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Applebees Boycott Threatened By Twitter Users After Waitress Fired Over Reddit Posting Of Receipt

applebee's waitress boycott

The Applebee’s waitress blowup on social media over a woman who didn’t tip and a Reddit thread gone wild (not r/gonewild) has caused a significant PR hassle for the chain on Twitter, where many users are threatening to boycott over the worker’s termination.

The Applebee’s waitress controversy began when the server, named Chelsea, posted a thread to the social aggregation site about a particularly nasty lack of tip a co-worker had received. In the field where an automatic gratuity for large parties had been added, the diner specifically crossed out the 18% charge and added a zero.

But that wasn’t all. Despite near universal knowledge that servers are paid only in tips, the guest wrote to the Applebee’s waitress, “I give God 10%, why do you get 18?

The thread, titled, “my mistake, sir, I’m sure Jesus will pay for my rent and groceries” became widely popular, with Reddit sleuths attempting to track down the tight-fisted non-tipper and give him or her a piece of their hive mind.

It didn’t go well for Chelsea, who was canned from Applebee’s — but then, it didn’t go well for Applebee’s either, after they came under immense fire for terminating the Applebee’s waitress at the center of the controversy.

Twitter users are overwhelmingly siding with Chelsea in the matter, calling the chain out for letting the worker go. Some are calling for a boycott, tweeting things like:

Applebee’s has not specifically addressed the waitress’ firing, but tweeted in a way that suggests they are quite concerned about the Applebee’s waitress furor:

Do you think the Applebee’s waitress was treated unfairly, and does the chain have any recourse to win over angry former customers?

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37 Responses to “Applebees Boycott Threatened By Twitter Users After Waitress Fired Over Reddit Posting Of Receipt”

  1. Michael Wright

    Applebee's International, Inc has lost a customer! ME!
    Alois Bell "ruined" her own reputation.
    The Truth in the World Deliverance Ministries Church should not be amused with Bells actions. But the Truth in the World is that Bell is a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion. You know a hypocrite! She should call back Applebee's and beg to get Chelsea Welch’s job back. That would be the right thing to do.
    Just saying….

  2. Anonymous

    The "pastor" should have asked the manager about the 18% instead of defending her actions in the name of God. Will God be pleased with his 10% knowing it came from an angry person at the expense of one who tried to give her best service? Applebee's is in the wrong and should try to make amends with the hard-working waitress.

  3. Matthew Bunker

    Agreed, I am DONE with Applebees. Poor woman….and that pastor needs his conscience examined…..

  4. Tayloor Winscher

    "I give God 10%, why do you get 18%" doesn't even make sense. Tithing is giving 10% of your entire paycheck to the church. Last I checked, we don't give 18% of our entire paychecks to waitresses. Also, since when would God want anyone to keep their money selfishly? God doesn't tell Christians to rip people off for their work. So as a Christian, I find this extremely disppointing coming from a pastor.

  5. Steph Bazzle

    How many wrongs does it take to make a right?

    What the pastor did sucked. It sucked big.

    I wonder if Applebees has an official policy regarding handling of receipts? Because it seems like servers probably aren't supposed to take them home or photograph them.

    I'll be honest, if I'd seen this on reddit, I probably would've briefly read it and been amused by it and passed on to the next thing, but really, she did breach the trust.

    I think a stern one-time warning that receipts can contain personal, identifying information would have been enough, but again, I don't know if there's an official policy, or if it's ever been discussed, which would change things a little. Either way, what she did wasn't okay either.

    I don't eat at Applebee's anyway so I don't really have a dog in the fight, but I think that what the pastor did was selfish and nasty and rude, and what the server did was a breach of trust, and that the pastor publicly apologizing (as I've heard she has done) and yet calling up and wanting firings (as I've heard she has done) don't really sit well together, and that firing the server was excessive (unless there was a stated policy she was aware of). So, wrongs by all.

    Some of those wrongs have the potential to leave a woman and her child (I've read she was a single mom, I don't know if that's accurate) hungry and some have the potential to cost a church some goodwill. How the faults and damages balance out is hard to say.

  6. Anton Anderssén

    Truth in the Word Deliverance Ministries.

    Deliverance, Holy Spirit, Sound Doctrine.
    2600 N. Florrisant
    St Louis MO 63106.

    Pastor: Alois Bell.
    Denomination: Non-Denominational Church.
    Ministries: Bible Study, Church on the Go.
    Attendance: 15
    Phone: 314-703-1238

  7. Judy Carraher Hinterlong

    I am disgusted by both the pastor and Applebees actions. the pastor for being a terrible example of a so-called Christian, and the Restaurant for firing someone that they didn't back up when they were ripped off by such a douscebag. Why does corporate America think they have the right to deprive you of your right to fee speech by firing you if you don't do exactly what they want even off the job? It amounts to unconstitutionality in fact, and it should not be allowed in this America. I will not be going to Applebee's.

  8. Dave Willis

    I'm not boycotting Applebees because I wouldn't go into one in the first place. The chain serves really crappy food and they jam customers into the dining room like sardines.

  9. Emidio M Krupa

    What makes you think they took it home to photograph it? Last time I checked, cameras are standard on 99.9% of all phones now.

