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Pastor Who Left Reddited ‘No-Tip Receipt’ For Waitress Is Sorry, Ashamed

Pastor no tip receipt

St. Louis, MO – The alleged pastor who left a waitress a receipt without tip that read “I give God 10 percent, why do you get 18?” has been identified, and surprise, she’s very sorry and ashamed for her lapse in judgement.

The Applebee’s waitress involved in the story, a girl named Chelsea, posted the receipt to Reddit’s Atheist forum as a joke. The Consumerist, the publication that originally picked up the story, interviewed her and discovered that she had been fired after the pastor called in to complain after the post went viral.

Despite Chelsea’s efforts to keep the receipt and the pastor anonymous, internet users went on a witch hunt to find him or her. We attempted in a previous post to reach out to the then-anonymous pastor for an interview, but The Smoking Gun beat us to it. She is a 37-year-old St. Louis woman named Alois Bell who told them that “My heart is really broken,” adding, “I’ve brought embarrassment to my church and ministry.”

Bell dined at Applebee’s on January 25 after an evening service at the Truth in the World Deliverance Ministries church. Five adults and five children joined her for dinner at Applebee’s, which she said is a traditional place her church members go after church.

Bell called her receipt comment a “lapse in judgment that has been blown out of proportion,” and said that she left a $6 tip on the table in addition to the added gratuity.

A friend called her yesterday to inform her that her receipt was “all over Yahoo. You went viral!” She then called the Applebee’s to complain. She talked to the manager of the Applebee’s in a follow-up, and found out that Chelsea had been fired.

Bell is a mother of three, and heads up a 15-member church that rents out storefront space. She has a separate full-time job, but didn’t say anything more about her employment. She does indeed tithe 10 percent of her income to the church.

Bell says in her biography that she “gave her life to Christ in 1997 while she was pregnant and homeless with her youngest son.” She recalled an afternoon when she was living in a Catholic homeless shelter when “the Lord touched her heart and she invited him in.”

If Alois Bell is reading this, we’d still love to talk to you. Email me at (mind the spelling) or reach out to me on Facebook if you’re more comfortable.

UPDATE: Because I know you love updates. We reached out to Applebee’s for comment, and spokesman said this!

“Our Guests’ personal information – including their meal check – is private, and neither Applebee’s nor its franchisees have a right to share this information publicly. We value our Guests’ trust above all else. Our franchisee has apologized to the Guest and has taken disciplinary action with the Team Member for violating their Guest’s right to privacy. This individual is no longer employed by the franchisee.”

Sure, it’s not much, but that’s Applebee’s side of the story.

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61 Responses to “Pastor Who Left Reddited ‘No-Tip Receipt’ For Waitress Is Sorry, Ashamed”

  1. Brad Owen

    Another God preacher demonstrating the most ungodly behavior! I think we all know who will really burn in hell if there is one.

  2. Michael Bartschi

    Seems like she is now lying. She is claiming she paid the 18% but the receipt clearly shows a 0 on that line and the waitress never mentioned a 6 dollar tip ( which you would think she would have ).

  3. Boo Freshy

    So if she is so ashamed and embarrassed, did she call and repent to the restaurant and server, and insist they get their jobs back? She is an embarrassment to any faith! She should fix the damage she has done…shame on her!

  4. David Boyer

    If it was store policy to add the tip and it was posted they would have charged it. The line above that shows 18% tip and an amount that she crossed out. It would be like writing 0 over the price of a sandwich you didnt enjoy. It doesn't work that way. She received the service so she had to pay.

  5. Tony Wight

    She asked why 18% and God 10%, that's easy the Waitress is REAL!!!!!

  6. Joseph Pulsoni

    I gave up religion long ago, but I do remember the Parable of the Unforgiving Debtor Mat 18:21-35. Here's this women that receives money from her community for her service as a moral leader, yet is unwilling to pay for service rendered to her. I hope her parishioners refuse a month's tithe to her, so she knows how it feels. You would think that considering all that she's been given, shelter when she was homeless, etc that she would be a little more bent on sharing. I'm confused.

  7. Sugar Berry

    David Boyer: Technically, they can't. The amount she wrote on the final line and then signed for afterwards is the only one they can put through their machine. I assume that was for the amount sans tip, as that was the original amount showing on the receipt. If they were going to charge her the tip whether or not she accepted it, the receipt should show a subtotal without the tip, a final total including the tip, and an extra line to add another tip.

  8. Wendy Mcfarland-Powell

    How can someone who started a ministry while pregnant and homeless turn around and have someone who is gainfully employed fired. I guess in your church it's not important to care about other American's. I truly believe what goes around comes around, so I think Ms. Bell dug herself a spiritual hole she won't be able to get out of.

