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Sun Feb 3, 2013, 09:43 PM

The Waitress, the Pastor and the Applebee's Meltdown...a perfect internet storm.

Reflecting on the story of the waitress who posting the note left by a pastor (on the bill) online, which led to her firing, which led to a storm of criticism against the Pastor and Applebee's, I find myself amazed by how the internet took this otherwise innocuous incident and turned it into a mini-French Revolution. A perfect storm of fury in favor of the working man. If anything should be a warning to the 1% and big corporations of America's anger over the robbery and theft of jobs, fair wages, health care, pensions, homes and the rest, this is it. This, my friends, is the rumblings of the mob, and it's far more frightening (or ought to be) to those in capitalistic power than anything Occupy managed with all its protests.

And we need to keep it going. We need to make use of it. Yes. I mean it.

Let's start with what it was "really" all about. Because I know it's come to be about how badly service folk are paid, about the arrogance of entitled customers, about management that won't support its employees, and about corporations with hypocritical policies and indifference to being what is done in their name. But, if we look at it objectively, that wasn't what it was about. Not really.

The story: A pastor and her party came into Applebees and were charged an 18% gratuity. Now that had to have been paid, it was part of the bill. So never mind if it was paid or not (it probably was) or if, as the Pastor later protested, a tip was left or not, of if the waitress who posted the bill was the server. None of that is known for sure at this moment--nor is it relevant. What mattered at the time was this: the pastor wrote on the bill that god gets a 10% tithe and why should she pay 18% gratuity? Now here we have the nut of the whole deal. The pastor--smugly and rudely--was *probably* pointing out to Applebee's that a woman of the cloth (herself) earned a modest amount for doing holy work (god, after all, doesn't get that 10% "tip"--the church and those working for it do); why should Applebee's demand more doing "less godly" work--i.e. for serving food and getting rich off it?

Now, perhaps this was a comment to the wait staff directly--or perhaps it was to the restaurant. It *should* have been to the restaurant, as charging 18% for the party was their policy and the wait staff had nothing to do with it. If it was a comment to the wait staff, then the pastor was even more outrageously rude. And clueless as she imagined in this day and age of the internet that writing a snide little comment on this policy--her own little moral lesson as it were--would remain between her and the restaurant. Once it was posted, however, it stopped being about a smug pastor trying to teach a restaurant (wait staff?) a moral lesson, and became emblematic for so much more. First, because the pastor complained about the posting of her note (why? shouldn't she be proud of her message?); second, because the manager fired the waitress over it (why? Applebee's says policy is against posting customer names--valid, but they've posted good messages on bills with names). And, last, because Applebee's handled the whole mess so badly. They now face a slew of boycotts, cancellations, protests, etc.

Ironically, that note from the pastor turned this one waitress into a very Jesus, a flashpoint for America's anger over how workers are and have been treated of late. I'm telling you, Unions should be using this waitress and her story for membership recruitment!

Here is the greater irony: at every point there was a chance to stop this from becoming a full-on storm. The pastor could have admitted that she should have handed her "moral lesson" note to the manager (who set the policy) rather than leaving it for the wait staff--and those on the internet--to see it as a saying that hard working, poorly paid Americans weren't worthy of a little extra money for serving up a large party. As a Christian, she ought to have forgiven the waitress, taken this as god's lesson to be chagrined and humbled, and urged the manager to be lenient. She didn't--maybe she panicked and didn't think of that, but at that point her story changed from rude customer to entitled customer. Next: the manager didn't have to fire the waitress, he could have suspended her and/or had her apologize--he didn't. At that point, his story changed from franchise owner trying to handle an awkward problem to that of bully siding with rude and cruel customer over his hard working, underpaid wait staff. And Applebee's, well, as one comment advised, they probably should have "shut-up," shut down their site and gotten on the phone to manager, waitress and pastor, sitting them all down to fix this. They did not, and now they are the uncaring corporation, emblematic of every uncaring corporation out there.

I can't say I'm sorry for this change of narrative, for how it altered from a squall to a hurricane. In fact, I think we should take advantage of the storm while we've got it. All this may not have really been about the working man/woman and how badly they've been treated and are treated--but now it is about that. Big revolutions with big changes have started out from smaller things. So long as we've got it, we should run with it.

