Waitress fired over pastor's Applebee's receipt

The company is critical of both sides after an employee posts a photo of a customer's message regarding a tip: 'I give God 10%. Why do you get 18?'

By Jason Notte Feb 1, 2013 3:22PM
What would Jesus do at Applebee's? Call it a hunch, but we're guessing the same guy who turned scraps of bread and bait into a full-on feast and got a party going by turning water into wine wouldn't stiff the waitress.


A server at an Applebee's near St. Louis has been fired, according to Consumerist, after posting a receipt on Reddit from another waitress's customer who crossed out an 18% gratuity and wrote in "I give God 10%. Why do you get 18?" while identifying herself as a pastor. The amount of the disputed tip was $6.29.

DineEquity (DINE)-owned Applebees, meanwhile, issued a statement on Facebook that both justified the firing while condemning the customer's message. As Applebee's spokesman Dan Smith explained to Huffington Post after the company fired the employee -- identified as Chelsea Welch in news reports -- exposing guests' personal information all over the Internet is a big no-no and grounds for immediate dismissal.


Fair, especially given that a little photo editing would have kept that info private. But the note left by the customer, identified by The Smoking Gun as St. Louis pastor Alois Bell, represents a fundamental misunderstanding of both tipping policy and the Christian act of tithing.Image: Credit card (Tetra Images/Tetra Images/Corbis/Corbis)


According to company policy stated right at the bottom of the menu, a gratuity of 18% is automatically added for parties of eight or more. Bell's check was part of a party of nearly 20, according to the employee.


Bell, a pastor at the Truth in the Word Deliverance Ministries church in St. Louis, says her interpretation of the gratuity was a "lapse in judgment that has been blown out of proportion" and claims she left a $6 cash tip on top of what was originally charged. However, her spur-of-the-moment logic completely left out that the tithe that members of a church take out of their income goes not "to God" but to charitable organizations, the church organization itself and, often enough, the pastor to cover the living expenses of a meager existence required by their faith.


This isn't Chelsea's get-out-of-jail-free card for putting Bell's information and signature in Reddit's Atheist subcategory because "I thought other users would find it entertaining," but it doesn't make Bell's ministry look too great as a result either. She seems to know that all too well.


"My heart is really broken," she told The Smoking Gun. "I've brought embarrassment to my church and ministry."


More on moneyNOW

39Comments
Feb 1, 2013 6:27PM
avatar
I wont' eat at Applebees until they re-hire that waitress, who's with me??
Feb 1, 2013 4:31PM
avatar

What a turkey. What has one thing to do with the other.We don't tip GOD, and the tithe is the amount that one gives the church to pay the pastor and keep up the church. On the other hand, when one goies out to eat and someone waits on them, it is customary to tip the server. That's nothing new. we have  been tipping servers for many years In fact we also tip the preachers by putting money in the offering plate at the end of the sermon, usually in addition to the monthly tithes we usually give..

What that pastor needs is a good butt kicking from the LORD and a good dose of salvation. 

avatar
The irony is that this reverend is NOT giving 10% to God but 10% to herself. This waitress is making about $2.30 an hour and trying to live off tips. I'm sure this same pastor would empathize with those in need who receive government entitlements because they're in need.   This is a disgrace and if this pastor's flock isn't outraged and looking for a new church, there's something wrong with them.
Feb 1, 2013 5:02PM
avatar
Sounds like St. Louis pastor Alois Bell is not only rude but a liar about the cash tip on the table. If this nutritionally obese pastor of some obscure pseudo-church doesn't realize waitpersons get paid about $3.50 and rely on tips to make a living wage, then she and her large group of friends should go volunteer at a mission that serves free meals to the homeless, and get a free meal for doing it, and not have to leave a tip either. She should beg forgiveness of the waitress that the pastor caused to get fired and plead with Applebees to reinstate the waitress. What a piece of Ghetto garbage!
Feb 1, 2013 5:03PM
avatar
I'd hire Chelsea if I had a business in St. Louis.  Churches are businesses and should lose their tax exempt status.  I'd like to see this heffa explain how she was christ-like.  Tax the churches and publish each and every incident of pastors behaving badly.

