Waitress who posted no-tip receipt from “pastor” fired from Applebee's

The Consumerist reports that Chelsea, the Applebee's employee who earlier this week posted a receipt with a note from a tightwad "pastor" that read "I Give God 10%. Why Do You Get 18," was fired.

“We make $3.50 an hour. Most of my paychecks are less than pocket change because I have to pay taxes on the tips I make,” she explains. “After sharing my tips with hosts, bussers, and bartenders, I make less than $9/hr on average, before taxes.

In her job, Chelsea says she skipped bathroom breaks when things got busy, went hungry when she had to work several tables at a time, would work until 1:30 a.m. and then come back in at 10:30 a.m.

“I am expected to portray a canned personality that has been found to be least offensive to the greatest amount of people,” she tells Consumerist. “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.”

Waitress who posted no-tip receipt from “pastor” fired from Applebee's


    1. At this point the only reason I’d eat there is to give the wait staff a big fat tip, but unfortunately I know that the larger portion of my bill wouldn’t do anything to help them.

        1. When strident support for ‘values’ and an opposition to sex ed love each other very much…

  1. The Pastor says she found Christ when she was pregnant and homeless, if you can come through being broke, homeless and pregnant and have you own humanity so unaffected that you would leave such an ugly, ugly thing in your wake then maybe you aren’t doing the whole finding Christ thing correctly.

      1. I would almost guarantee it, I would also strongly suspect that she really has no choice but to do so or appear the person she really is to her flock, I would really strongly suspect that if she were not a pastor no church would see one red cent of her hard earned cash.

      2. Makes me thinks of a pastor I saw rolling through the West Side of Chicago in a black Lexus with “The Rev” on the license plate.

        1. Sounds about right:

          Philippians 4:19

          And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

          Matthew 6:33

          But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

          Proverbs 10:3

          The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry.

          2 Timothy 3:17

          That the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.


          The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

          Matthew 6:11

          Give us this day our daily bread

          1. Look at the lilies of the field and how they continue to pay for their own health insurance. Neither do they bring your lazy ass a side of fried zucchini with extra ranch nor make sure that the mango margaritas keep on coming.

        2. The ‘Gospel of Wealth’ is actually more true than it gets credit for. It’s just that it tends to work out for the one preaching it, rather than the one listening…

      3. Since her income AS A PASTOR probably comes from her own church, I would bet it’s more likely that she DOES NOT TITHE ANYTHING. 

        Or if she does, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. If she wanted to tithe outside the church she should be able to allocate those funds at the parish level. Or not, I don’t know… but either way GOD PAYS HER, and yet she won’t pay her waitress.

          1. Not if she works in the US. Pastors are not exempt from FICA unless they garnered their exception more than about 20 years ago, (as I understand it) Also there’s the percentage paid to federal and state income taxes, as the quote goes, render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, unto God, that which is God’s.

            At best, after paying IFCA, federal and probably state income taxes, and 10% to god, she’s probably taking home no more than 58% of her reported income.

            The real question is did the waitress give the same, or better, service than did God. Pretty sure that God isn’t on the payroll at Applebee’s .

    1. She hasn’t caught on to this yet; but her conversion experience was actually just Supply Side Jesus buying out her heart as an investment in distressed subprime property…

      (Also, she is apparently ‘Pastor’ of a 15-member storefront church, so there may be other aspects of religion that she isn’t particularly good at. Might as well sign your receipts as “Dr.” after getting a degree-mill PhD for ‘life experience’.)

      1. Might as well sign your receipts as “Dr.” after getting a degree-mill PhD for ‘life experience’.

        Well excuse me, Mister. I have right in front of me a quarter mimeographed sheet from the Humanity Research University of Beverly Hills, California granting me a Doctorate of Divinity, a Doctorate of Human Letters and a Doctorate of Business Administration in November of 1989. The President checked off all three lines on the form because she liked how my house was decorated. And mostly because she’s my former landlord’s schizophrenic wife. Henceforth, please refer to me as Doctor Doctor Doctor or Dr³ for short.

    2. …maybe you aren’t doing the whole finding Christ thing correctly.

      Depends on what “Christ” is.

    3. “if you can come through being broke, homeless and pregnant”

      Most “born again” stories involve a convenient fiction, so I can’t even take her at her word there.

      But assuming she’s telling the truth, there are plenty of people who have been through worse, and use it as an excuse to treat others as badly or WORSE than they were treated, because it gives them a sense of entitlement to do so.

  2. I really, really hope that on her way out the door she said “You want flair? Here’s my flair.”

  3. Mmmm, fascism-burger.

    Best of luck finding a new job. Hopefully she can find an employer who treats her like a human being.

    1. They really aren’t. Trying to figure out how to tip on random services, I could see, but when you’re served at a restaurant, a tip is practice.

      1. No really, it’s a fucking mine field. Tipping for drinks you buy at the bar, thats just, I mean they were good looking bar staff, and very smiley (at first, that dried up pretty quick), but how am I supposed to know you get a tip for turning around and grabbing a beer?

        At this one place in New York I went in for breakfast every day for a week, and I was tipping because as you say that is standard, and then I heard the waitress explaining to an English guy who was questioning his bill that she’d added the tip to the total already, because as soon as she hears an accent she knows she won’t get a tip.

        1. Tip a dollar per drink in the big city. And are you drinking bottled beer at a bar? What’s the point of going out? If you order a pint of Guinness at a respectable establishment, the bartender will draw a little shamrock on top with the foam.

          1. It was bottled beer at a bar, indeed. It sucked, because we thought we were really cool drinking at a cool bar, and finally she just slammed a beer down in front of my wife and said “You’re supposed to tip you know!”