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Reply The Waitress, the Pastor and the Applebee's Meltdown...a perfect internet storm. (Original post)
Moonwalk Feb 2013 OP
rhett o rick Feb 2013 #1
Moostache Feb 2013 #23
rhett o rick Feb 2013 #28
VA_Jill Feb 2013 #83
countryken Feb 2013 #85
freshwest Feb 2013 #2
Terra Alta Feb 2013 #6
happyslug Feb 2013 #3
Lars39 Feb 2013 #8
Skelly Feb 2013 #11
Moonwalk Feb 2013 #14
TexasBushwhacker Feb 2013 #21
Moonwalk Feb 2013 #24
randome Feb 2013 #43
Trajan Feb 2013 #76
tecelote Feb 2013 #58
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #87
YOHABLO Feb 2013 #55
obama2terms Feb 2013 #56
robbob Feb 2013 #65
DiverDave Feb 2013 #90
snappyturtle Feb 2013 #4
diphthong Feb 2013 #57
snappyturtle Feb 2013 #61
diphthong Feb 2013 #63
fasttense Feb 2013 #89
maddiemom Feb 2013 #81
rosesaylavee Feb 2013 #5
Moonwalk Feb 2013 #17
rosesaylavee Feb 2013 #33
OnlinePoker Feb 2013 #7
dsc Feb 2013 #9
yewberry Feb 2013 #20
glowing Feb 2013 #26
golfguru Feb 2013 #25
OnlinePoker Feb 2013 #27
rhett o rick Feb 2013 #30
Skelly Feb 2013 #31
golfguru Feb 2013 #45
tavalon Feb 2013 #38
Markus Che Feb 2013 #10
Skelly Feb 2013 #12
marybourg Feb 2013 #15
tavalon Feb 2013 #36
Lions_fan Feb 2013 #42
eilen Feb 2013 #86
Skelly Feb 2013 #69
tavalon Feb 2013 #39
Skelly Feb 2013 #68
tavalon Feb 2013 #74
Skelly Feb 2013 #78
Skelly Feb 2013 #79
libdem4life Feb 2013 #13
pasto76 Feb 2013 #16
MADem Feb 2013 #18
Moonwalk Feb 2013 #22
tavalon Feb 2013 #37
csziggy Feb 2013 #19
formercia Feb 2013 #53
Zax2me Feb 2013 #29
maddiemom Feb 2013 #82
rhett o rick Feb 2013 #32
tavalon Feb 2013 #35
rhett o rick Feb 2013 #41
Skelly Feb 2013 #71
rhett o rick Feb 2013 #72
Skelly Feb 2013 #77
tavalon Feb 2013 #34
haydukelives Feb 2013 #40
FrodosPet Feb 2013 #66
athena Feb 2013 #44
Exultant Democracy Feb 2013 #46
SemperEadem Feb 2013 #47
chervilant Feb 2013 #48
athena Feb 2013 #49
chervilant Feb 2013 #50
patrice Feb 2013 #51
patrice Feb 2013 #52
YOHABLO Feb 2013 #54
olegramps Feb 2013 #59
jonthebru Feb 2013 #62
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #88
tokenlib Feb 2013 #60
chazunit Feb 2013 #64
Bernardo de La Paz Feb 2013 #67
workinclasszero Feb 2013 #70
toby jo Feb 2013 #73
WilmywoodNCparalegal Feb 2013 #75
TlalocW Feb 2013 #80
levp Feb 2013 #84

Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 09:58 PM

1. Try to support local establishments. nm

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 12:37 AM

23. I quit going to all national chain "restaurants"...

Pre-packaged pseudo-fast food is not my cup of tea so to speak...

I find the service better at small, family-owned establishments and the ambiance better at local restaurants and diners and if I really have the need to get something fast, I will go to a local Chinese buffet that is run by a family as well.

The owners and franchisees of these chain stores make me want to puke. They see nothing wrong at all with inserting their bigotry, hatred and politics into their businesses and that is their right...just as it is my right to roundly reject them.

So to Papa John's, Chick-Fil-A, Applebees, Red Lobster and all the rest, I kindly invite you to bend over and kiss your own asses. Good luck in your continued fleecing of the public, you'll just have to do without my participation and while I know none of you care, I will also be actively promoting AGAINST you every chance I get.

As for the servers getting the ass-end of the deal...I wish I could say I was surprised. Sadly its the norm and all too accepted. I would whole-heartedly accept a new system of paying them that was more equitable.

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Response to Moostache (Reply #23)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 09:00 AM

28. It is becoming more difficult to find local owned restaurants but I work at it.

I agree not to spend on the big chains. Workers will continue to get crapped on until we get unemployment under control.

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Response to Moostache (Reply #23)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 04:49 PM

83. Ruby Tuesday's CEO

came right out and said they were NOT going to cut hours, and they WOULD provide health insurance. The fact that servers get a lower wage is not their fault, it's legislated by politicians who don't want to raise anyone's minimum wage. But we will continue to patronize Ruby Tuesday. Applebee's....never.

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Response to VA_Jill (Reply #83)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:15 PM

85. Ruby Tuesday's

I am really glad to hear this, as Ruby Tuesday is one of our 'go to' restaurants. I've given up on Papa John, Denny's (the franchisee here in North Florida), the Hurricane Grill, Domino's, Chick fil-A, and any local restaurant who insists on showing Fox News on TV. (Most will change if I ask, but when I return, they'll have it up again.)

It's my resolution to exercise more responsibility when eating out.

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Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 10:09 PM

2. Story said it all: Profits Over People. Selfishness Over Service.

I don't know that Unions can particularly make us of it but I hope Applebee's sees the light and does the right thing. The pastor appears to be running a scam and was very arrogant. Not Christlike. I'd like to see some follow up on the waitress. I am not even sure she initiated it, because I think one of her co-workers tweeted a picture of the nasty check not her.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:00 PM

6. the waitress who tweeted the pic was fired

not the waitress who was stiffed.

In any case, Applebee's made a big mistake with this, and it has (rightfully) become a big PR nightmare for them.

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Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 10:57 PM

3. I am amazed at the number of people who do NOT realize that the Servers earn LESS THEN MINIMUM WAGE

Technically Servers all received "minimum wage" but "minimum wage" for servers includes tips. Servers are to get $7.15 per hour but that includes tips. Since servers are expected to get tips, the store owners can pay them less, under Federal Law they only have to pay $2.13 per hour, the remaining $5.02 is to be made up in tips.

This is abused by a lot of restaurants, a lot of servers tell me they do NOT get minimum wage, and when they complain to their boss, their boss tell them it is they fault for NOT providing enough service. The Restaurant owners are known NOT to make up the difference between what servers actually get in tips and minimum wage (even through by Federal Law they are suppose to), but that is another story.

My point is I suspect this pastor thought the 18% tip on the bill was over and above whatever money over minimum wage the servers where earning (i.e. Servers were getting $7.15 PLUS this tip, NOT $2.13 plus this tip).

I am also amazed at what places pay the tip allowance and get away with it, places where I would NEVER think of leaving a tip. I remember the old Hills department store with signs at their concession stands "No Tips" for Hills treated those workers like any other worker in the store (They would take a tip, but tips were NOT calculated as part of their actual wages). Other similar stores with similar counters paid the counter help the tip allowance, they were to make up the rest in tips (and almost never did for most people did not think of tipping in such situations).

