Who Hijacked Our Country

Thursday, January 31, 2013

You DON’T belong at Applebee’s

I’ve never been to Applebee’s, and now I’ll never darken their doorway.  Anyway, from the beginning:

A party of twenty was served at an Applebee’s.  If it’s a party of 8 or more, an 18% tip is automatically added to the bill.  One of these twenty customers — whose signature included the word “Pastor” — crossed out the $6.29 tip amount that had been automatically calculated for him.  Next to the crossed-out $6.29, he wrote “0” and then added “I give God 10%.  Why do you get 18?”

The waitress posted a copy of the receipt to Reddit.  The Pastor’s signature was totally illegible (other than the word “Pastor”), so she didn’t think she was “outing” anybody.

She added to her Reddit post:  “My mistake sir, I’m sure Jesus will pay for my rent and groceries.”

And now Applebee’s has fired the waitress.  Her Reddit post went viral, and eventually Pastor Douchebag found out about it.  This devout Man of God stormed into the Applebee’s location and demanded that everyone involved — wait staff, managers — be fired.  Yes, that’s exactly what Jesus would do.

The waitress who was fired said:

“When I posted this, I didn’t represent Applebee’s in a bad light.  In fact, I didn’t represent them at all. I did my best to protect the identity of all parties involved. I didn’t break any specific guidelines in the company handbook — I checked.  But because this person got embarrassed that their selfishness was made public, Applebee’s has made it clear that they would rather lose a dedicated employee than lose an angry customer. That’s a policy I can’t understand.”

She added:

“I’ve been stiffed on tips before, but this is the first time I’ve seen the Big Man has been used as reasoning.  If this person wrote the note, obviously they wanted it seen by someone… It’s strange to me that now that the audience is wider than just the server, the person is now ashamed.”

As he should be.

UPDATE:  Its not a he after all.  The Pastor is one Alois Bell of the Truth in the World Deliverance Ministries Church.  And the Applebees is located in the St. Louis area.

Pastor Bell sobbed:

“My heart is really broken.  I’ve brought embarrassment to my church and ministry.”

You did that the day you were born, Asshole.

And here's another statement from the waitress who was fired, Chelsea Welch:

“I come home exhausted, sore, burnt, dirty and blistered on a good day. And after all that, I can be fired for ‘embarrassing’ someone who directly insults their server on religious grounds.”

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Blogger Life As I Know It Now said...

I won't be going to Applebee's either. And screw that 18% jazz, I round up to 20% because it's just easier.

January 31, 2013 at 1:50 PM  
Blogger jim marquis said...

Unbelievable. Their logic is as bad as their food.

January 31, 2013 at 1:58 PM  
Blogger JUDI M. said...

I decided a LONG time ago to NEVER go to Applebees'........food and service were terrible, but that is neither here nor there...

I am sick and tired of all these holier-than-thou Right Wingers (and I'm sure he was...) demeaning everyone else who is NOT a 1 per center, and who actually woks their azz off for a living. Some of my relatives do the exact same thing..."oh, don't leave THAT big a tip. They get paid. Let 'em work for it like I DID." (yeah...marry rich or have a husband who has his own company...)

They have NO concept of less-than-minimum wage AND depending on tips! I MKAE SURE THEY GET THE PICTURE WHEN I'M WITH 'EM!

January 31, 2013 at 2:03 PM  
Blogger okjimm said...

Applebees is another of the 'box franchise' restaurants that bleak-en the American landscape. Friday's ia another along with those in the Darden Group, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, et al. They all oppose Obamacare, deliberately under pay and offer less than decent food and above average prices.

I had to call on the Darden Group for a work program a few years ago. I found management to be just like the food....bland, unimaginative, self-absorded and cheap.
Recently I was a quest at a Red Lobster.... 'freshly microwaved' food. Still a little frozen in the middle. Will never go back...because, well, it sucked.

There are still some decent non-franchised places. I find 'em when I can....or I cook at home. AND...at home....I always tip myself 100%

January 31, 2013 at 2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lot of Restaurants charge automatically for large groups. Is it really a Tip (which is a courtesy based on how much more you would like to give based on the service and food you just got) or a surcharge for a large group (yelling and screaming and making it hard for everybody else to enjoy their meal).

As a Infosec professional, let this be another lesson on posting on the internet and not taking for granted the ability of people to pierce through your attempts of confidentiality. Social Media is the most Vulnerable - Stay Off it unless you are prepared to take the consequences!