            I felt like a real dick. My wife is completely immune to that sort of cringe though.

            I’ve never been in the US for more than a few weeks at a time, so I’m sure you’d get the hang of it soon enough, but for visitors it is a novel and challenging system. And apparently for waiting staff, also!

          2. You could leave 50 cents for a bottled beer, I guess. I’ve never gotten a non-draft beer in a bar. And it depends on where you are. If you’re in Manhattan, the bartender pays $5,000 a month to live in a walk-in closet in shifts. I’m a little surprised that a bartender would get noticeably upset at not being tipped for a handover item, unless that’s all they do.

          3. Yeah it was Manhattan. No one ever got upset with me on the West Coast, people seem much more cruisy there.

          4. @facebook-1807526980:disqus  Well yeah. I haven’t been deliberately avoiding tipping, thats kind of my point.

            Anyway, don’t worry too much. This experience is all from the olden days of software companies flying me around. I’m unlikely to be awkwardly undertipping anyone near you anytime soon.

        2. “No really, it’s a fucking mine field”

          Tipping in restaurants (and bars) is well-established and codified.

      2. Maybe it isn’t complicated, but it feels real awkward to hand cash to people, not to mention unsanitary (to handle the bill).  Why should I do the manager’s job when I’m just trying to relax?

        Employers should just increase the salary and price that into cost.  Works pretty well in Asia, why not here?

        1. “it feels real awkward to hand cash to people”

          What do they do where you live? We use plastic here too.

          “Employers should just increase the salary and price that into cost.”

          Oh, I agree completely.

          1. Oh, I was referring to tips in general (e.g., porter service).  

            I do pay tips using credit card at restaurants, but cash is usually the rule everywhere else.

        2. but it feels real awkward to hand cash to people, not to mention unsanitary

          …for serious? 

          I’m guessing you could never work retail or in a service job then?

          1. @Diogenes:disqus As am I myself.  I don’t mind paying someone, just not flash some bills in front of people.  It just doesn’t feel right.

  4. I worked in restaurants for more than 20 years. The trick is to stay away from the large, corporate places. Small, neighborhood places with chef/owners (assuming they have good food) are the best places to work. Generally friendly and they treat you like human beings. 

    1.  This is wise, but in an increasingly sprawling, homogenized, corporate dominated landscape I imagine it can be tough for people in suburban type areas to find much else.

      1. The town of 50k that I came from (far and away the largest town in perhaps a three county radius) probably had fewer than 10 local eateries, most of which were desperate to be as much like the chains as possible.  That said, being a dry county made having actual restaurants pretty much economically unfeasible.

        1. I grew up in a town of 8,000 people. We had three restaurants that I recall, all independent. And all Italian.

          1. I grew up on a town of 6,000 at the time (40 years later, the town is up 7,200).  Two cafes that served through lunch, one burger joint near the high school, and one Chinese restaurant.

          2. That time I lived in Bigfork, MT, in 1980 (pop. 1,421 in 2000, probably less in 1980 since the lakefront condos weren’t built yet), we had to drive a few miles out of town to get to the restaurant: a Mexican joint called Ollie’s.  Fortunately the owner was an expat San Diegan like us, so the Mexican food was unusually good for a joint within screaming distance of the Canadian border.

        2. I grew up in a city with over a million people in it, not counting all the suburbs, city-burbs, and whatnot. I’ve noticed this weird pattern though where there will be bands of great local restaurants in some parts, but complete food ghettos (usually conveniently close to actual ghettos) where you’re lucky to find a taco bell or a 7-11 with sandwiches in it. Weirdly though if you go out into some of the suburbs the same thing happens and there’s like 10 miles of housing development between a stripmall with a wal-mart, a fast food chain, and then on the other side something k-klassy like a Friday’s. 

      2. One benefit of the Yelpification (I hate to use the phrase “foodie”) of local businesses is that word of mouth goes further, and there’s greater opportunities these days outside of the Applebees, Friday’s, “casual dining” shithouses. I’ll take better food over the few mouthyentitled idiots people post as the worst examples of user review content anyday.

    2.  It’s no guarantee — plenty of neighborhood places are owned by scumbags — but the odds are probably better.

      1. Less chance of an overarching system of rules and expectations with family owned, even if it is technically one of a small chain. And less chance that you are a disposable cog.

      1. I wonder how much they’re paying the poor person who’s having to cut and paste this: “We understand you’re upset. It upsets us too as we value Applebee’s employees as well as our Guests’ rights of privacy. ~ARL”  to every Twitter rebuke.

        1. Probably less than the person who presses the Shocked and Saddened button for every world leader every time anything bad happens.

          Pope/ Obama/ Putin/ Dalai Lama/ etc. Shocked and Saddened by Brazil Nightclub Fire. And this is news…..why?

          1. I just registered the domain ShockedAndSaddened.com.

            Now, to create a news/twitter ticker of the phrase.
            /this is the third domain I’ve registered based on BoingBoing posts/comments. Others are Eunoterpsia.com and LicentiousBuffoonery.com
            (nothing at the latter two, yet…)

  5. When the help gets uppity, you have to send them packing. Otherwise, chaos.

    But yeah, Applebee’s – can’t boycott a place I won’t eat on standard principles to begin with.

    1. The help might be less uppity if they were paid livable wages and weren’t treated like slave labor.

      1. My dear friend, that’s why the middle class bears the tax burden – so social programs can claim to make up the difference.

        (also I heard it’s dangerous to throw the word slave around).

        Applebee’s probably lost one of their best employees who will have no trouble finding a better place.