I suspect that was the problem, the pastor did NOT understand how the tip allowance works and how it is an integral part of paying for service.

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Response to happyslug (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:04 PM

8. If they don't reach the $7.25 including tips, the employer has to pay it, depending on state law.

It gets pretty damn complicated. Here's a good site that explains it: http://wiserwaitress.com/the-menu/wage/

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Response to happyslug (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:18 PM

11. Depends on the state

California, I believe, servers make at least minimum wage PLUS tips.

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Response to happyslug (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:32 PM

14. Again, it doesn't matter what the pastor understood--

--She was trying to be clever and make a spiritual point to the restaurant; the restaurant charged the party a mandatory 18% for service rather than letting the party tip what they wanted; thus, she was able to compare it to a "tithe" rather than see it as a "tip." To her, this wasn't about what the wait staff earned or tips, it was about the restaurant's ability to "tithe" her party for its services. Why, she was asking, should they be able to do this--and at a higher price than what god demands for his services?

See? Meant to be clever and cutting. Alas for her, it backfired big time because it didn't come across that way.

I point this out because I think it's always best to see the original story clearly; right now this one is has picked up all sorts of narratives like a snowball rolling downhill--including those about tipping and minimum wage. But I can pretty much promise you, it probably didn't start out that way in the pastor's mind, no matter what she did or did not understand about minimum wage or tipping. She was just annoyed at the restaurant's ability to "tithe" her and her party.

Edited to add: Which doesn't mean we shouldn't use the pastor's error as a teachable moment. To the contrary, we should do just that. We should, in fact, go to where there are discussions of this and it's clear that people don't understand about tipping and gratuities; we should use the pastor as a way of showing how easily one's annoyance with such things can no only be wrong, but misconstrued by those who have a deeper and better understanding of the service industry.

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 12:16 AM

21. A tithe is 10% of one's income

A tip is only a percentage of a single bill. In this case it was an automatic 18% because it was a large party, a policy set by the restaurant, not the server. Minimum wage for servers can be as low as $2.13 nationally and it hasn't changed in 20 years. The fact that they asked for separate checks just makes more work for the server, so the 18% gratuity stands.

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #21)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 12:39 AM

24. Okay. One more time--try to understand what I'm saying...I KNOW the difference--

--Do you understand that?

Second, whether the pastor knew the difference or not is immaterial. I'm pointing out that the pastor was trying to make a moral point. Do you understand that? She may have been stupid, or she may have just seen the "mandatory-ness" of the gratuity as comparable enough to the mandatory-ness of a tithe to make a comparison. That it is a BAD comparison doesn't matter, she saw this bad comparison as giving her a chance to do what she wanted to do: PREACH.

If you do not understand this, if you keep going on and on about differences to me (who understands) or to those here (most of whom also understand) then you are are missing an important point. You are assuming that I am making the bad comparison. I didn't. The pastor did. I merely tried to show you what that bad comparison was and why she made it, her motives behind it (to preach).

Those who need to understand that this comparison is bad aren't here. They're out there...defending the pastor's comparison as economically correct. I make no such defense. And I'd appreciate it if you'd understand that and please stop trying to teach me what I already know.

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #24)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 12:56 PM

43. Another point to consider is why a pastor went out to dine in a large party in the first place.

If God 'demands' 10%, then the pastor should save the 'feasts' for church. She was basically complaining that she doesn't have enough money when, for all she knew, everyone at the restaurant already tithed.

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #24)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:24 AM

76. You are completely WRONG about that poster's statement

And rather rude about it as well ...

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 04:41 PM

58. Good Point!

If the pastor paid something, 1% to 10%, her point would have been clear. No tip suggests bad service.

-Why should restaurants be allowed to "require" a tip? It should be called a service charge. Wait staff should get tips for good service. Bad service, no tip.

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #14)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:38 AM

87. i've wondered if there isn't another backstory as well -- this female pastor's 'church; i read isn't

 

much -- a storefront operation with a handful of congregants.

we have several of those in the town where i live and they are all in poor neighborhoods and run by poor people. not dirt poor, but lower lower middle poor.

i just wondered if something like that played into it as well.

i don't expect forced 'gratuities' at a restaurant like applebees. in the us, that has to my knowledge typically been something that pretentious upscale restaurants did.

and if they're taking 18%, but the tax code says 8% (i don't know, but another poster reported that), perhaps there's another backstory as well, which would be applebee's not giving all the 'gratuity' cash to its employees.

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Response to happyslug (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 03:55 PM

55. This is how restaurants thrive .. low wages ($2.13 hr) and high expectations for the server.

You can't make any money as a server if you're not being seated with customers. Ask anyone in the business and they'll tell you about the politics of working in a restaurant. Also, the under the table wheeling and dealing with the maitre d. Don't think for a second they're not getting a cut in the action. Some waiters are making a killing and others might as well stayed home.

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Response to happyslug (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 04:29 PM

56. You're exactly right

Where I work, the waitresses make 2.13 an hour. They live off their tips. I wish the pastor wasn't such a dick about it.

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Response to happyslug (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 03:18 AM

65. I always leave a 20% tip or more

...but I think I would be really offended if the tip was added on to my bill automatically! Except for special situations (large groups of people who's meals all go onto the hosts bill, for example) tips are left at the discretion and good-heartedness of the people being served.

...opps, on further reading it looks like she WAS a part of a large group. As Rosanne Rosannadana might have put it..."never mind..."

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Response to robbob (Reply #65)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 08:01 AM

90. When we have the $$

and if service is good, we sometimes leave 50-60%.
We have had servers run out and tell us we left our change.
Then the look after we tell them we left it for them. worth. every. penny.
Had one girl (well25-26,still a girl to me)
start crying and blubbering she really needed it...
Broke my heart, and she was a great server.