If you don't want to tip, go somewhere with a drive through.  If you go to a table service restaurant with  a policy of adding a mandatory 18% tip for parties over a certain size, then follow their rules.

Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and render unto Chelsea what is Chelsea's.

I don't believe for one second that this heffa left a $6 cash tip.  I hope others speak out against her and I hope her crappy little church closes soon.

Feb 1, 2013 4:43PM
avatar
Thats the last time I eat at Apple Bee !!!!


Feb 1, 2013 6:08PM
avatar
JUST SHOWS HER GREED AND HER TRUE NATURE
Feb 1, 2013 6:20PM
avatar
Here's my answer, "Because God didn't run his behind off for you and your guests tonight making sure you have a nice time here at the Bee's"   Really Pastor...how many of your sheep, I mean followers are in the hospitality industry working for tips?  Shame on you.  If the meal and service were adequate, NOTHING below 15% and if the meal was good and service better than average, then 18-20%.  In reality Pastor, God doesnn't need your tithing, YOU need tithing to keep your salary, overhead and building costs met.  That's a fact. 
Feb 1, 2013 6:13PM
avatar
Should have fired the cheapskate pastor !!!
Feb 1, 2013 4:44PM
avatar
Why do people think that by tithing they are giving money to "God".....what makes you think "God" needs money ....it is nothing more than an emotional insurance policy that fools people into thinking they are noble and good while breaking pretty much every one of the so called seven deadly sins ...glutton and avarice being #1 & 2 !!!

:)


Feb 1, 2013 6:53PM
avatar

I think the owner of the Applebee’s was the only person in the right here.  The pastor was definitely in the wrong with her behavior towards the waitress.  If she truly felt that strongly about leaving a tip, she could have just not added one.  There was no need to make a huge skeptical about it which was sure to end badly.  (However, I am just as taken aback by some of the comments on here about her.  If you disagree with her actions that is one thing, but to disparage her because of her size, which has no relation to the issue whatsoever, is just as petty and sad.)  

That being said, the waitress in question should not have retaliated by posting the customers personal information on the internet where anyone could have access to it.  I choose to believe it was an honest mistake, that she was simply sharing a ludicrous message that was left on the receipt of a colleague, but she should have edited out his information first.  In the end two wrongs didn’t make a right.

Feb 1, 2013 4:12PM
avatar

What are 20 of them doing at Appleby's, probably the most expensive lunch place around, besides Chili's?

 

That's about $800 for lunch!!

 

Why not mcDonald's for a buck a  hamburg if they're trying to be humble, conservative, and supposedly doing God's work?

 

That would have been about $100!!

 

That's called:  "Holier than Thou"!

Feb 2, 2013 2:54AM
avatar
My daughter works at an Applebee's, and I know first hand that she works her butt off trying to please everyone she waits on. I could understand if the service was not up to par.. but when a person is working hard to make your meal pleasurable, with everything you need, then I think the persons being served should take that into consideration when tipping. I have worked in the public and sometimes it is no picnic..yet the servers still smile and wait on you to assure you of a most pleasurable meal. They are worth far more than 18% in my book.. and that server that was fired should have her job reinstated since the pastor said she too had made a mistake.


Feb 1, 2013 8:04PM
avatar
With regards to the pastor, I got a question.. If God gets 10% of the take in church, who's pocketing the other 90%? Even our casinos here in Las Vegas can't make THAT much profit! 
Feb 2, 2013 12:50AM
avatar
Ok, my question is, if Ms. Bell is soooo sorry, what has she done to make it Right??? If she knows her Bible, so well,then she would know that it is her responsibility to make it right. #stayingtunedpastor!!! Your move.
Feb 2, 2013 5:48AM
avatar

WE NEED TO FIRE APPLEBEE'S & THAT PASTOR !!!!! REALLY ?? THE PASTOR STARTED THIS WITH HER COMMENT & SHE TIP'S GOD 10% REMARK. NOW A HARD WORKING WAITRESS HAS TO PAY FOR HER STUPDITY !! WELL I USED TO EAT AT APPLEBEE'S 2-3 TIME'S A WEEK , NO MORE !!!!. I RECOMMEND A NATION WIDE BOYCOTT OF ALL APPLEBEE'S,THEN  THE HEAD FOLK'S AT CORPORATE WILL GET NERVOUS, FIRE THE MANAGER AT THIS LOCATION, HIRE BACK WAITRESS WITH AN APOLOGY FROM THEM & THE PASTOR , ALL WILL BE FORGOTTEN !!!!!!