        1.  +1 on both. I am nowadays living in NZ, where tipping is NOT expected. I found it strange at first, but at least it makes such cases much less likely, and wages a bit more dependable.

    1. That’s pretty much state-by-state, right?  I was led to believe the exemption didn’t exist in CA.

      1. Many states, my home state of California included, force employers to pay state minimum wage to all hourly workers. Federal minimum wage is $7.25 for most, but for tipped workers it’s $2.13.

        1. “Here, have an insult with your wages.”

          That works both with a ridiculous minimum wage for tipped workers as well as with the whole “pastor”s business.

      2.  Also Nevada (or something similar, anyway. It’s around $7). Also Oregon and Arizona (?) I’ve heard.  It explains why, as a Californian, I was always kind of mystified by the angry waiters from points east who’d say things like “tip 20% or don’t even bother showing up”, because from my perspective, while not getting tipped sucked mightily, it was better than being sent home because of slow business. But when I learned other states let businesses get away with basically not paying servers anything but tips, I understood their point. (And also maybe why my friends from other parts of the country claimed our restaurants were so much more expensive than what they were used to).

  6. How does this “pastor” sleep at night? What church lets a person like this lead a congregation? 

  7. I thought lying was a sin against God?

     “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

    “The pastor claims that though she scratched out the automatic gratuity on the bill, she left a $6 cash tip at the table. She also alleges that the restaurant charged her the 18% tip anyway.”

    She’s a lamb of God.  A pastor, even.  She would never, ever lie to minimize her responsibility in the situation.  

    1. Heck, according to the waiter’s comments in the original reddit post, the 18% tip was because it was a party of 20, and the pastor paid for all the bills (even though they split it up to try avoiding the 18%).  Even if she left a $6 tip, it would only account for a tiny portion of the 18% she was trying to avoid giving.

      1. If each person’s ticket was (only) $20 the total would be $400 so her $6 tip would amount to a 1.5% tip.

        If it was actually $35 per person, then her $6 tip is somewhere between 0 and 1%…….

        Maybe she just shouldn’t have mentioned that…

        1. But it doesn’t work like that?

          $20 per person, 20 people, $400 total billable.
          At 18% that’s $72 total in forced tips.
          Or per person that’s $3.60, which is about what I leave on $20 give or take.

          If it was $35 and she left $6 then it would be about 17%.  (Considering most places add taxes into the total I think that’s more than fine…I don’t tip on tax.)

  8. Not surprised that Ms. Mean for Jesus is a “storefront” pastor.

    In NYC anyway, those places are hotbeds of every kind of scam, from fake green cards to “tax preparation services” to miscellaneous businesses (one even had a travel agency that was shut down by the authorities).  It’s a way of claiming tax exemption for all sorts of things.

    1. Yeah, I wanted to clarify with my (true story) Lexus comment above that a lot of these storefront folks are actually quite legit, but that some of them definitely give off a vibe that reeks of opportunism, or last ditch efforts to get PAID. Not surprising that so many tell tales of hitting rock bottom before ‘finding the lord’…

      1. So come on down, we got silicone silicone implants for the little ones to jump on right to Jesus, ain’t that right. Tex?

  9.  I’m still confused by the concept that employers are allowed to pay their employees less than minimum wage in some places. Around here, minimum wage is $10.25/hr, and if you’re working a job that gets tips, you get them on top of that, because tips aren’t wages.

    1. Some states permit restaurant to pay a lower minimum wage to tipped employees, since it’s generally recognized in the U.S. that most waitstaff will make more in tips than they do in hourly pay.  According to the federal regulation mentioned yesterday by invictus, if an employee’s tips do not push the employee’s hourly income over the federal minimum wage, then the restaurant is required to make up the difference.  But the justification for the lower minimum wage for tipped employees is that a minimum wage is supposed to provide a basic standard of living, and when it comes to an entry-level service position like waitron, if a substantial portion of the income supporting that standard is coming from tips, then the restaurant is absolved of supporting a certain share of that standard through hourly payroll.

      Sounds like the sort of payroll theory the Chamber of Commerce would support, rather than any actual minimum-wage earners.

      1. Exactly – because it ensures that even if you work really hard, you are unlikely to ever go much above minimum wage. Instead of getting a minimum wage and then having an INCENTIVE to work hard – because that would get you minimum wage PLUS tips.

        In other words: A policy that says “screw you either way.”

    2. What? You actually expect reason and logic from Capitalists? My Lord, no! That might get in the way of making money. For US, not for you. Scumbag!

      [do I really need to put /sarcasm? Sigh]

    3.  In the US, lobbies determine policy.  Increasing the minimum wage also increases the price of eating out.  This means fewer people eat out and restaurants take a hit.  So lobbies representing restaurants lobby for minimum wage exemptions on the grounds that minimum wage increases for servers will hurt the restaurant industry.

      Which is true but it is also true that the current situation is stupid and immoral.

      1. The practice of making up wages with tips was banned to absolute fuck in the UK, but we still have restaurants.

        1. Yes, but according to the free-marketeers, you are barely better than Communists with such rules. They probably would be willing to blame English food taste on the same rules ;-)

        2. And, interestingly enough, good service too generally. The typical line is that servers won’t work if they’re paid well. 

    4. The US tipping culture is so ingrained that this would probably be a problem.  Tipping is REALLY culturally ingrained.  You violate some very serious cultural norms if you don’t leave a tip.  If you leave 10% you are cheap and 15%-20% is standard.  In countries where tipping is optional and thus food prices are higher, I still can’t help but leave 15% at least or else I feel like a piece of shit, regardless of the service.  The cultural norm runs pretty deep.  You need to be a real piece of shit (or apparently a pastor) to violate it.

