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‘God’ Receipt Waitress Fired, Applebee’s Responds!

applebee's waitress boycott

The Applebee’s ‘God’ receipt waitress scandal — which we at The Inquisitr have been following quite closely — has mostly involved the side of the story of Chelsea, the server fired after patron Alois Bell complained when the slip on which she’d stiffed a co-worker of Chelsea’s became a Reddit sensation. (To recap, Bell crossed out the mandatory gratuity added for large parties, writing in “I give God 10%, why do you get 18?”)

Although the “God” receipt waitress story has gone viral, most information has come via the now-fired server and most of the chatter has been in the media or on social sites. Last night, Applebee’s tweeted:

“We’re listening to every tweet. We promise.”

While the post indicated the chain was well aware of the uproar over the “God” receipt waitress’ being fired, it also did not address the situation one way or another.

Now Applebee’s has responded to the drama as well as calls for a boycott on Twitter and by users besieging their Facebook page. The chain sent a tweet, embedded below, and linked to a lengthy statement on the entire issue on their Facebook page.

Already, the post on the “God” waitress being fired has drawn nearly 4,000 comments itself. (Most seem to indicate the anger sparked by the termination of Chelsea has not abated.)

In the post, Applebee’s tells the “God” waitress story from their perspective, beginning:

“We appreciate the chance to explain our franchisee’s action in this unfortunate situation … Please let us assure you that Applebee’s and every one of our franchisees values our hard working team members and the amazing job they do serving our guests. We recognize the extraordinary effort required and the tremendous contribution they make, and appreciate your recognition and support of our colleagues.”

The chain then explains why the “God” receipt waitress was fired, saying:

“At the same time, as we know you will agree, the guests who visit Applebee’s — people like you — expect and deserve to be treated with professionalism and care in everything we do. That is a universal standard in the hospitality business. That includes respecting and protecting the privacy of every guest, which is why our franchisees who own and operate Applebee’s have strict policies to protect personal information — even guest’s names.”

Applebee’s lists off an account of events as they’ve happened in the past few days:

“With that in mind, here is what happened in St. Louis:
– A guest questioned the tip automatically attached to her large party’s bill by writing: “I give God 10%. Why do you get 18?” on the check.
– A different server, who did not even wait on the group, photographed the receipt, posted the photo online and commented about the incident.
– The guest subsequently heard from friends who identified her from the posting, where her name is clearly visible, and the restaurant was notified. There was no further communication with the guest.”

Here’s what happened next, Applebee’s claims:

“- The team member was asked about posting the receipt and admitted she was responsible.
– When she was hired, the team member was provided the franchisee’s employee hand book which includes their social media policy and states:
‘Employees must honor the privacy rights of APPLEBEE’s and its employees by seeking permission before writing about or displaying internal APPLEBEE’S happenings that might be considered to be a breach of privacy and confidentiality. This shall include, but not be limited to, posting of photographs, video, or audio of APPLEBEE’S employees or its customers, suppliers, agents or competitors, without first obtaining written approval from the Vice President of Operations.’ The policy goes on to specify: ‘Employees who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.’
– As a result of her admission to violating a clear company policy intended to safeguard guests, the team member is no longer employed by the franchisee.”

Of the “God” receipt waitress being fired, Applebee’s concludes:

“Our franchisees are committed to acting in the best interests of guests and team members. This is a regrettable situation and we wish it had never happened. However, the disregard for an important policy left the franchisee no choice but to take the action they did.

“We hope this provides you with some additional insight. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to explain the facts involved.”

It appears Applebee’s has committed to stand behind their decision regardless of public sentiment. The tweet sent reads:

And below, one of the top replies adds:

This is what Applebee’s had to say in response to Dave and ostensibly any former customer who feels they can no longer patronize the chain after their treatment of the “God” receipt waitress:

In response to another lost customer, the chain says:

Do you think the “God” waitress scandal will impact Applebee’s in the long term?

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19 Responses to “‘God’ Receipt Waitress Fired, Applebee’s Responds!”

