Applebee’s Waitress Fired Over Pastor’s No Tip Receipt
A couple of days ago, a story broke about a photo of a restaurant receipt that did not include a tip, but did have a hand written note that read, 'I give God 10% why do you get 18'. The note was reportedly left by a church Pastor who had a total bill of $34.93. A server who is now being identified as Chelsea Welch, posted the photo of the receipt on Reddit and it went viral. The whole thing went down at an Applebee's restaurant and the pastor has been identified as Alois Bell, a female pastor at a church in St. Louis. Bell complained to the restaurant claiming the photo of the receipt with her note has "ruined" her reputation.
The server, Welch, has been fired for violating Bell's "right to privacy". Bell did describe her note as a "lapse in character and judgement" and is highly embarrassed by the whole thing.
Welch says she had no intention of calling anyone out, she says, "I just wanted to share a picture I found interesting". Welch also questions her termination over violating Bell's "right to privacy" because there is nothing in the employee handbook that specifically forbids what she did.
The fact is, like it or not, the pastor did nothing wrong. Writing the note was stupid and totally uncalled for, but restaurant customers are not required to leave a tip unless the restaurant adds a gratuity to the check because of a number in party policy.
My wife and I are great tippers and almost never tip less than 20% unless the service was poor, but even then, we will leave a 15% tip for the effort if nothing else. There have been a lot of these stories recently and it's very unfortunate for the hard working servers in this country, but again, a tip is not mandatory, but it is the right thing to do and not doing it is just plain rude and tasteless.
I posted an article back in October about a move in San Fransisco to require restaurant patrons to leave a minimum tip of 25%, which did not go over well. You can read that article here. Restaurant servers pretty much get hosed with regard to their pay because typically, they make an hourly wage less than minimum wage and the tips are the only avenue they have to make up the difference.
No doubt that Pastor Bell's actions were extremely insulting to the wait staff and she could have avoided all this embarrassment by simply not writing the note that added insult to injury....she made her own bed on this one. Leaving a tip however, was her option and she opted not to...simple as that.