January 31, 2013 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Actually most restaurants, if not all, charge an automatic gratuity for parties of 8 or more. This is not about the place of business. This is about common decency and paying for services rendered. Whatever or whoever it is, this is not what Christianity teaches us about how we treat each other. So don't use the name of God when you are treating another human in an undignified manner. So, you people won't eat at a restaurant now, you probably didn't in the first place and you probably wouldn't tip either. The hard working servers there are better off without you.

January 31, 2013 at 3:02 PM  
Blogger Mr. Charleston said...

I, for one, believe the whole tipping thing in this country is totally out of whack. Why the hell should I, the customer, be obligated to help pay a restaurant's wait staff's salary? You aren't expected to supplement an employee's salary in any other business. Restaurant's should charge whatever price is necessary to deliver their product. If the server is particularly good, then a tip should be totally voluntary and arbitrary.

As to this waitress, where she screwed up was posting the ticket with the Applebees name clearly visible. Had she scratched that out as well, nothing would have happened to her. If I were her manager, I would have fired her too.

As to the asshole preacher. She made a big deal out of giving 10% to God but gave nothing to the waitress. At least she should have tipped 10%.

End of soapbox speech.

February 1, 2013 at 5:45 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Life: I don't do restaurants that often, but when I do I always tip generously.

Jim: LOL. I'll take your word for it on their food.

Judi: That's what I find so infuriating about this whole thing. A preacher -- whose "work" consists of turning pages in the Bible -- demands that a restaurant fire a waitress who actually works for a living.

okjimm: I used to like Chevys (I haven't seen one since I lift California), but other than that I haven't been to any of those chain restaurants. Oh, and Sizzler for their all-you-can-eat "salad" bar -- making your own tacos and burritos, what's not to like?

But other than that, locally-owned restaurants are almost always better. I'm sure you're right that those Darden Group managers were "bland, unimaginative, self-absorded and cheap" just like their food.

Erik: I always tip anyway, so I don't really care if the tip is automatic or not. I've never worked in a restaurant, but I can see why they'd want to charge extra for large groups, regardless of whether they call it a tip or a surcharge.

Unknown: My one complaint with Applebee's is that they fired a hardworking waitress just because some phony "Pastor" told them to.

Mr. C: I'm in between about the whole tipping thing. I always leave a tip, unless the service was really Godawful; I could count on one hand the number of times I haven't left a tip.

But I have nothing but contempt for this preacher insisting that a waitress be fired. This preacher's "work" consists of flapping her jaw while turning pages in the Bible. She wouldn't last two hours waiting tables or doing anything else that's considered a real job.

February 1, 2013 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger S.W. Anderson said...

That preacher should be ashamed of herself, but that would require that she have character. Obviously, she's sorely lacking in that department. Whoever in Applebee's management fired Ms. Welch should be the one to lose their job.

Circumstances alter cases, and the perpetrator of this mean-spirited, selfish incident wasn't ID'd by having the guest check put online, so there was no harm done to the restaurant or the chain.

People who wait tables work hard, and many places justify paying them low wages because servers can make quite a bit in tips for doing a good job. Even so, people who wait tables see plenty of well-served customers depart without leaving a tip, and learn not to let it ruin their day. Otherwise, they'd be miserable all the time.

I hope Welch finds a better restaurant to work for, and that Applebee's sees a deserved drop in business for being so feckless.

February 1, 2013 at 2:11 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: I too hope Chelsea Welch finds a better restaurant to work for. This incident has gone viral, so it could easily lose some customers for Applebee's. It would serve them right.

February 1, 2013 at 2:19 PM  
Blogger Demeur said...

It's been worse than this. Some years back I assisted in getting a law changed on the way tips were taxed (which in my opinion they shouldn't). Some years back the IRS required employers to with hold taxes on an estimate of the tips received. Problem was that those working a grave yard shift made little more than their hourly wage yet they had taxes withheld on money they never got. One waitress who brought this to my attention oft times only took home $1.50 in tips for a nights' work and considering she only made a little over $2 an hour minimum wage it wasn't enough to feed her and her two kids.

February 2, 2013 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger S.W. Anderson said...

Demeur, I've heard of places that pool all tips from all shifts per day and divide them evenly. That makes it fairer for the ones on a shift where tips are few and skimpy. The downside is that in the employer's view it diminishes the incentive to please the customer, especially in servers who most need some nudging.

February 2, 2013 at 3:25 PM  

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