  1. Barbara LeBouton West

    Applebees is being incredibly "dense" about this.The CUSTOMER was wrong.If the CUSTOMER had something to complain about regarding the auto gratuity it should have been taken up with the MANAGER.To punish the server..who apparently DID her appalling.Sounds like the "manager" is a robot who simply spouts from the manual rather than looking at a situation for what it IS.You may WANT customers but you OWE your employees some degree of loyalty.YOU should have told the complaining "minister" that while you MIGHT understand her was inappropriate of her to take it out on the waitress.Losing this creature as a "customer" should have been regarded as a GOOD thing.

  2. Lezlie Irons

    Applebees is a good restaurant. The customers are allowed to say whatever they feel. I'm glad the waitress got fired, and I am a server, also.

  3. Jacob Hale

    I don't know if I can defend the waitress on this one, but if my pastor pulled a stunt like that, Id find a new church to attend.

  4. Steven Morgan

    most companies allow for first offenses to have written or verbal warnings. This was just a knee jerk reaction and show poor judgement on the part of the local store management. Maybe they should be fired for their lack of judgement. Either way, a company that takes that hard a line for simple offenses really doesn't care about anything other than the opinion of certain customers and not the public as a whole.

  5. Mike Buccambuso

    Avoid Applebee's like the scum bucket pastor Alois Bell. They both have absolutely no value. I take my parents to the Applebees in Sparks Nevada at least once a week. (it is my one of my fathers favorites) Here we come Olive Garden.

  6. Heather Johnson

    I work in public service. Never divulge a patron's name or other identifying information. Doing so is unprofessional. She deserved to be fired.

  7. Amanda Jo Patrie

    Chelsea IS the friend/co-worker who took the picture and posted it online. the waitress who actually served the pastor apparently is still employed.

  8. Colleen McGregor Magne

    The employee should have known better than to publicize their signature. Applebees did the right thing. Hard lesson for the employee. Especially after receiving the policy on such things when she was hired.

  9. Anonymous

    I too will boycott Applebees. I hope enough people do and they notice a big drop in business. Also, start calling local Applebee restaurants and tell them they are losing business until the head office does the right thing. National boycott.

  10. Anonymous

    Boycott Applebees. Call restaurants and tell them personally. Avoid everyone. Avoid Bell's church, she is scum. Not would God would do.

  11. Kathie Salter

    The article here is not clear if the waitress who got stiffed or the waitress who posted the bill online was fired. I understood from another news report that the waitress who served this supposed preacher is the one who lost her job. I can understand Applebee's if they fired the one who posted the receipt, since she was not the one wronged. To fire the one who got stiffed and also got the snarky comment is out of bounds for the restaurant. I will no longer be patronizing Applebee's and I hope the minister is sufficiently ashamed of herself to personally apologize to the young lady she treated so shabbily. She should know that waitpersons get paid very little in hourly wages, because the restaurant and the customers know their real wages are from the tips. A good waitress is worth more than 18% of the total bill on average.

  12. Spencer Stapp

    It's already come out that Applebees on their own public facebook page have shared someone's signature on their receipt (however it was positive to applebees and the server) but whatever you believe, you write this as a reason not to tip… come on you deserved to be publicly shamed.

  13. Mike Wilson

    The pastor apologized after she complained and got the waitress fired. Is this an example of christian forgiveness? Also, the pastor doesn't give God anything, she gets her percentage of tithes and offerings from her congregation.

  14. Richard Stacey

    Let me get this straight. I could go to Applebees and get a steak dinner and then write on the bill, "Why should I pay for this when I could get a free dinner at the church?" Then when the manager reports me to the police I can get him fired for invading my privacy.

  15. Richard Stacey

    This pastor didn't pay for all of her bill. I am sure that there was a notice that 18% is added to your bill on large orders. The company should have paid the waitress the 18% and then tried to collect from the pastor or had her arrested. Recently a resturant in NY arrested a customer who forgot his wallet (didn't even get him a chance to go get it) This case was intentional and that one wasn't.

  16. Chris Emfinger

    The mere fact that this franchise backed a customer who blatantly belittled one of their own lost my respect altogether. Clearly shows they are all about money, and total disrespect to their employees. Furthermore, if my pastor pulled crap like that he'd/she'd got an earful out of the congregation about practicing what she preached. The pastor thought she'd get away with being chinchy, and it bit her in the butt! Hypocrites infuriate me!

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