Waitress Chelsea Welch was recently fired from an Applebee’s restaurant in St. Louis after posting a note on the we, from a non-tipping pastor who wrote on the receipt: “I give God 10% Why do you get 18.”
TheSmokingGun.com identified the pastor as Alois Bell.
A picture of the receipt was uploaded to Reddit.com by Welch, reports The Consumerist.
“My mistake sir, I’m sure Jesus will pay for my rent and groceries,” Welch wrote on Reddit on Wednesday. She was fired from her job at Applebee’s that day, as the story began to spread across the Internet.
Welch was not the Applebee’s server who waited on Bell's party. That server showed the receipt to Welch, who took a photo of it and put it on Reddit.com.
Welch said: “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.”
On the receipt, Applebee’s computer system had added an automatic 18 percent gratuity because the dinner party had eight or more people. But the pastor scratched out the $6.29 tip and wrote “0.”
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Welch said she failed to remove the signature from the receipt, because she thought it was illegible. However, Reddit.com users were able to find out the pastor’s identity.
Welch said: “I had already started receiving messages containing Facebook profile links and blogs and websites, asking me to confirm the identity of the customer. I refused to confirm any of them, and all of them were incorrect.
“When I posted this, I didn’t represent Applebee’s in a bad light. 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.
“I’ve been stiffed on tips before, but this is the first time I’ve seen the Big Man has been used as reasoning. If this person wrote the note, obviously they wanted it seen by someone… It’s strange to me that now that the audience is wider than just the server, the person is now ashamed.
“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/hr on average, before taxes."
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On Wednesday, Bell contacted the Applebee’s and demanded that everyone involved, including the managers, be fired.
Bell has since told the TheSmokingGun.com: “My heart is really broken. I’ve brought embarrassment to my church and ministry.”
In a follow-up conversation with an Applebee’s manager, Bell said she was told that the waitress was immediately terminated.
Bell heads a 15-member church and has a separate full-time job, which she declined to describe. She tithes 10 percent of her earnings to the church.