On Wednesday 30th January, an Applebee’s waitress posted a photo in Reddit’s /r/atheism section of a bill her co-worker received from a pastor that had written “I give God 10%, why do you get 18%” on it. The thread skyrocketed, clocking in over 3800 points and 4500+ comments.
If you’re wondering what the 18% charge is about, Applebee’s has a policy where 18% tip is automatically added to the bill if a server handles a table with 10 or more customers (which did happen in this case). Even though the pastor was upset about having the fork out the additional $6.29, she claimed that she put $6 in the tip jar, but didn’t realize that her bill (with her name written on it) would have made its way across the Internet.
They posted this on their Facebook page:
As a company that relies on literally hundreds of thousands of incredibly hard working Team Members, we can assure you that we and our franchisees value and support them and their efforts. However this unfortunate situation has nothing to do with work. The Team Member involved did not wait on the guest or party. Regrettably, and without the restaurant’s knowledge, she took it upon herself to take a Guest’s receipt, with the name clearly visible, and posted it online with her own commentary. That is a clear violation of our Guest’s privacy and against the franchisee’s company policy that the Team Member was provided when hired. We simply cannot accept behavior that compromises the safety and privacy our Guests have every right to expect and deserve. Please note that we are also not excusing the Guest’s behavior in this matter and the unacceptable comment she wrote on the receipt, which is offensive to us and all our hard working team members. To be clear, the 18% gratuity added to large party tickets was paid by the Guest’s party. This is a regrettable situation, and we wish it had never happened. we hope this provides you with some additional insight. Thanks again for the chance to explain.
In a Fox News interview, Alois Bell regretted her decision to write the remark about the tip in the first place, saying:
“My heart is really broken…I’ve brought embarrassment to my church and ministry.”
Chelsea also spoke about the issue to Consumerist, saying:
“I originally posted the note as a lighthearted joke…I thought the note was insulting, but it was also comical. I posted it to Reddit because I thought other users would find it entertaining.”
Unfortunately the joke didn’t go in her odds. Luckily for Chelsea, many organizations have since reached out to her, offering her jobs and financial assistance.