Anyone that has done it invariably tips more, or they should.

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Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 10:58 PM

4. Beautiful! As I listen to my college educated kids struggling to earn livings off

of serving....this post is a giant! YES, we should run with it!

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Response to snappyturtle (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 04:34 PM

57. Yikes!

 

Sounds like they had the WRONG majors!

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Response to diphthong (Reply #57)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 08:34 PM

61. As strange as it may sound they make better money serving than at the jobs

they had in their major areas! I guess many would not say they're struggling as they 'walk' with one thousand a week. But, with no help with health care, then mortgages, cars, utilities, p;hones, insurances, etc. they are not putting much away and sometimes nothing. They're very good at what they do and work at high end restaurants. At least they support themselves and haven't moved back home. I don't know what a good major would be today. Any suggestions?

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Response to snappyturtle (Reply #61)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 12:07 AM

63. There are a lot of good ones...

 

My kids are in computer science and pharmacy. Neither of them will have any trouble finding jobs in their chosen fields.

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Response to snappyturtle (Reply #61)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 07:36 AM

89. How about Movie production or Criminal Justice as career paths?

I'm not sure movie production is the right description but anything to do with advertising and the video/film industry should be fairly lucrative in the future. There are always commercials, training films, news and advertising shoots to be done. It's one of the few industries that have NOT wiped out their Unions so the jobs can still be fairly lucrative.

Criminal Justice seems to be expanding also. What with the militarizing of our police departments, the paranoia of the uber rich and the rumblings of the mob, criminal justice majors should have a fairly good shot at a career.

My son is working his way through college as a waiter and I can guarantee you he is NOT walking out with "thousands" a week but he is managing and I think the place he works for is fair.

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Response to diphthong (Reply #57)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 01:31 PM

81. There are very few "good" majors anymore.

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Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 10:59 PM

5. What's the next step then?

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Response to rosesaylavee (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:47 PM

17. Good question! IMHO, first, I think Unions should make use of this...

...however they can to recruit and re-invent their image. For too long unions have let others (conservatives) define them into defeat--this would be a way for them to define themselves to victory by being the champion (which they are and should be) of minimum wage earners like the poor waitress.

I think, likewise, that those who support unions need to use this narrative to point out how a union would have made a difference both in dealing with the customer, management and the corporation. We need to slip this in wherever this is being discussed and direct the conversation in that direction. Also toward minimum wage increases, job security, etc. Things that the GOP keep trying to kill--we should be able to make the connection between such political policies favoring businesses like Applebee's and this event.

That's where I would start and I'd start on the internet with current discussions and comments about this. I'd also try to get liberal media outlets (independent talk shows and such) to take it in that direction as well.

Other thoughts and ideas?

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #17)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 09:27 AM

33. I think using this and others would make for a good union video...

The problem with this incident, and I have to confess I just came back on here a minute ago and haven't read thru the other responses, is that it's not a pure thing like sitting in the front of the bus. She hasn't suffered a series of these - for all we know this was an isolated event - she could have whited out the name of the pastor and that would be seen as the high road in all this.

I think the national response to this is amazing and all that you stated in your OP. Things are right there on the edge for the 1% and they better be aware to mind themselves which we know they won't. Now that I have thought on this - think it needs to be added to a list and can't serve as the pivotal moment to inspire the rest of us to take to our pitchforks. My pitchfork has been out a few times in the last 12 years - not sure this alone will do it for me.

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Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:04 PM

7. The issue is the minimum wage law in Missouri

Min wage there is $7.35 an hour, but if you're a waitress (or pizza delivery driver, or bartender, etc) you can be paid as little as $3.63 and have to make the rest up in tips. If you don't, the restaurant owner has to cover the distance. In this case, Applebee's has forced an 18% tip on their bills instead of paying their workers a decent wage. That way, the onus is on the customers to see upfront what the cost of the worker is. The only thing I haven't seen is if it is posted in the restaurant that a mandatory tip is charged and how much it is. If it is posted, the pastor had the option of going somewhere else. If not, then I believe she had the right to complain, but to management, not the wait staff. When I was growing up, tipping was always 10%. Then it went to 15%. Now 20%. It should be my choice on how much I tip (normally 15%) not an imposed fee by companies that refuse to pay decent wages. If I go out for a nice meal with my wife, it may cost $80 to $100. A $15 tip is reasonable for the (maybe) hour and a half I'm in the restaurant.

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Response to OnlinePoker (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:08 PM

9. this was a large party

and virtually all restraunts charge this fee on large parties.

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Response to OnlinePoker (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 12:08 AM

20. Look at a menu at any corprate restaurant.

99% of the time, you will see that on the back page, there is a note that states that any party over 6 (or less commonly, 8) will have a gratuity automatically included on the check. It's standard practice.

I waited tables and tended bar from 1984-2004, in all kinds of places, and sometimes I did okay. Percentages are generally regionally different, and between 15-20% was the norm in the northeast for all of that time. And it is your choice to decide what the tip will be, but understand that if you're making a 'statement' about your opinion of tipping or how restaurants pay their staff, that statement should never be made with the amount of your tip. Servers don't set policy.

Also, please, remember that servers often don't get to keep their tips. I had a job in Boston (2003, I think?) and the servers all made $2.17 per hour. Regardless of what we made in tips, we had to tip the bar 2% of our total sales, the bussers 1.5%, and the runners 1.5%. We were also expected to tip out the kitchen staff. So, just as a way of example, if my sales for a day were $1000 and my tips were $150, I'd dole out $60 or so of that $150. Then, we had to claim the tips on our daily reports, and in many places, it's policy that you can't claim less than 12% of your sales in tips (because otherwise it's an invitation for an audit.) So, I'd claim $120, and have $35 taken out for taxes. That leaves $55 in tips after taxes. It's pretty easy to see why a few dollars one way or another makes a really big difference to servers.

