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Pastor’s No-Tip Receipt Gets Reddit Waitress Fired

Pastor's no-tip receipt

Remember the story about the waitress who posted a restaurant tip receipt to Reddit from an apparent “pastor” who wrote “I give God 10%, why do you get 18?” with an emphatic “0” in the tip line? She got fired.

“I originally posted the note as a lighthearted joke,” Chelsea told The Consumerist. “I thought the note was insulting, but it was also comical. I posted it to Reddit because I thought other users would find it entertaining.”

She was fired from her job at Applebee’s on Wednesday once her story went viral online.

Chelsea explained that the pastor’s no-tip receipt wasn’t even her own, but that she posted it on behalf of another server she works with on Reddit’s Atheist page. The irony of the photo was that the computer had already added a gratuity to the “pastor” table, as it was a group of over 20. Though the “pastor” attempted to split the group up to avoid the gratuity, his final ticket was for eight diners, at which point the gratuity kicks in.

There’s a bit more to the story, though. The original image posted to Reddit by Chelsea showed the apparent pastor’s full signature. She didn’t edit it out because she thought it was illegible.

But random Internet users tried to identify the self-described “pastor” from the signature. She attempted to throw them off with false physical descriptions, re-posted the image without the signature, and worked with moderators to get rid of all personal information. Despite her attempts to keep the identities of everyone involved secret, users continued to speculate and attempt to find out the identity of the pastor.

“I had no intention of starting a witch hunt or hurting anyone — I just wanted to share a picture I found interesting,” Chelsea said.

The story was picked up from The Consumerist and reported on by a variety of other media outlets, including Yahoo and Gawker. Chelsea said that the customer who left the no-tip receipt caught wind of the story, called her Applebee’s, and demanded that everyone, servers and managers working that night, be fired.

“When I posted this, I didn’t represent Applebee’s in a bad light,” she said. “In fact, I didn’t represent them at all. I did my best to protect the identity of all parties involved. I didn’t break any specific guidelines in the company handbook — I checked. But because this person got embarrassed that their selfishness was made public, Applebee’s has made it clear that they would rather lose a dedicated employee than lose an angry customer. That’s a policy I can’t understand.”

Chelsea has also said that she still won’t reveal any accurate information or attempt to identify the pastor who left her the no-tip receipt, not even in the spirit of revenge for losing her job. Still:

“If this person wrote the note, obviously they wanted it seen by someone,” she notes. “It’s strange to me that now that the audience is wider than just the server, the person is now ashamed.”

She also said that she’s completely baffled by the pastor’s connection between the Christian practice of tithing, for which 10 percent of one’s income is given to the church, and gratuity, which asks for a percentage of the total bill to be given to the server.

“I’ve been stiffed on tips before,” she says, “but this is the first time I’ve seen the Big Man has been used as reasoning.”

Personally, I would like to talk to the so-called “pastor.” If you’re reading this, send me an email and we’ll set up an anonymous chat. You’ve got my word that we won’t use any personal information you don’t want shared, but we’d like your side of the story. You can email me at dusten@inquisitr.com (mind the spelling) or reach me on Facebook through a message if you’re more comfortable.

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24 Responses to “Pastor’s No-Tip Receipt Gets Reddit Waitress Fired”

  1. Susan Cypher

    The young woman should be rehired. They fired the waitress instead of giving her a medal? I find this pastor and his testicles of power to be quite offensive. Did he eat and his group eat the food served to them? Did they complain about the service? Waitresses don't even get minimum wage. The tips are considered part of their income and big tables are quite likely to take a lot of the servers' time, as they linger over coffee, and then try to stint on the tip. That is why some restaurants add the tip automatically–a process I don't like but fully understand. By the way, why the heck should the restaurant want his business? He'll do the same thing next time, if he's decided to be ticked off for being exposed as an a$$hat. If he's a pastor, he relies on weekly "tips" for doing his job–big ones, 10% of people's paychecks every week. For him, by the way, 10% is easy to give because he gets it back. I've known great pastors and scum. Guess which category Mr. Anonymous fits in?

  2. Juliet Moureau

    I also think it's funny that he tips "GOD" 10%. No he doesn't! He tithes to the Church! So stupid.

  3. H Sterling Cross

    I think Applebee's are the assholes here… They fired the waitress who posted the image.

  4. Randy Paul Bauer

    yup.. i was reading this last night. if i was this guy, i'd forget about eating out for a while. you know every food industry person in town is waiting to get a chance to 'serve' him!