      Other than the occasional stiff, I think it is less of a problem than you think.  It lets a waiter or bartender make more than minimum wage and potentially vastly more than minimum wage.  On top of that, in most places if a waiter doesn’t get at least minimum wage in tips they are paid the difference.

      Basically, in the US it is better to be working is a waiter making $2.50 an hour during a reasonable shift than it is to be working at McDonalds and making minimum wage by a long shot.

      1. In my experience, if you’re in a no-tip country you just don’t tip. If you do you “violate some very serious cultural norms.”

          1. This has totally been more my experience. You tip because you’re American, and people are like “Hell yeah, this dumb lady is buying my drinks tonight!”

          2. I was traveling with some Australians and we were discussing drinking etiquette. I said, “You say ‘It’s my shout’ in Australia, don’t you?” to which they replied, “No, we say ‘It’s YOUR shout.'”

      2.  But you get over it.  I’ve lived the last 10 years outside the US, and I get confused when I visit home and have to leave a tip.  I usually just ask whoever I’m with, or the server, what I oughta tip.

        1. Really bad service (when you’re sure it’s the server’s fault), no tip.  Mediocre to kinda-slow service, 10%.  Good service, 20%.

          Not really that confusing.

  10. I’m wondering if the “pastor” meant “I give God 100%.” Not that she does, mind you.  And how the hell does a party larger than 8 (in fact, I think the article says 20) wind up with only a $35 dollar bill, anyway?

    1. Because the restaurant’s policy was to charge an automatic gratuity for such large parties the group tried to get around that by asking for separate tickets. As I understand it, though, the pastor still paid all the bills.

      Which leaves me wondering, did the pastor scribble the same nasty note on each ticket?

  11. Hebrews 6:10 : God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

    Neither shall the servers forget to put special sauce upon thine entree, for truly, those who do works in the Lord’s name shall have their reward.


  12. When I first saw this on Consumerist, I read the scrawl as “I give God 100%…”

    Now I see what the pastor wrote (annotated):
    I give God 100% (oops!) 10% (Of ALL of my earnings), why do you get 18% (of just this bill)?

    Deists and theists, the scourge of the Earth, I tells ya.

    1. During my pizza delivery days in the late 80s, I once got an order for a large veggie pizza to be delivered to the nondenominational (but “born-again” style) church down the block.  It was a slow midweek lunch hour, so I got there in about 20 minutes.  The church was closed.  I went around to the back, tried all the doors, nothing.  Nobody home.  Figured it was either a prank, or someone had had to leave in a hurry.  The only car in the parking lot was a beat-up old camper.  A slightly unkempt youngish couple were there, and I asked them if anyone had been around the church.  “Well, someone was there, but they just left about ten minutes ago.”  Oh, okay.  So much for that.  The couple looked a trifle hungry, and since they were temporarily camping out in the church’s parking lot, I asked them if they wanted the pizza (I was going to throw it out anyway if nobody was around to buy it; it was literally 38 cents worth of toppings and dough to the company as wastage).  Their eyes lit up and they said, “Oh, wow!  What a blessing!  Thank you, Lord!  Thanks be to Jesus!”

      I was glad to feed those hungry folks, but it always kinda bothered me that in their enthusiastic gratitude to the Deity, it never actually occurred to them to thank me.

      1.  Amen!

        I get so upset when I see or hear relatives of a just-saved victims start praising and thanking the lord, not the poor sods who risked their lives to save ’em…

        1. Yes. Some of the churches I’ve belonged to routinely have people raise their financial concerns during a sharing session, and then praise the God for the miracle when someone anonymously helps them out with a cash gift / new car / whatever. I have zero problem with this in principle. This is how churches are supposed to work; we’re supposed to help each other in times of need. I’m even fine with it being anonymous. But it feels wrong to completely ignore the human side of the exchange.

          1. It’s a cop out. You see, if you admit that PEOPLE helped you it implies you ought to do something in return. 

          2. Interesting observation – yes, receiving a gift (especially if one is desperate) does convey social obligation. The fact that the pizza couple was unlikely to ever be able to “repay” this added to their unpleasant situation. But I agree, in this bland-faced way in front of the person giving them the gift, it still comes across as rather callous and thankless.

          3. I’ve become a sneaky S.O.B. in more recent years.  Sometimes I’ll help someone out with a ride to the airport or moving a heavy piece of furniture.  If it’s a friend or family member I keep my smartass comments to myself, but sometimes it’ll be someone I don’t know or like particularly, and when they thank me, I’ll say, “Hey, it’s nothing.  I know you’d do it for me.”

            That shuts ’em up quick.

          4.  That’s actually an interesting piece of social commentary.

            Donald:  do you think those people wouldn’t help you?

          5. Well by this what I mean isn’t so much that these people have “debt” now socially as they have a “relationship” even a very slight one. 

            Saying God did it allows you to sever that relationship at the “I got helped out” phase. 

            I think the more important question would be actually this: will that couple do something for some one else? If so, will they consider God having done it, or themselves?

        2.  And when a bus goes over a cliff, and one passenger lives, it’s a “miracle”. No, a miracle would have been if they all lived, or if the bus floated down like feather.

          1. I, on the other hand, was nicknamed Jesus for having long hair and a beard. And being skinny.

          2. Long hair?  Check.  Skinny?  Check.  Facial hair eventually?  Check  Oh, and one other thing that left me wondering if he was a habitual lefty, or if that was an decision he made every time he slid into those jeans and went out on stage… kinda like Igor’s hump.