It's not an awesome system, but it's not the servers' faults.

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Response to yewberry (Reply #20)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 01:23 AM

26. You are correct, most people don't realize that many of the restaurants make the server

tip the kitchen staff, bussers, bartenders (if there is a bar), and runners (if there are runners). It's another way for the restaurant to keep wages depressed for the rest of the staff as well. And that $2.15 or what not "wage" that the restaurant must pay the server is normally completely gone by pay day to cover the taxes. There are ways to "cheat" this process a little bit, but if you "cheat" too much, then you look like a crappy server to the manager for receiving smaller tips, and then they watch you.

Similarly, hotel maids make minimum wage (or the least amount in the hotel) because the management assumes that they will make up wages with tips left for them by guests. Many guests who are paying a room fee plus the tax assume that the staff makes good money (especially if they are staying in a hotel that costs more at least $99.99/ night). It may have been true in years past that hotel front desk and maids made a good wage, but these are basically minimum wage paying jobs with small raises each year and a "maximum wage" normally set by management. I work at a hotel as a manager (so sallary sucks even more sometimes), and so many people think I make such a great income because I'm always here and working swing shifts or filling in for call outs/ vacations. I just don't. If someone thinks I deserve a tip for my service, I take it. The biggest tip I've gotten was $100.00, most of the time its nothing. The worst thing is how disrespectful and lousy people can be, especially with their attitude that they as the paying customer is always right. It's truly amazing how many people will say to my face that I don't know how to do my job and hurl insults. Its not as if I go into a Dr. office and tell the Dr or the receptionist that they don't know what they are doing and start swearing at them.

There is a common decency and human compassion that has been lost between the owner/ managment, the customer, and the "server" who has to follow the corporate rules, but also please the paying customer. It is like having 2 conflicting bosses, and at the end of the day, most of us want to run away or grab a beer. In the Apple Bee's hierarchy, their are 4 layers of bullshit: 1. the customer, 2. the manage, 3. the owner of the franchise, and 4. the corporate management. Is it any wonder most of these "chains" with franchisee ownerships have crappy food and high turn over?

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Response to OnlinePoker (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 12:54 AM

25. Tip should always be part of the bill, minimum 15%

I have observed too many cheap skates stiffing the poor wait staff. The richer ones are
the worst offenders. They will find the slightest excuse to stiff the waitress.

In many other countries I have visited they add 15% to your bill. The wait staff has to
make a living too. They are minimum wage level people.

If the service is exceptionally good, you can always tip additional amount over and above
the minimum 15%. If the service is exceptionally bad, you can ask to talk to the manager.
If the food is served cold or not cooked to your request, it is usually not the fault of the
wait staff, although in some cases it is.

When we go to our frequently visited restaurant, we always ask for certain servers who
have served well in the past. And we always leave 20% or $2 per person whichever is higher.

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Response to golfguru (Reply #25)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 01:36 AM

27. If it's mandatory, I refuse to eat there.

Tipping is supposed to be a bonus for doing a GOOD job, not just a job. That being said, even if I get shitty service, I will tip, just not as much as I would if I got great service. If tips are mandatory, there is no incentive for the wait staff to go that extra mile to ensure my dining experience is a pleasant one.

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Response to OnlinePoker (Reply #27)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 09:14 AM

30. "Tipping is supposed to be a bonus..." Sure but it isnt. But that's a good rationalization.

If you read any of the above posts you should understand that tipping is no longer a bonus. But whatever makes you feel better.

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Response to OnlinePoker (Reply #27)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 09:24 AM

31. There is always incentive

From a good wait staff. (the following applies to my co-workers as well)
I am a server in a restaurant that has an 18% gratuity included for ALL parties.
I did not make this rule nor have any influence on changing the rule.
I tell everyone when I deliver the check that the gratuity is included.
I give the best possible service to everyone (again, just to make the point clear, all my co-workers...most of us have worked for this restaurant for 5 or more years, very little turnover) because I want that ADDITIONAL 2% some people will leave.

You can not believe just how difficult it can be to get that additional 2%. I am not a fan of the automatic 18%. I think most of our guests would leave 20% just because it is easier to figure in their heads. When 18% is already figured for them, they just leave it at that. And many times, your quality of service has nothing to do with it. I have had plenty of tables that at the end of the meal, know my name, can not stop talking about how great everything was, that my service was exemplary, and it was the best meal they every had, yet they leave it at 18%.

Special functions (weddings, large parties of 20 or more people) have an automatic 21% gratuity. Our restaurant is well known for it quality food and service. We strive to maintain that notoriety. We frequently get additional tips on these special events because of our excellent service.

We pull tips. We all benefit whenever someone leaves 'extra'.
We also tip out hostess and food runner so every little bit extra counts.

So, to state that mandatory tips produces no incentive for wait staff to go that extra mile is really derogatory towards servers who always strive to give the best possible service because they have pride in their work. And that doesn't change just because you worked for AppleBees.

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Response to OnlinePoker (Reply #27)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 01:17 PM

45. You are so wrong

The tips is MAJOR portion of a waiter's income. How would you feel if your
employer paid you 25% of your normal check because she felt you were not that
productive during the last pay period?

Like I said, if service is demonstrably bad, you can always complain to the manager
and have the mandatory service charge waived. We have done that on a cruise when
the room steward was impossible to find most of the time.

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Response to golfguru (Reply #25)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 11:03 AM

38. You know who always pays the best tips?

Former waitstaff. Ask anyone who worked as a waitperson at one time. We get it.

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Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:10 PM

10. Applebees owner in NY

complained that the ACA would force him to lay off employees. Instead of the ACA costing him money, he is stupid enough to harm his brand with the very people who may patronize his business.