  9. Boo Freshy

    awesome! I know we all make mistakes, I get that but getting the girl fired was just too much you guys rock Dusten Carlson

  10. Lori Voss Green

    Well isn't that nice that she turned her life over to God while homeless. Now that she has cost someone their job and their means of supporting themselves, I wonder how her "God" feels about it.

  11. James Mashburn

    It is amazing to me that someone who gave their life to Christ while they were homeless and pregnant could do something so hurtful to another human being. Now what if this waitress can not get a job how is she supposed to live. I think that so called pastor should be paying that poor waitresses bills until she can get another job. A true pastor would know better than to say something so hurtful and rude!

  12. Laurel Roberts Brown

    Ms Bell is an embarrassment to Christians everywhere – what a nasty vindictive woman – she stiffs the waitress tip-wise, writes a snipey note on the bill crediting God for her cheapness, and then has the audacity to call Applebees and complain about her bad behavior and the embarrassment it caused her. And people wonder why those who are unChurched have such a bad impression of Christians.

  13. George C. Benton

    "She talked to the manager of the Applebee’s in a follow-up, and found out that Chelsea had been fired."
    That pastor is lying. How did Chelsea get fired before the complaint was known to management?

  14. Dave Price

    I am wondering why Applebee's management didn't step in at the time of the transaction? The waitstaff have no control over the policy of gratuities/tips and don't have the ability to remove the verbage on the billing or any other written cues posted in the building. While it was poor judgement of the staff person to post this on a public format, I think it was far down on the list of poor judgements with the pastor leading the list and Applebee's management taking a close second for not addressing this or protecting their staff from being used and abused. Sad to see both a woman of "God" and big business stiffing the working person. I believe this shows what is currently wrong in our country………..on a very basic level. I hope people are paying attention and approprately show their feelings to both pastor Bell and Applebees by telling them what they did was wrong and boycott them. If this was all about a tip……then hit them (pastor Bell and Applebees) in the wallet and let them know on terms they will understand since they obviously don't understand poor judgement and who truly is in the wrong here.

  15. Vanessa LaÇhoc Okwuike

    Let's be real. Once upon a time, restaurants asked for only a 10% tip. Then 15%, then 18… One day it will be 150%! When I go dining I often discuss with restaurant management to know how much the so-called compulsory tip is so that I won't get ripped off, because frankly most of it doesn't actually go to the waiters. I'd rather drop an undisclosed amount so that I'm sure all of it goes to the hard working waiter.
    We all make mistakes, and unfortunately Alois Bell made a mistake, and then compounded it by getting the waitress fired. As a pastor, she can offer the lady a better paying job until something better comes along and pay her from her own pocket.
    And opportunists shouldn't use this as sn excuse to attack Christianity. It's pathetic!

  16. Anonymous

    Its amazing that even a Pastor can make a mistake like this and God forgive her. The children of Israel made many mistakes and people today are no different. Since we don't know what was actually said to the manager after she found out the waitress was fired we should not pass judgement. As I wake each day I ask God to guide me, knowing I'm human so somewhere I'll probably make a mistake or even hurt someones feeling. Sure I can say I possibly wouldn't have done what this Pastor did, but as someone just a couple of hours ago pointed out, what make my wrong any worst than yours. ALL, ALL, ALL have sinned and fall short. God works His Blessings in many ways. When one door is closed a much better is usually open. Especially when it's slammed abruptly. I love that about God. I'm sure we'll see both of them on talk shows. Now this Pastor can write the Sermon of All Sermons behind this. The waitress well, she should start writing her book and get ready to collect from her new found career. I just wish people spent as much time Praising God and encouraging other as they do with bashing other.

  17. Anonymous

    No one is attacking no one. You didn't get fired so why should you try to defend the person who got the person fired in the first place. Anyways, if you're so concerned about a hard-working person getting paid, then why don't you do something about it like getting a legal job! Hey…If you don't like eating at restuarants then stay at home and complain that the food is no good

  18. Anonymous

    Dorothy..You understand the math…The preacher is the one who really wants to be paid…haha

  19. Anonymous

    deskprinter…You are a bore. Any preacher leading a congregation knows fully well how they should behave and respond out in public. Regardless of the fact that no one is perfect, the pastor is the first to think of others before themselves. You just want to skim over his behavior. You must be the spouse trying to clean up the dirt left afterwards…If you are, then you are just as dirty as everyone else. Keep your tired monologue to yourself and eat on it! Bash on this and tell your friends…

  20. Sean Murray

    It would be difficult for me to boycott Applebee's as I would never eat there in the first place. But from an ex-waiter's point-of-view, a table of ten with a bill of $34.93? What did they eat? Fries and coffee? Cups of hot water with lemon (and their own teabags)? You know they had that waitress running around. A six dollar tip would hurt so much? I tip 20% as a basic.

