A waitress at a popular Des Moines, Iowa, restaurant was shocked to receive a cruel message on the tip line of a bill.
Taelor Beeck shared a photo of the customer's cruel message on Facebook, prompting outrage from many across social media when the post went viral. Beeck works as a waitress at Zombie Burger, and the incident took place on March 15.
The bill, which totaled $17.26, included a message from the customer under the tip line — which was crossed out.
"Tips are only for normal looking people," the note read.
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"At first, I felt really upset, I felt attacked, I almost felt like I was back in middle school all over again, like being bullied," Beeck told WHO-TV. "I felt like a burning anger inside of me."
Beeck added that she didn't respond to the customer's cruel message because "it's not worth it when someone puts hate out there, you know to respond in a hateful way will do no good."
Beeck said she was most bothered by the fact that the customer chose not to tip her, as she makes her living off of gratuities.
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"I mean I can't pay my bills if people don't tip me," she said.
Orchestrate Hospitality, the parent company that owns Zombie Burger, responded to the controversy after Beeck's post went viral.
"Zombie Burger is a place that celebrates individuality and we think the vast majority of our customers like the fact that everybody there is unique," the company's statement to the Des Moines Register read.
“It is a real shame that someone would do this to a person in the service industry. We stand behind our staff and the fact that they celebrate who they are because that is at the core of Zombie Burger’s mission and a large part of what makes that environment special.”
Orchestrate Hospitality also issued at statement to WHO-TV, saying that they stood by Beeck and calling her "an example of a great team member."
"We also believe that our customers enjoy zombie burger because it is a wonderfully unique place and that includes the team members," the company wrote. "We are in 100% support of our staff. And we’re confident that our customers will be as well."
Beeck said she wouldn't let the note affect her, and she'd continue to express herself the way she always has.
"It's the way that I can express myself artistically and it's really important for me that I'm allowed to do that, and it's ok if people don't understand it because it's just who I am," she said.
Beeck added that if she had one message for the person that wrote the note, she'd tell them "to not judge someone based on what they look like."
"I mean, I may look like a weirdo but I'm actually a very nice, decent person," she said.