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Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:24 PM

12. As a server

I am sorry the girl who posted this lost her job. However, being a regular reader of reddit/imgur and such, I see these posts frequently. Posters usually black out the name of the restaurant and also the patron. This girl did not. While what the pastor did was horrid (on oh so many levels), I understand Applebee's decision to fire this server. I hope the girl learned the importance of protecting your employer if you desire employment. This lesson may say her job in 15 years (where she is making a decent living wage).

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Response to Skelly (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:35 PM

15. I believe the person involved was a woman.

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Response to Skelly (Reply #12)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 10:55 AM

36. Would it change your mind to know that Applebees is Southern Baptist and has no

problem mixing religion with work?

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Response to tavalon (Reply #36)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 12:48 PM

42. It wouldn't change my mind one bit

She posted personal information of a customer online where millions saw it. The pastor has been harassed, her website has been hacked, her church and life threatened. The woman who posted it online, who wasn't the one who served the pastor btw, did it to gain imaginary internet points. Applebees, and the website where it was posted, specifically states you can not give out personal information of someone without their consent. She fucked up royally and deserved to be fired. I expect to see a lawsuit against Applebees soon and they'll settle and they should because their employee is responsible for mental pain and suffering brought upon the pastor. Was it a dick move by the pastor? Yes. But she doesn't deserve what happened to her because of an Applebees employee trying to get imaginary internet points.

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Response to Lions_fan (Reply #42)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:28 AM

86. She totally deserved it. She is the one that put it out there. She wrote it on her check.

She was a self righteous asshole. We get jerks all the time at my work. If the waitress fired is any good, she will get another job. We always tip 20% or more. I know what it is like to be 12 hours on my feet waiting on people. I ask people who give them a hard time or resent a gratuity being added to their bill-- what motivates you on your job since you have your "tips" included?

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Response to tavalon (Reply #36)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:35 AM

69. About this situation?

No. It doesn't matter either way to me if the customer was a pastor or just a rude idiot. If a server wants to keep their job, they do not take customer's personal information and post it on the internet. If she had thought through her actions, she would have seen how this would come back at AppleeBees. If this was her intent, she succeeded. However, I doubt that was her motive.

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Response to Skelly (Reply #12)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 11:05 AM

39. Here's the thing though

You say you see these posts all the time. Do they ever make a splash that could change business as usual, because if they don't, she did the one thing that allowed it to become viral. No way to put pressure on a company unless we have the name of the company.

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Response to tavalon (Reply #39)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:31 AM

68. What pressure has been put on the company?

To hire her back? That will not happen. Have you read Appleebee's statement about this situation? I understand what you are saying though. However, I do not think she had any idea what was about to happen when it was posted. If she did, then I hope she was willing to face the consequences (and know they would come)

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Response to Skelly (Reply #68)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:46 AM

74. I've been boycotting them for years for their fundy stance

No, I don't think she'll get her job back but Applebee's got egg on their face on this one and few companies (Walmart comes to mind) deserve it more.

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Response to tavalon (Reply #74)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 01:07 PM

78. I disagree

I do not see Applebee's as getting egg on their face in this situation. I understand completely why she was fired, from a corporate point of view. Do you think any other AppleeBee employee is going to post private information about their customers on the internet without first THINKING about the possible consequences? As I said in a previous post, I only hope the girl learned that if you wish to remain employed with the company you work for, you do not do something that puts them in a negative light with their customers. Next time, it may with with a company where she is making 10x as much.

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Response to tavalon (Reply #39)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 01:11 PM

79. That wasn't her goal.

Her goal was to get upvotes on a website. She was not trying to bash her employer, or make some kind of statement other than some people - customers - can be real jerks. How do you suggest Appleebee's change in this situation? Even though the customer crossed out the tip, the customer was still charged the 18% which was given to the server. I think that shows that Appleebee's was protecting the server (THEY didn't receive that 18% but it was their policy to charge it).

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Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:24 PM

13. 5% one way or the other is not a matter of affordability.It's a social statement to the working poor

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Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:39 PM

16. except that the waitress in question is likely not a union member

like 88.8% according to department of labor stats.


are you a member of a union?



to be blunt, DU is the sole place Ive heard about this incident. Hardly a mini-french revolution. Unfortunately.

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Response to pasto76 (Reply #16)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 12:06 AM

18. DU is the only place you've heard of this incident? It's all over the internet.

Do the google, check the facebook, etc. Everyone is talking about this and supporting the fired server. Applebee's and the "pastor" are in the shits.

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Response to pasto76 (Reply #16)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 12:20 AM

22. First, it's all over the place. It got on Fox news for heaven's sake, and Applebee's FB--

--page had a huge meltown from the number of comments. So, yes, the story is spreading far and wide.

Second, I know full well the waitress couldn't be a union member. You miss the point. This has gone beyond the topic of waitressing. It's taken on a narrative, a story, of the working man/woman against callous customers, heartless managers and cruel corporations. Once the story has gotten to that point, it doesn't really matter if the fired young woman was a waitress or a factory worker.

We can use discussions of this elsewhere--and there are a lots of elsewhere's--to point out that unions are the only way that most other people in other jobs could avoid the same fate as the waitress or we can ignore said discussions and let this chance to promote unions and counter-pro-business-government polices vanish as quickly as it flared.

If you feel it's not worth it, then that's fine by me. I, personally, think we should strike while the iron is hot. If it does good, fantastic, if it doesn't work, well, then, we're no worse off.

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Response to pasto76 (Reply #16)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 10:58 AM

37. to be blunt, DU is the sole place Ive heard about this incident.

I don't think you get out much. There's a whole internet out there. Yeah, DU is a fabulous place, but there are so many others, substandard in comparison, but still useful to take the country's pulse. Try it.