      2. When I was doing a volunteer job at the bookstore in the SF Botanical Garden, a group of Christian hippies came in all excited that they had found a lost wedding ring which they could sell. I suggested that they might want to try to find the owner who might value it. They dismissed my suggestion because God obviously intended for them to have it.


        UNDERSHAFT (sardonically gallant). Mrs. Baines: you are irresistible. I cant disappoint you; and I cant deny myself the satisfaction of making Bodger pay up. You shall have your five thousand pounds.
        MRS. BAINES. Thank God!
        UNDERSHAFT. You dont thank me?

        — George Bernard Shaw, Major Barbara

      3. I’m so sick of that. My dad had some emergency surgery a month ago, and every time a neighbor says “thank god you’re all right now” I can’t help but to say “no, excuse me, thank the doctors and the nurses and the ambulanciers”.

  13. I too, would rather give money to my imaginary friend than a real person who is just trying to survive.  It’s God’s will…

    1.  Actually, you are giving the money to a real person – Mrs “Pastor” is getting it. They aren’t burning it in the brazier, that money you give to them.

      Heck, the “10%” she gives to God is probably kicked right back into her next months wages. So she gives that to herself, really.

  14. Matthew 22:21 : Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s. As for the wait staff, 18% is a perfectly reasonable expectation for parties of six and over.

    1.  Instead she says “Look, this is a perfect opportunity to get even more people to hate us and make the thing go more viral by doing the worst, spineless thing possible”. Well done.

  15. Working in the service industry, I was surprised to find out that the church crowd were the worst tippers… and entitled assholes in general.

    “Never do business with a religious son-of-a-bitch. His word ain’t worth a shit — not with the Good Lord telling him how to fuck you on the deal.”

    – William S Burroughs

    1. Working in the service industry, I was surprised to find out that the church crowd were the worst tippers… 

      Rabbis, on the other hand, usually know what it’s like to work for tips. [/bris joke]

    2. I worked as a dishwasher* in a soup-kitchen in the basement of a church, and the vast majority of the religious folks coming into volunteer were the worst entitled assholes.

      The manager, a couple of homeless volunteers, and I would come in every day, set everything up, get everything cooked, and clean up afterwards, and every day, a different church group would come in, spoon out food we laid out for them to spoon out for an hour or so, and act like they were God’s gift to humanity while they treated everybody that actually kept things running like “the help.” Ugh.

      The Unitarians were actually pretty cool though. Also the Catholic pastor of the church itself, he was pretty cool, not that he helped with the food at all, but he at least treated everybody like people. And the Jewish manager, she rocked. And of course, me, the atheist dishwasher, I was the coolest. 

      *Meaning I was responsible for the dish-room primarily, but did tons of everything.

    3. I had a different experience with a German church group when I worked as a waiter in a hotel. They almost doubled my wages that month.

  16. Wait a second, I only has to give God a 10% cut?  Damn, that be less than them governments take from me and I get better coverage!  Gotta rethink this religion thing again

  17. So this no-tip pastor is an asshole (and not a representative sample in my experience as a waiter), but your entire country are assholes for allowing anyone anywhere to get paid $3.50 an hour and basically depend on the generosity of strangers.

    1. Prior Walter: I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.
      Hannah Pitt: Well that’s a stupid thing to do.

      — Angels in America

  18. Has the waitress set up a donation site yet? If Christians are so consumed with destroying people, I’d jump at the chance to support those people in their time of need.

  19. Tipping is a social contract for good service (whether anyone likes it or not), and not tipping dilutes that service for the rest of us.  If you don’t plan on tipping, say so up front, preferably loudly.

    But the craziest part of this story is the math.

    If the pastor gives god 10%, and the waitress (also a good christian woman, I assume) gives god 10% of her 18% tip, then the pastor owes god 1.8%.

    And from what I’ve heard, He will collect.

  20. The pastor was definitely an asshole for leaving a note like that, whether she also left a $6 tip or not. 

    And it sucks that she got fired. I hope she finds a new, better job soon, where people treat her with respect.But is anyone really surprised Applebees fired her? Consumer privacy is a huge issue right now. People get angry at Facebook for revealing things that they put on the Internet themselves. Applebees doesn’t want to risk being known as the restaurant that will post your name on the Internet if you don’t tip enough.

    1. So they prefer to be known as the restaurant that fires their employees for having the gall to demand a little dignity. 

    2. Consumer privacy is a huge issue right now.

      There’s no identifying information in the posted photo. Applebee’s just doesn’t want to give the impression that servers get upset about subhumanoid customers. Everybody at Applebee’s is fucking happy all the fucking time.

      1. The signature is not identifying information?  The consumerist article says that she *eventually* replaced the image with one that had the signature cut off, but people were already trying to identify the person.

        1. I didn’t realize that the image was replaced.  Although her signature just looks like a bunch of random loops.

    3. I submit that when you identify yourself as a “pastor”, you’ve declared yourself a public figure and have waived any right to anonymity.

  21. I’m guessing Applebee’s has never heard of the Streisand Effect.  They were getting free publicity, and sympathy for their employee might have even resulted in additional sales.  But noooooo, they had to go and fire their sympathetic employee at the height of the viral publicity.

    1. Well, they already jumped the evil shark. This might have been a nice way for them to regain some face after telling the world that they’d take “Obamacare” out on their employees. But no, no, they just… really want us to know they’re assholes.

    2. BoingBoing’s demographic isn’t “real Amerikuh” and isn’t as interested in corn syrup slirptinis and riblet synthetic chipotle drizzlers.

      1. But even over on Yahoo! News, where trolls and douchebags are rampant, most comments (over 55,000!) seem to be sympathetic to the waitress, not the pastor.