  5. Dave Baker

    This is a woman Pastor? Guess she never read 1 Timothy 2: 11-12. The bible forbids women to be pastors.
    She is arrogant and ignorant. Hope she goes back to learning in quiet and submission and at least gets that girl her job back.

  6. Sullivan Barb

    The so-called pastor knew the restaurant policy, I'm sure, before ordering. Almost every restaurant charges a set fee for parties of 8 or more. I do not understand why the server was fired. This is not a "Christian" act… Anyone notice the name of the church. Bet this "pastor" is a self-ordained one. And bet this "pastor" lives off the TIPS of those attending the church. Shame on Applebee's.

  7. Christopher Smith

    I am sending Applebees a message. I will never at an Applebees again. FYI.. I hold minister degree, and this type person is who is talked about in Revelations being luke warm. God is going to spit that sorry excuse out!

  8. Michael Quintos

    She shouldn't have posted the name of the person to Reddit; people who post to R black out any personal information for this very reason.

  9. Morg Morgan

    @ Juliet.. the pastor probably doesn't even tithe to the church. He's an employee of the church and makes a salary. Bet your a*Se if tithing is part of his weekly donation it's been figured into his salary so he doesn't lose anything. He lives on donations or as Susan stated tips also. How would he feel if everyone came in and said sorry I like the church and the teachings but all my money goes to tipping waitresses but go ahead and keep giving to me. It's insulting I think. And then from a biblical point of view one must ask…what would God have done? That pastor is a disgrace to the religious community but like many some are good some are bad, and those that give that kind of rethoric for tipping is probably like our politicans. I wouldn't bother going to that church simply because if that's how he treats people he tips… god only knows how he treats people who are in need and turns to the church for a helping hand…. I give my time to the church, why should I give it to anyone else…. sounds quite selfish in a position to be "serving" themself instead of lending a helping hand and an open heart for the position he carries….

  10. Morg Morgan

    I agree with you Barb…. his take is based on tips also. Does he turn his church followers away when they say I can't give this week… probably so… and then holds a grudge and probably talks behind their back how selfish they are that they didn't give to them the pastor!!!

  11. Sharon Foster

    Most people do not know servers only make half min wage and depend on tips. Servers must pay taxes on min wage even if they don't make it. Restaurants should be forced to put on menus that servers only make half min wage so maybe people would feel better about tipping. I will bet I can tell you what that church group looked like, been a server too many years and know how they all are.

  12. Sharon Foster

    That 10% she says she gives to God goes right back in her OWN pocket. So she gives NOTHING just like she did the waitress. HIRE THE WAITRESS BACK!

  13. Catherine Munro-ford

    Great advertisement for Christian pastors who are supposed to be leaders of their community and an example of Christ in the world.
    Hire the waitress back Shame on the pastor

  14. Katie Wathen

    Wonderful example of Christian behavior…snide remarks and getting someone fired! What a pathetic person! Will not ever step foot in applebee's again for my personal protest!

  15. Faith Stevens

    The pastor has it wrong…God/a Church should get 10%..but this waitress has rent/mtg to pay, utilites, food, clothing, maybe childcare, a phone bill, maybe a car payment and car insurance and gasoline, health insurance -copays and prescriptions all of which are necessary..and I am sure GOD understands that…..SHAME on Applebees..the customer is not always right…and SHAME on the pastor who also got her fired…NO MORE APPLEBEES FOR ME EVER….Every waitress/waiter in that store should go on strike outside that store and back this unemployed waitress up!

  16. Faith Stevens

    The pastor has it wrong…God/a Church should get 10%..but this waitress has rent/mtg to pay, utilites, food, clothing, maybe childcare, a phone bill, maybe a car payment and car insurance and gasoline, health insurance -copays and prescriptions all of which are necessary..and I am sure GOD understands that…..SHAME on Applebees..the customer is not always right…and SHAME on the pastor who also got her fired…NO MORE APPLEBEES FOR ME EVER….Every waitress/waiter in that store should go on strike outside that store and back this unemployed waitress up!

  17. Matthew Townsend III

    The boss was/is an idiot just as much as the customer. All he did was shine a negative light on himself and the business. This could have been handled better.

  18. BillandGlory Craig

    The pastor is a woman. Hence, she has no testicles, auntie. :) The pastor actually tipped the waitress, as did the others in the party. Yet, this was in extremely bad form. The waitress should not have put private information on the internet, though. She should have been fired. – B