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Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 12:06 AM

19. Good article by Chelsea Welch, the waitress who posted the receipt

Tips are not optional, they are how waiters get paid in America
An Applebee's diner refused to leave a tip for religious reasons. The waitress who exposed it wonders if Jesus will pay her bills

Chelsea Welch
guardian.co.uk, Friday 1 February 2013 10.12 EST

I was a waitress at Applebee's restaurant in Saint Louis. I was fired Wednesday for posting a picture on Reddit.com of a note a customer left on a bill. I posted it on the web as a light-hearted joke.

<SNIP>

In light of the situation, I would like to make a statement on behalf of wait staff everywhere: 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.

After sharing my tips with hosts, bussers, and bartenders, I make less than $9 an hour on average, before taxes. I am expected to skip bathroom breaks if we are busy. I go hungry all day if I have several busy tables to work. I am expected to work until 1:30am and then come in again at 10:30am to open the restaurant.

In this economy, $3.50 an hour doesn't cut it. I can't pay half my bills. Like many, I would love to see a reasonable, non-tip-dependent wage system for service workers like they have in other countries. But the system being flawed is not an excuse for not paying for services rendered.

More: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/feb/01/fired-applebees-waitress-needs-tips

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Response to csziggy (Reply #19)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 03:26 PM

53. The Pastor's income was derived from Tithes

....sort of a Tip for Preaching the words of Jesus, which she so conveniently forgot.

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Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 09:14 AM

29. See the pastor and fired employee here -

 

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Response to Zax2me (Reply #29)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 01:39 PM

82. A $35 bill for that large a party?

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Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 09:27 AM

32. For those of you that are not trying to rationalize stiffing the waitstaff

remember that if you use a coupon or get served during happy hour, base your tip on the regular price. And for goodness sake, please tip those young ladies or gentlemen that bring you "free" drinks at the casinos. Dont base your tip on "free".

I tip a higher percentage for less expensive meals. Most of the time the waitstaff at the cheaper places work much harder than those at the high price places.

For those that are not trying to rationalize stiffing the waitstaff, if you get decent service then give a decent tip. If you get exceptional service, then give an exceptional tip.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #32)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 10:53 AM

35. Always do

I love having coupons to save on the food but I always tip based on the full amount and my tip is based on service with 15% being my baseline. You have to be a royal shit to me to get no tip and that's happened maybe twice in my life.

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Response to tavalon (Reply #35)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 12:41 PM

41. I totally agree. 15% is baseline. And I never tip below $3.

I can only remember one time not leaving a tip. The waitress was totally rude.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #32)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:11 AM

71. since you seem to appreciate tips...

As a server at a high end restaurant, please let me assure you we work just as hard. The TYPE of work may differ. We probably have fewer tables, but what is expected of us is much more than a server at a less expensive restaurant. Our every visit to your table is strictly regulated, everything from how we deliver your meal (presented from left side, women served first), presenting and serving your wine (wine label to remain in constant view while guest does tasting, never allowing the guest to refill their own glasses) to removing your dishes (always from the right side, all at same time, every item removed from table-except drinking glass-and table crumbed). Many times our knowledge of the dishes AND what wine to recommend as an accompaniment are extensive.
Just thought you'd want to know so as not to fall into the trap of "trying to rationalize stiffing the waitstaff" at a higher priced restaurant.

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Response to Skelly (Reply #71)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:29 AM

72. Touche. Please serve my crow from either side.

I did not intend to "rationalize stiffing the waitstaff" at any establishment. I appreciate your kind correction. Obviously I am not familiar with high end restaurants. I assumed, likely incorrectly, that high end servers would get stiffed less than diner waitstaff'ers.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #72)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 12:55 PM

77. Unfortunately that is not true

I have even had tables walk out to avoid paying altogether. It always amazes me when someone who thinks nothing of paying $250 for a bottle of wine, gives kuddos to the chef, accolades to the server, doesn't think to back it up with a few extra dollars to equal 20%. Plus, I sometimes feel I should be able to add on a 'biting my tongue' service fee whenever the politically misinformed (yes, that would be the Fox News watchers) are sitting at one of my tables.

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Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 10:51 AM

34. When used well, I think Internet Public Shaming is a force for good.

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Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 11:45 AM

40. Alois Bell

the worst person in the world.
Applebees the worst restaurant corp in the world, well, one of them anyway.

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Response to haydukelives (Reply #40)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 04:10 AM

66. Dr Hyperbole says "Wow!"

Being a tip stiffing jackass is worse than thieving loan officers, war criminals, child molesters?

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Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 01:17 PM

44. Here is what I sent them

I am appalled that you fired an employee for posting on the internet a photograph of a receipt in which a pastor tried to get out of leaving the 18% tip required of large parties. I would have expected you to stand up for your employee, not fire her. A gentle warning would have been enough. Firing her sent a message to all your employees that you don't value them and that they can't trust you to look out for them. When I go to a restaurant, I want to feel that the people serving me are paid well, are provided with health insurance so that they don't have to fear getting sick, and are generally treated fairly. That is the least you can do for people who work so hard to help your business succeed. I will never eat at an Applebee's again.


Send your comment at:
http://www.applebees.com/about-us/contact-us

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Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 01:52 PM

46. Do away with tipping and start paying a fare wage. Everyone feels better about it

and I feel it is a lot more respectful to the staff to be paid well for their duties then rely on the generosity of strangers.

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Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 02:04 PM

47. not to mention, she initially wanted the entire wait staff fired over it

because no one would cop to the posting (it wasn't the original waitress--it was her coworker who posted it)

The pastor would have avoided the whole thing by not bringing in a party large enough for an 18% gratuity to kick in.

Or she should have dropped a dime and asked around and she would have found out all sit down establishments, outside of fast food restaurants, charge a gratuity for large parties.

Or she should have taken them to her house and fed them.

The thing is, she decided to show her ass to the one person who had absolutely nothing to do with Applebee's, Inc.,'s company policy of charging an automatic gratuity to large parties. The fact that she employed a "scorched earth" policy by demanding that all the wait staff be fired was overreach.