  21. Tochukwu Okafor

    Is tipping compulsory? How about if I don't have cash for tips?

  22. Anonymous

    So she gets the waitress fired and then says how ashamed she is for her own lapse in judgement. What a crock of crap, typical "Christian" behavior. She wants the world to forgive her, but the other girl gets fired. Joke!

  23. Anonymous

    wow, let it go. they each had their reasons for doing what they did. no big deal, will anyone remember this later and not have a good laugh?

  24. Ed Hofmeister

    Absolutely. I never waited tables, but I've learned from too many former waiters. 20% is my minimum. :-)

  25. Anonymous

    As with most stories that elicit emotive responses, there is plenty of Heat but very little Light. A great many comments here deal with misinformation, half truths and outright ridiculousness.

    I worked in the restaurant business (from Busboy to Manager and everything in-between) since I was 13 and up till my mid 30s.

    So most of my comments come from real world experience in the restaurant business.

    The waitress was wrong to do what she did, for two Primary reasons. One, she compromised the Guests privacy and also compromised the restaurants integrity. The usual adage is that for every one dissatisfied costumer, you potentially lose 10. The Business has legal issues to protect and families to feed (by their employment of people). Loosing costumers, especially in this economy, is not what any business wants to deal with. And the waitress’s actions can make a business lose costumers.

    As far as the Pastor, her actions are indefensible.

    First, her analogy of tithing 10% to God and the 18% tip to the waiter is a False Analogy. In Christian teachings a tithe (of any percentage) is done so that a person is reminded that everything that they have belongs to God and came to them by God. By tithing 10% you are not tipping God for His service, you are acknowledging that God is the Owner of all. A tip to a waiter is for services rendered, thus, the pastor has a very shallow and misinformed theology to begin with. I could only guess what her sermons and teachings are like.

    Second, for her to call and ask for the Waitress to be fired (if she actually did that) is definitely not Christ-like. The Modern day saying “What Would Jesus Do?” should have been applied here. Would Jesus have asked for that Waiter to be fired? Would he have not tipped? I do not know and I do not press the issue, as that would be an argument from silence. But Jesus did preach about forgiveness, but more importantly, the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” Obviously this pastor must have forgotten that teaching of Jesus.

    Yet another ridiculous aspect of this story is those who replied by attacking Religion in General, but Christianity more specifically, based on the Pastors actions. One person does not make a religion. This is akin to Racism. Person X (fill-in in the Racial/Ethnic/Cultural identity here) held me up at gunpoint, thus all X are thieves. A Christian pastor did this, thus all of Christianity is bad/evil/hypocritical. Imagine if we applied this type of reasoning to our politicians: for example, “our president had sex with an intern in the oval office, thus America as an institution is evil/false/bad/a sham and alike. We can obviously see the faulty reasoning in that kind of logic, but for some reason, we believe it is alright to apply this type of faulty Logic to other realities, such as Religion, or Christianity more specifically in this case. A Pastors actions, if not in tune with the teachings of the faith, does not make the faith guilty, only the Pastor.

    Finally, there is a reason that we have been given (either by Evolution or God, whatever you believe in) two ears and one mouth: so we can listen twice as much as we speak. In this case, two yes, to read twice as much. If you read the story carefully, you will find the answer as to the issue of why a table of 8 (or 9, depending which story you read) only had a bill of $34.93. The fact is that the big dinner party had a bill of over 200 dollars.

    The bill of $34.93 is the amount after the bill was divided into separate personal checks amongst the adults of that group. For those who ridiculed the people for spending all that time and only spending $34.93, you need to recheck the facts (Notice: “The Reddit user who submitted the image explained in the comments section that the receipt was part of a total bill of over $200 for a party of 20, which is why the gratuity was automatically added.” and realize that all of the harsh, derogatory and negative comments made about these people were as a result of poor reading and comprehension on their part.

    Many were quick to play Jury, Judge and Executioner, will they be just as quick to get back on here and admit their mistake and offer apologies for their hasty condemnation based on faulty reasoning? To actually do something, in principle, that the pastor should have done, admit and apologize wrongdoing?

  26. Sarah Bass

    Seriously. You'd think a woman who had her heart "touched by God" while pregnant in a homeless shelter would have a little more earthly compassion for a working girl.