        1. Wow, that’s an aberration!

          My guess: The overwhelmingly racist comments section in Y!N isn’t as fond of the pastor because of her social class and ethnicity. Right stance for very wrong reasons…

  22. For all of her complaining, perhaps it was the best thing for her.

    (Note: tips are paid for services rendered and are optional. I tip well, but that is my choice. If you don’t like working for tips, find a different job. Welcome to the real world)

    1. Why would someone think its an option to hoard away space from someone who wants to tip. If you’re a bad customer, get out, I could use your table.

    2. Is there any other context in which payment for services rendered is optional?

      Have you ever paid a mechanic for parts and then insisted that no, paying for the mechanic’s labor is optional for example?

      I’m not really interested in arguing with you but I hope you reconsider what is essentially theft.

      1. A tip is not ‘paying for services rendered’. That’s their employer’s obligation by means of a wage. Every menu item should be priced to cover all overheads including wages. That’s how a customer pays for services rendered.
        If the employer is not living up to their obligation that’s a different matter.

    3.  N.B. It is not always possible, for a plethora of reasons, which as one human being to another, obviously I hope you don’t have to discover the hard way, to ‘find a different job’.
      Just a quick heads-up for you from over here in the real world.

    4. I tip well, but that is my choice. If you don’t like working for tips, find a different job. Welcome to the real world

      Nah, I’m really betting you don’t.

    5. No.  It isn’t optional in the US.  

      True, there is no law that says you MUST tip.  There is also no law that says you can’t refer to your waiter as pig fucker, c**t rag, or some colorful racial slur during every exchange.  There is no law, but there is an extremely strong cultural norm and an implied agreement.  You are a piece of shit if you violate that norm and implied agreement and everyone around you is fully entitled to think that you are a piece of shit and call you out as a piece of shit in the same way they would if you started spewing racial slurs at random people.  You are well within your rights and won’t get arrested, but you are still a piece of shit.Not tipping your waiter is optional, much like not using racial slurs to refer to your waiter is optional.  There is a cultural norm and an implied contract when someone making $2.50 an hour waits on you.  That implied contract is that you are going to pay for their service because the restaurant isn’t.  If you don’t accept that contract, fucking get take out.

  23. Posting the name of a guest at a restaurant on the internet? It doesn’t bother me too much that she got fired for that. The waitress is not without professional responsibility here, no matter how badly the guest behaved. The original post would have been just as juicy without the name.

     But since the cat is out of the bag, and the douchebag in question felt strongly enough to go and get the waitress fired, it would be equally rough justice to give all the other waters and waitresses permission not to serve this person, ever again. (or at least as long as it takes for the waitress in question to get a better paying job.)

    Better still if the Pastor was defrocked for her part in this. No church wants that kind of publicity, any more than Applebee’s does!

    1. It’s her own fake-ass fifteen member church. Shit, I’ve had RPG groups bigger’n that. Should’ve called ourselves “First Church of Rolemaster”. 

  24. Actually this cuts to the core of why charity doesn’t work also. “I once gave a homeless guy a dollar so that’s my good deed for 10 years, none of you other louses have done as much as me!” 

  25. I didn’t realize a tithe was the same thing as a tip, as in “thanks for the great service, God”.  I thought it was more like profit sharing with your silent partner. 

  26. Applebees Restaurants Corporate Office Headquarters 
    8140 Ward Parkway
    Kansas City, MO 64114
    Corporate Phone Number: 1-888-592-7753
    Fax Number: n/a
    Customer Service Phone Number: 1-888-592-7753

    DineEquity – Parent Company of Applebees and IHOP Restaurants
    50 North Brand Boulevard 7th Floor
    Glendale, CA 91203 USA
    Corporate Phone Number: 1-818-240-6055
    Fax Number: 1-818-637-3131

    Why not give them a call and express your displeasure?

  27. So, OK. The law in America says that you’re allowed to pay waitresses and such less than minimum wage because it’s expected they’ll make money from tips and thus make minimum wage overall. The restaurant business opposes the abolishing of this system, because that will mean they have to pay more>they have to charge more>less people eat>less money>out of business, right?

    But making the food more expensive (10% more expensive, say) doesn’t increase the total bill at all, because you’re no longer requiring people to pay a 10% tip. It doesn’t affect the system in any way, except that the money is exchanged at the start instead of at the end.

    1. While what you say is true I think you’re drastically overestimating the rationality of the average human being.  People are creatures of habit.  This is not the sort of thing that you could just change overnight with 100% of people involved being like, “Oh, OK, that makes sense and I am not at all afraid of sudden change.”  Realistically, people are just going to look at prices on menus and decide they can’t afford to eat out as much.

      But perhaps we could do something if there was a little more political will behind it.  If we raised the minimum payable to wait staff by $1 per year for a few years everyone might have time to adjust their expectations.  I would definitely support such an idea.

      1. If I were to decide to become a restaurateur, I think I’d start by buying a more-or-less successful existing establishment.  And I’d have a solid talk with the existing waitstaff and find out what would work best for them: a high hourly guarantee paid by me and funded by higher menu prices (but with signage to that effect, instituting a gentle prohibition on tipping due to higher salaries which is why your food costs more), or a lower hourly rate plus tips.  I think the situation would vary greatly depending on the establishment, the clientele, and the hours worked.  I’ve worked for tips before (most members of my family have at some point), and there were days or shifts when I was barely squeaking by on the minimum, and days when I was surprisingly flush with cash by the end of the shift.  A reliable hourly paycheck might be preferable to some people, whereas others might want the opportunity of the occasional windfall that comes from the happy customer in a celebratory mood who tips like he just won the lottery.  (He’s an uncommon customer, but sometimes he shows up.  Kinda like the pizza delivery customer who calls you into the bath.  She never exists, until one day, she does.)