  10. Keneisha Fountain

    I don't believe there is enough information provided within this story for anyone to make attacks on the Pastor's character, Applebee’s or that of this waitress. I cannot fairly judge this "pastor" for making a comment on a receipt and scratching out the tip amount-I don't know what kind of service was provided by the waitress. There has been more than one occasion where I have wanted to leave a smart ass comment on a receipt, a penny tip, and keep it pushing. Also it is the policy of most (publically traded) companies to not make negative social posts identifying the company or those within for penalty of termination. I wonder if Applebee’s has such a policy and if they do, then it was well within the company’s right to fire this waitress. Also if the pastor was identified (which apparently he/she was) because of this receipt and was threatened due to this waitress’s actions then Applebee’s and its parent company could be facing a lawsuit-I too would have cut my liability.
    Wait staff daily are faced with the reality of under-tippers, bad personalities and homemade food critics-it is the nature of their profession. It is not within their right, as a WORKER, within these restaurants, to single out or identify these people to the world. Just like it is not within the right of the customer to snap a picture and publically ridicule every bad server with whom they’ve come into contact. There are better, more mature, ways of handling these sorts of situations. Sorry she had to find out the hard way.

  11. Hunter Ratliff

    Hmmmm…..pastor should have left god out of the issue, fired waitress should have minded her own business and not advertised a customers receipt, and Applebee's shouldn't call it a 18% " tip" if its just added to the bill like that its not a tip or a gratuity it's a fee plain and simple.

  12. Chris Panayiotou

    I'm boycotting Applebee's too! (But b/c their food is trash.)

  13. Ashley King

    I don't know about you all, but I've received down right terrible service from a waitress who knew she was going to automatically get her tip. And where did it say that the person was a pastor? And I'm sure the restaurant will not go under because of the ”boycott” a few months ago chick-fil-a was being boycotted and they came out ok.

  14. Anonymous


    It has been determined if you'd keep up that Alois (and why do parents name their kids these strange names?) Bell is indeed a "pastor" of Truth in the World Deliverance Ministries Church of St. Louis which seems to have about 15 members. Sounds like Westboro Baptist and more of a cult than a church. Applebees is a huge chain that is hardly better than McDonalds. It will not go under, but this is a huge black eye for them and has no doubt cost them lots of money. Unlike Chick-Fil-A (a restaurant I hate and do boycott), there were as many supporters of it and Kathy as those boycotting. Here Applebee's is almost being universally condemned. Jackson State? Why am I not surprised. Seriously, what is it with black people and tips?

  15. Ashley King

    Lol, wow. I always tip!! If my service is bad I just ask another server. And yes, Jackson State! And I'm sure, like I said before, the restaurant chain will be fine.

  16. Keneisha Fountain

    1) Akagi? is this your name while you're taking it upon yourself to condemn someone else's (or are you fronting like you know something about the Akagi) . 2) Applebee's is not being universally condemned as only a handful of people really know and CARE about this 3)Why are you so angry with Chick-Fil-A? The last boycott regarding this restaurant was based around sexually and if you have yet to come out the closet then you should have no qualms with this chain. Lastly, had you gone to an institution as fine as Jackson State university you would have gotten that opening sentence correct and I wouldn't have to judge you based on grammar, syntax, and your hate of your sexuality. What is it with the fingers you people point.

  17. Steph Bazzle

    She took either the receipt or an image of the receipt out of the restaurant.

  18. Steph Bazzle

    Emidio M Krupa You can note the 'or photograph' in that same line.

  19. Anonymous

    Uhh, everyone one knows when you have a big party, you automatically get a fixed tip.

  20. Kevin D McPherson

    If he indeed is a true Christian minister AND if he follows Jesus words, he should know that Jesus didn't value material things BUT People.I bet this JACKA$$ got his ordination through a mail order service like the Universal church of L.A. 15 members? Is this his family that makes up his congregation? Probaly! Just like Fred Phelps church in Topeka Ks. just not showing their true colors like Phelps nut job family congregation.

  21. Kevin D McPherson

    Applebee's HIRE the waitress back! What gives you the right to censure anyone not on your time or property? What they do in their own home or away from work is none of your business! She Wasn't bad mouthing your company or asking anyone to not eat at your locations.If working for tips is your idea of a living wage you really need to re check your priority's! It's hard work.I'd love to see your Ceo and top management executives work only for tips for a full pay period and live on those wages, bet your attitude would change dramatically! Asvetran I appreciate the vetran's day free dinners that you provide to us BUT I always leave at least the amount of required tip be it $5 or more.Pay them minimum wage with tips being additional income! That would be a fair compromise and you'd still be getting buisiness in fact I'd visit your biz more if Serve staff were better paid!

  22. Joshua Lane Wolf

    I've worked in the industry for 12 years, and generally the stereotypes are true; black people tend not tip. The waitress probably knew she wasnt going to get a tip. The comment on the receipt was clearly a little much.

    And my comment, though clearly about race, is not racist. Call me a hate monger if you want. :)

  23. Irene Weiniger Kiebz

    Keneisha, a lot of people might rip you for your opinion because they don't agree, and I support the Applebee's boycott because I have waited tables and restaurants underpay knowing that servers rely on tips, but it was really well thought out and presented an opposing view with thought, as opposed to so many threads and comments,so thank you for being a clear voice for the other side! :)

  24. Jovis Vang

    Fuck it. If you don't get your job back reveal the fucker's name.

  25. Anonymous

    the good pastor was just showing the true face of Christianity. I wouldn't accept anything less than that coming from a pastor or priest.

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