  27. Emetu Nnanna

    the pastor has a point. a tip shouldn't have a price tag or minimum ceiling. a tip is a gratuity or voluntary payment made for services rendered. it's amount is a personal decision based on how well you are pleased with services rendered or a function of how much you have. the pastor made a very valid point. the waitress thought it was funny. it should have ended there. the girl posting it didn't expect the management to fire her obviously. i would call for appropriate bodies to look into this so called tipping thingy and standardize it or ban it. the girl who posted it clearly meant no harm cause she was tipped $6 and the 18% according to the pastor. so why did she get fired? I can eat anywhere I like and tip or "untip" as i deem fit. It's clearly a personal decision which I should not be crucified for. Period

  28. Karen C. Pottgen

    We eat at Applebees at least once a week here in the St. Louis area. No more! The waitress had the right.
    to reveal this…….and Applebees had the right to fire her……no problem. I also have the right to eat elsewhere.
    (My husband and I went there at least once a week……….bye bye Applebees.)

  29. Vanessa LaÇhoc Okwuike

    @Theavenging: read through all the posts and you will see the attacks in talking about. And I'm not defending anybody. And I have a legal job, so does Alois Bell, and so did the waitress. Do you know what a "legal" job is? If you enjoy getting ripped off, go ahead. When you actually know what a tip is, you can come here and rant.
    Like someone here quoted, a tip is a gratuity or VOLUNTARY payment for services rendered. The pair had the right to refuse to pay. The Waitress even found it funny because nobody should be forced to pay tips.
    People should be spewing their venom on Applebee's for firing her over such a trivial matter. Because frankly the customer didn't even want her fired.
    Alois Bell obviously didn't expect her to get fired, and unfortunately she did. All I'm saying is she should work to fix the damage. None of us are saints and we err all the time.

  30. Sean Mccray

    Alois Bell is a hypocrite and she has not learned anything from her experiences. As the bible says "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" I hope everybody in her church does the same thing and leases notes in the donation plate "I gave Applebee's 18%, so why should I give you 10% – this note is your tip".

  31. Isabel Darling

    Alois Bell
    5864 Plymouth Ave,
    Saint Louis, MO 63112.

    I think I will sent her a note. Feel free to do the same.

  32. Sean Mccray

    The pastor is so very wrong. She says that "She gives 10% to God".
    Does she deposit it in God's checking account? No, she gives 10% to her church that employs her. Any "REAL" pastor says that they donate to the church. What does God need with her money? Her church sounds like a scam – remember "Beware of false prophets".

  33. Sean Mccray

    Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets – Who in their preaching describe a broad way to heaven: it is their prophesying, their teaching the broad way, rather than their walking in it themselves.

  34. Tim Springmann

    “My heart is really broken,” adding, “I’ve brought embarrassment to my church and ministry.”.

    So you're not sorry you acted like a douchebag and got someone fired over $6. You're sorry you've embarrassed your church? If anyone wants to know why christians catch so much shit from non-christians, this woman is your answer.

  35. Ashley Gantt

    I hate Applebees anyway. They would not let me eat there with a seeing-eye dog I was training years ago (I had the paperwork from the school with me to prove he was a real dog in training as well as the law for the state I was in). I went through a battle and a half with them over that. I refused to give them my business after that. This is just ridiculousness. This pastor should be ashamed of herself. We all make mistakes, but she needs to own up to hers and try to somehow make this right.

  36. Mike McLellan

    I am greatly disappointed in the actions of Applebee’s. The pastor is an embarrassment to our vocation and if “harmed” by the publicity, did it to herself and her church.

  37. Anonymous

    I refuse to go to Applebee;s any more , This crazy ass broad who calimes to work for God was wrong and that waitress should NOT have lost her job. Ms. Bell Go back to church , pray for fogiveness , then go back to Applebee;s and beg for it.

  38. August G. Schwartz

    D, shhh, especially if you dont really tithe…………..

  39. August G. Schwartz

    Wendy it’s worse than that, how can someone not know that servers do not make minimum wage and rely on tips to live adequately. The answer to the "pastors" question is "because I’m not protected by minimum wage laws".

  40. Chuong Nguyen

    Fuck you Applebees. You're not getting a penny from this veteran ever again.

    Your food sucks anyways.

  41. Jeff Weeks

    The longer you go to church the more human you find out the leaders are. We expect more from the leaders of our churches, and according to The FIRST BOOKK OF KINGS, we rightfully should. However, people will always be people first. no matter what our expectations are.

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