        I’ve been to a very few no-tipping restaurants.  It’s a bit difficult to resist the cultural urge to throw an extra 20% on the table at the end, but otherwise the experience was just like a regular tipping restaurant.  I think it’s probably true that most restaurants stick with tipping to keep their payrolls as cheap as possible (and the employees are either over the barrel of needing whatever job they can land, or genuinely hopeful for the occasional big-ass tip that makes the day seem worthwhile), but it seems to me that a restaurant that wanted to limit turnover and instill a sense of financial stability into its workforce might go ahead and abolish tips (and then turn a blind eye to the occasional celebratory one wherever possible).

        1. I would liken that variability in your take-home pay as a feature of tipping culture that benefits the business owner.

          in behaviorism, this would be called a variable shedule of positive reinforcement (or negative punishment, when you get a low or nonexistent tip). It has the effect of making the behavior (in this case working for a bunch of remorseless, soulless turdgoblins) more resistant to extinction.

          it’s the same basic strategy by which casinos and games of chance bleed you dry while giving you the impression that you are occasionally winning. except this case, it’s your labor rather than your money that is the target.

    2. You would think, but pricing psychology is messed up like that. The industry is probably right that customers would react negatively, at least in the short term. A $11 item is way less appealing than a $10 item with a $1 surcharge. 
      Random book plug: Poundstone, William. _Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value (and How to take Advantage of It_

    3. Totally agree with Michael Busuttil. Instead of moaning about tightwad customers, waiting staff should unionize and go on mass strike for higher wages. The tipping system is institutionalized begging that keeps exploitation in place.

      1. I’ve been saying this to my American colleagues for years.  I get perfectly good service in here in Scandinavia where tipping really is totally unnecessary. Even the lowest paid workers get close to USD 20 per hour (shelf stacking in a supermarket for instance).

  28. Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

    II Corinthians 3:6

    So yeah, Pastor, you keep following scripture to the letter. I’m sure it will go well for you when you’re called to account. You able minister, you.

    This comment is not an indication of faith, express or implied. Context has been removed to protect the rhetoric. Reader results may vary. Comment not valid on Titan or Europa.

  29. Why do we even know who the Waitstaff is? They were really asking to be fired if she included her real name in the post. 

    1. I think this is interesting, because angry customers often demand the full name of workers as if it’s their right. Applebee’s was within their “rights” to fire her, whether that was the right thing to do, they may find out the hard way…

  30. Why does she get 18%?  Because she just served you your meal you…

    Some people’s capacity for assholery stuns me.

    1. Welcome to the Internet! There’s this thing called hyperlinks included in some stories, and when you click them they lead you to the original article. There’s one at the end of the post. It states “this was just a portion of the total bill for a table of 20, which means the 18% tip is automatically put on the bill.”

      I know the the World Wide Web is hard to understand and can be confusing, but don’t worry, you’ll grasp the basics someday!

      1. ALWAYS reread the post and your reply twice in the following circumstances:

        1. You’re commenting on someone’s grammar.
        2. You’ve got a really good snark going in your reply.

        Believe me, I know.

      2. Do you read what people write or do you just glance at it and blindly post crap full of self righteous drivel?  I know the web is hard to understand and confusing, but don’t worry, you’ll grasp the basics someday!

        Let me break it down for you.  The first sentence is a rhetorical question.  The second one is my (censored) reply to the pastor who didn’t tip her.  The third is my take on the pastor. Hope that helped.

  31. Here in Washington state, we get this: a proposed “training wage” at 75% of minimum. Key supporter: the Washington Restaurant Association.

  32. I would never go to this pastors cheap church. This pastor makes Christians look cheap and inconsiderate. Shame on him. Pastors dont give 10% anyways they take it and use it for themselves and the congregation.  And if it is 18% already on the receipt that means it was auto-grated that means she was serving a large party. Unless her service was horrible there is no reason for this person not to tip. I am glad she got fired if I were her I would collect unemployment and work on finding a better job that dont deal with cheap people, and a crappy company.

  33. The waitress has to pay income tax and sales tax on that 18%, and besides when was the last time God (who does not have to pay taxes on his 10%) served you with something you wanted in less than 20 minutes!

  34. Honestly, in Europe (at least in Italy, Germany, and France) you don’t give the tip (unless you want), you pay a fixed amount for the service (usually 1-5 euro per person) and the waiters and waitresses are paid more. It’s fair: the client knows in advance how much are you going to pay and you get a reasonable minimum wage. It doesn’t make sense to have a tip based on the cost of the meal. Is it more difficult to handle a $100 lobster than a $5 salad?

    1. Yeah. Not so much here in UK (though it seems we’re trying to pretend not to be a part of Europe nowadays. Sheesh!).
      Here you pay your bill and, if you feel like your wait staff have contributed to your having an enjoyable time, you have the option of paying a tip of generally 10 – 15% extra.
      The business owner is legally obliged to pay their staff at least minimum wage (currently £6.20 an hour, depending on age). None of this “if they can get tips then you’re allowed to pay them less” crap.
      Strictly speaking all tips are supposed to be declared and tax paid on them. I’ve never worked anywhere that does this. Most bosses leave it up to the individuals as to whether they declare tips or not.
      It’s not unusual for a good waiter to go home at the end of the night with an extra £50-plus in their pocket, cash, tax free and on top of their wages.
      It stimulates an incentive to be great at your job without people having to worry that they won’t have, at least, a basic wage at the end of the week.
      This American system seems bizarre, immoral and corrupt.