If applebee's has a policy about posting receipts, then positive or negative--don't post it, period. I believe firing was extreme--a reprimand would have sufficed. Thing is, the tip was going to be added whether or not she scratched it out, so it was stupid of her to do it. But, as she should well know, pride goes before destruction and the haughty spirit before the fall. Must hurt like a bitch right about now.

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Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 02:10 PM

48. As I sit here UNEMPLOYED

because a spiteful and mendacious supervisor cobbled together two pages of insupportable allegations to justify terminating me the day before our Christmas break, I feel compelled to remind my fellow DUers that there are thousands of us here and around the globe who've been wrongfully terminated.

Here in "Right-to-Work" Arkansas, I listened hopefully to the director of our agency (DHS) as she articulated her goal of improving public perception of the agency, and yet nothing is being done about this man's spiteful deceit. Instead, I am again unemployed, and am being encouraged by friends and colleagues to lie about ever working for DHS!

How rich the irony ...

Workers MUST ORGANIZE! We must stop the corporate megalomaniacs who've usurped our media, our politics AND our global economy! We must change the corporate mindset that succors mendacity and spite.

I doubt sincerely that I'll get another job. I am 57 and over-qualified. I have stuff I can sell online (hopefully), but that will just delay the inevitable.

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Response to chervilant (Reply #48)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 02:44 PM

49. Start your own business.

Honestly. Don't let this stuff get you down. There was a post here recently that said most people start their own business after turning 65, arguing that Medicare for all would increase entrepreneurship. It's never too late. The only way we'll change things is if those of us who are sick of the way things are done go out and do it differently.

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Response to athena (Reply #49)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 03:03 PM

50. I've considered it...

I thought about starting "Advocacy, Inc." and helping people read and understand contacts, know what questions to ask of lawyers and Jurists -- like CASA for adults.

Unfortunately, I don't have the resources to begin.

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Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 03:10 PM

51. My first response was why is a PASTOR ashamed of people knowing what she wrote on that ticket?

And the second question would be, what is Applebees selling? Churchy conformity? of food?

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Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 03:11 PM

52. Ergo, how many other workers in Cupcake Land lose their jobs because of CHURCHES????

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Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 03:47 PM

54. Every human being should have to wait tables .. at least for a year!

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Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 04:56 PM

59. She is the pastor of a 15 member congregation. Doesn't sound all too much successful.

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Response to olegramps (Reply #59)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 12:02 AM

62. I can state with personal knowledge

I can state with personal knowledge that the small church preachers are the worst kind.

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Response to jonthebru (Reply #62)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:42 AM

88. because you've surveyed them all? i can state with personal knowledge that pastors of

 

small churches like that don't make any money, and usually come from a low-income background.

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Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 06:53 PM

60. Now if pictures of Applebees paycheck stubs were to be posted.....

To clarify why this is such an important issue for a lot of us.. Posting Applebee's paycheck stubs (with personal identifying info blacked out) would emphasize how these servers depend on tips to live. It would also show why this incident has caused such an uproar.

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Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 02:11 AM

64. yes

 

you are right. We should run with it!

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Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 06:55 AM

67. Applebee's previously went very public against Obamacare. Firing waitress fits pattern. nt

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Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:06 AM

70. It seems that all of these chain restaurants are run by teabag republicans

Like that asshole Papa John, etc. They all hate and oppress their workers at each and every opportunity.

And then in this case you also have a representative of Jesus Christ, stiffing a poor waitress and getting another one fired for daring to show the American public what kinda BS they have to deal with everyday!

Way to go sister! Your teabag god Ayn Rand is mighty proud of you I bet!

It all represents to me how far America has fallen down the shit-tubes to a greed driven and merciless, capitalist bloody fu**en nightmare for the working class and those who used to be called middle class, may they rest in peace!



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Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:07 AM

73. The witch lost me at 'I got God, I have the moral high ground'.

Tip high - they deserve it.

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Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:07 AM

75. For a short while, I waited tables at a local chain restaurant

For those in Raleigh, I worked at Darryl's, off Six Forks Rd., for a brief time part-time in order to pay for a vacation I wanted to take, while still holding a full time job.

Anyways, when I was training, I was told by all other waitstaff that the worst shift in terms of customers and tips was the Sunday lunch. I asked why. The answer: the after-church crowd.

Our wages then were about $2.75 per hour.

Since I was a newbie and since I could only work nights and weekends, it didn't take long for me to get assigned to a Sunday lunch shift.

I learned pretty quickly that the other waiters were right. Large parties would come in, to which we would add an automatic gratuity like most restaurants do, yet they would request separate checks to avoid the automatic gratuity charge. Then, when all was said and done, the tips were meager at best, considering I had busted my tail to provide refills, prepare desserts, and even special orders for the brats in the party.

Tips are not a requirement - they are for good service. The worst I have ever gotten was a Chick Tract as a tip. Another runner-up was a notecard indicating Jesus had given me the biggest tip because He had died for me. My great reward was to accept Him and go to heaven where I could then collect my Eternal Tip (I'm not joking). I have also gotten a piece of gum and a $1 bill with a note that the patrons would be praying for me.

After a couple of shifts like that, I had gained enough seniority that I was able to get a better shift and leave the Sunday lunch to the newest newbies.

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Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 01:27 PM

80. The 10% that the pastor "gives" to God is disputable

The woman runs a 15 member church, probably out of her house. When the 10% you give is coming back, almost directly to you, and you're able to write it off your taxes as charitable giving, it's a scam, not a tithe.

TlalocW

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Response to Moonwalk (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 05:59 PM

84. Assist Chelsea Welch

Sure enough, someone has started a donation project:
www.indiegogo.com/projects/assist-chelsea-welch

Consider it a virtual "Addl. Tip" receipt line!

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