I SUGGEST ANY & ALL WHO READ THIS ,PASS ON THE BOYCOTT IDEA TO ALL FAMILY,FRIEND'S & CO-WORKERS , LET APPLEBEE'S & PASTOR KNOW THIS WILL NOT BE TAKEN LIGHTLY !!!!!!! LET'S GO TO RED ROBIN FOR LUNCH !!!!!!

Feb 2, 2013 3:31AM
avatar
The girl was wrong for violating the customers privacy and Ms. Bell embarrassed the church. As far as living off meager salaries that is debatable 
Feb 4, 2013 10:31AM
avatar

It's often said that "It's not what you do, but the way that you do it" which seems most

applicable here.  If tips are a gratuity, then the amount of the tip should be determined

by the giver.  It does help to know that the standard tip ( in olden times) was ten percent,

then 15% and now being discussed at 20%; yet as it's understood to be discretionary, it

should be practiced as discretionary.  There was a time when young women were also

chaste, when married women did not work, when divorce was a disgrace ....  

 

As a child we tipped the mail carrier, the newspaper boy, folks who rendered services

to us during the year, but always at no specific percentage, but rather as we felt

sufficient and could afford. And to tip someone a cent was more soul satisfying than to

tip them nothing.

 

So let's grasp 'socialism', socialism, totalitarianism and communism.  Gratuities are

given in thanks and considered payment beyond the cost of purchasing the services.

Do we tip retail clerks at the cash register? Or the cashier at the gas station? No.

 

In a communist regime, we know there are no tips or gratuities. (Though that

expired in the Sixties in real practice.) In a totalitarian government, we are coerced to

deliver additional payment.  That often masquerades as 'graft'.  Graft is frowned upon

in America, but were we to strictly follow protocol, half the imports we receive and

70% of the exports we make would never occur.  In a socialistic regime, we are

advised to add the gratuity no matter what; in fact we might be forced to accept a

forced withholding, or value-added tax. In a capitalistic regime (America is still

Capitalistic, especially before the Market opens at 6:30AM in CA), we judge for

ourselves what is adequate, appropriate and affordable.

 

We are losing track of the meaning of standard definitions to an accelerated rate. 

This is most disturbing to me. Take for instance the word marriage: no matter who

you are, if you are an American citizen, marriage was understood to be between a

man and a woman until recently. The country did not endorse homosexuality.

It simply was the actual usage everyone accepted -- until recently.  When a language

loses its relevancy, the culture it fosters loses its ability to measure adequately. 

When we can't measure, we can't judge. When we have no currency to judge, we

are no longer free citizens, and much worse, civilization is doomed.  Doomed. Doomed.   

Feb 2, 2013 12:24PM
avatar
The 10% tithe is specifically pre-Christian. Jesus' principle was 100%. It's in the Book.
Feb 1, 2013 8:09PM
avatar
because it glorifies God to be generous with your servants,just as he is generous with us  when others obey him.
Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

Trending NOW

What’s this?

MARKET UPDATE

[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market punctuated July with a broad-based retreat that sent the S&P 500 lower by 2.0% with all ten sectors ending in the red. The benchmark index posted a monthly decline of 1.5%, while the Russell 2000 (-2.3%) underperformed to end the month lower by 6.1%.

To get a better feel for what led to today's retreat, we'd like to look back to Wednesday, when the market had ample reason to rally, but did not. Instead, it ended basically flat after a sloppy day of ... More

MSN MONEY'S