bit article
Steve Cruz
He's cool!... but I'm wondering why his workplace doesn't cash in his quarters? I've worked in restaurants and bars, and they usually take quarters, ones and fives, so they don't have to do a change run to the bank.
Rick Ledger
I walked into a bank. That im not a change paper cash. For rolled coins. And was told to leave cause of no acct...i said same thing money is money...hell with resturant. Cant pay a bill with quaters. Use pennies... Walk in with 3 boxes of then. As you eat. Break open every roll...
Brandy Spears
I was just was in new york city called the greatest city in the world but, when a homeless person goes into bread and butter a very known place in Manhattan for type of goodies....they would not accepted his money in coins and embarrassed him ij front of alot of people...they said there policy is not nomore change over three tell me how we live in this world
Angelia Bryant
Its really sad when an immigrant from a poor country who's made a living off people like Cohen feels it's ok to shame a kind-hearted person who wanted to treat his friends. At least he paid. A lot of teenagers eat at restaurants and Dutch the check by sneaking out without paying at all. Pick on a responsible diner? The restaurant owner should be boycotted and no one eat there for about a month or more. How long would he be able to keep his establishment open?
Katinka Min
The 'money is money' posts really piss me off. how about we give all those people their monthly wage in quarters. Paying with so many coins is a dick move and creates a lot of extra work fo the estaff. But, hey, since peeps in the food industry earn shittons of money it doesn't matter if they have a bit of extra work, does it?
Bonnie Clyde
Do they not have reasonable banking services there? Why not do everyone a favour roll the coins to deposit at the bank/credit union? It's legitimately a lot of extra work and hassle to have to deal with lots of small coins. Some countries are already doing away with their pennies (or equivalent) because bulk low-value coninage is a growing problem.
Bill Taylor
Kid looks like a young Drew Carey.
I mean I think usually people assume if you’re paying in change you’re purposely being passive aggressive. Hence the articles you read of people paying tickets in change so they have to count out the money. I paid someone back 40 bucks with singles and got varied responses to if that was ok or not.
Angelo Pacheco
That reminds me when a friend, one of those guys who made a living by offering to look after your car for spare change, invites me to have a beer in those cheep whorehouses in downtown, just for the hell of it. We enter, he asks for two bottles, we drink and cheep talk to the girls, you know the script. At the end, I offer to pay for a bottle, my friend refuses and empty his pockets full of coins, all over the table. The waiter says "dont f* me, pal" and start to count the coins scattered over the table, gives up halfway and send us away with a good night.
Debbie Archimedes
Jacob Chiong
Be considerate. If you are the one manning the cash register and I showed up and pay for my $850.00 purchases with quarters. How are you going to handle it? You’re going to have to count them, bag them, and store them. You cannot even bank them in because most banks hate deposits in bags of coins. Use your quarters when you have them. Don’t accumulate. If you do, be decent about it and spend only a dollar’s worth at each shop. That way, you inconvenience yourself and NOT others.
Claudia Lorenz
This looks like a really irritating young man who enjoys making life for others difficult. Grow up already.
Lisa Shaw
There is actually a legal premise here, that everyone has ignored. Where I live there are laws about how many coins you can use to pay for a service, they are defined by loose coins and rolled coins, because of the burden of transportation costs placed on the company to change the currency to the easier to manage bills.
Cate Bischof
Were any of these people saying "money is money" ever a server? People paying in coins is a pain in the butt. First, the money would go in my apron, because I usually had to bus my table ASAP, then check on my other tables before I even left the area. Then if my food was up....right back to my station. We would be so slammed basically up until close (unless you were cut earlier)...then I have to go ask the bartender to take my sack of quarters and turn it into cash otherwise I'd have to tip out my support staff with coins (which would NEVER happen unless you were a complete ass) or take the quarters home as my pay and try to spend them. No server is happy to find an entire bill paid in coins...decent tip or not. That being said, yes I'd bitch about it to my coworkers but is not blast worthy. Just one of those "get a load of this" scenarios that stays in the kitchen.
Bob Beltcher
Looks like a very young Drew Carey.
Tiffany Young
It's still ridiculous to pay that with many quarters. He could have exchanged them for bills at a bank and then paid with that. I've worked in shitty food service for 10 years and I've never had anyone pay in that many quarters
Luisa Vasconcelos
I worked in a Mexican restaurant that in the end of the day we have to count how much money is in hour money bag. End of the day means whenever the last customer leaves. Imagine count all the quarters.I'm sorry but No thanks.
Carson Skjerdal
Uhh if the boy was a waiter then you swap your tips out for bills at close?? Plus the restaurant didn't name him personally.
Money is money, asshats. Sure it may be annoying, but really come on, what are you doing otherwise? You're standing at a till collecting money. It's your job. There are coin star machines but they charge a fee. Banks want you to roll up the coins which can be a pain in the ass. I repeat: Money Is Money. Be grateful it was quarters, which are super easy to count. Even dimes wouldn't be too terrible. At least it wasn't nickels or pennies. I cant believe this restaurant publicly shamed this guy online... would they rather he dine-and-dash???
former server. my only issue here is that when people paid me in coins, not only would my manager not take them all, i also couldn't pay my bills with coins. my landlord was not going to take a bag of coins as rent, ditto the electric company. i agree money is money, but if i can't pay my bills that way why would i want you to?
Monty Glue
Great story and great young man! Fun facts: Before 1965 all dime, quarters, and half dollar coins were 90% silver. Today a silver dime is worth $1.30 and a quarter is worth $4.30. Before the copper penny was debased in 1982 it was 95% copper and is now worth nearly $.03. The nickle will soon have a melt value of over $.05 and will likely be debased too, so grab them while you can. A pre-1933 $20 gold eagle coin is worth around $1,500.00, so you can see what inflation does to fiat money!
Dude, that's a ridiculous amount of quarters. Most people would be annoyed at someone who paid that way. And it isn't really funny to encourage people to harass the employees of that restaurant by paying with a bunch of coins. These are just people trying to do their jobs and you just sent a mob their way when all they did was make an annoyed post without mentioning you by name or using your picture...
Russian Otaku
Not sure but no nation wide law on accepting cash/legal tender but for some states and what not for certain business it's illegal to not accept legal tender
just go to a goddarn bank and change the coins, it's a thing of less than 2 minutes!
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