  35. I’m so mad at applees, I’m going to go back in time and have never gone there.


    NB: time travel grammar is hard

  36. “I give God 10%,” eh?  Same God who supposedly created the universe needs 10% of somebody’s income?  What?  Somebody took away God’s money, so he has to hit up us puny humans in order to have enough to eat?

    Nobody gives money to God.  People give money to their church… i.e., their favorite social club.

    And menawhile, the waitress who works hard for a living gets fired for pointing out how cheap this pastor is, who lives entirely on the generosity of others.


  37. If the menu clearly states that an 18% gratuity will be automatically added to parties of x or more, isn’t the pastor guilty of a sort of dine and dash?

  38. As each zany detail comes out about the the 0% tipper, its more and more consistent with someone who would sign their check that way.

    For me, the zaniest part is her actually signing it “Pastor.”  There is no sense of shame.  (Although, now there is, now that it’s public.)

    Somewhat unfair the waitress got fired as result of this. On this point, I’m not sure what the ruling should be; a waitperson should not be surprised that they’ll be fired when they hold up a patron’s dirty laundry for all to see. They’ve got to know that Applebee’s isn’t going to want to be known for humiliating its patrons.

    What I don’t get is:  You know _before_ you get your meal, that groups pay 18%.  It’s not optional.  It will say what the group tipping policy is on the menu.  Why could not the waitress have gone to her supervisor when she realized the group was violating the agreement?

    1. “It will say what the group tipping policy is on the menu.”

      And in the entryway to the business.

      “Why could not the waitress have gone to her supervisor when she realized the group was violating the agreement?”

      Because managers will rarely force a tip on the bill if the customer refuses it, especially the ones who work for international megachains. The customer’s always right, especially when they’re an asshole.

  39. I haven’t read the prior 200 posts, so if anybody’s posted something similar to this, well – Tell it, friends.

    What this story reminds me of is the fact that when I delivered pizzas or booze, WITHOUT FAIL, the cheapest, stingiest, biggest-assholes-when-it-came-to-tipping were ALWAYS devout, pushy, jackass christians. They thought it was an absolute RIOT to stiff a pizza delivery guy on the coldest night of the year, or after making him run up 5 flights of stairs to deliver a a half-dozen cheese pizzas. I once delivered 20 pies to a bunch occupying connected suites for a Southern Baptist conference in the convention hall across the street. The bill was $199.87. They gave me ten twenties and SCREAMED with laughter when they slammed the door.

    1. That’s because you’re a heathen pagan satanist baby eater. If you weren’t, you would have been in that baptist conference with them.

  40. It’s all about the crowd. Pastors at Applebee’s apparently provide you stiffed tips and stone age fairy tale diatribe. When I was bartending in Chicago I got phone numbers and coke. The degenerate is in the eye of the beholder. 

  41. It’s worth noting that it is not possible to give ‘God’ money, or anything. You can give, say, a food offering to ‘God,’ but God consuming the food will not be distinguishable from that food being eaten by microbes.

    So when she says she gives “10% to God,” she means she gives 10% to her friends / people similar to her / herself. Unless she is burning bills on some sort of altar…

  42. An annoying trend in Australia is the growing prevalence of tipping: It’s become more common than not to have the bill come back with a place to add a tip – and quite often I’m asked ‘Just for that amount?’ when it’s time to pay, as if to say ‘you’re sure you don’t want to tip?’.

    Now, the minimum wage for a casual wait-person during the week is about AUD$22/hour – up to $40-something on public holidays, and it’s very common for a steak in a decent pub to be $30+. For the first 15 years of my working life I knew I could earn better money working behind a bar or waiting tables (and I did, for a while).Tipping here seems to be a way for diners to show status with their table mates. “Oh, check me out – I’m going to leave an extravagant tip, to show how rich and civilised I am”. I can see the point coming where tipping is unofficially expected, and I hate that idea. Restaurants here pay their staff properly for what is very definitely hard work, and put the actual prices of the things they sell on the menu, and that’s great – why should it be any other way? I don’t want to start looking like a cheapskate because I’m not buying into the fad.

    Any Aussies got thoughts on this? Am I reading something wrong?

    1.  In the U.S., waitstaff are exempted from the minimum wage (already a miserable $5.25/hour, or enough to buy a coffee at Starbuck’s).  If yours are given a living wage, then by all means do not tip unless you wish to applaud extraordinary service. 

  43. Just sent this to Appleby’s, with a quote of the Boing Boing item:

    I routinely tip 20%, rounding upward, because I have been a waiter and know how well they are not paid.  I have eaten at Appleby’s several times in the past; rest assured I shall not do so in the future unless this person is reinstated and given back pay.

    May you see more tables than customers in your restaurants.

    Don Martin

        1. The article was the same facts we know, possibly in a different order, but I couldn’t make heads or tails of this “more” he was suggesting. More… of the same?

  44. Replying Matt L
    I agree completely with you that privacy is important and that Applebees had to react to the posting of the customer’s signature (just as I agree with you that the pastor was, and is, an asshole).  But it would be better if Applebees had taken some disciplinary action short of firing the waitress.  Particularly since Applebees doesn’t come to the matter with clean hands.  It appears to have done the same thing itself.  I saw this posted on Reddit this morning.  http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/19100_136476209851670_2070951401_n.jpg  The person who posted the link to this image on Reddit noted:
    “Yes, same store and everything… Originally posted to the individual store’s Facebook page. It was quickly removed when someone pointed out this was their excuse for firing Chelsea. Reposted as a screenshot to the “Hire Back Chelsea” Facebook group.”

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