Jan. 31, 2013 at 5:28 PM ET
A waitress at an Applebee’s in the St. Louis area who posted a receipt with a snarky comment on it was fired on Wednesday after the customer complained to management.
The server, Chelsea Welch, told Yahoo! News she was surprised that she was "fired for ‘embarrassing’ someone who directly insults their server on religious grounds.”
Welch’s co-worker had waited on a large party hosted by Pastor Alois Bell of the World Deliverance Ministries Church in Granite City, Ill. As is common at many restaurants, an 18 percent tip was automatically added to the bill.
Pastor Bell crossed out the automatic tip and wrote “0” on the receipt, along with this message: “I give God 10% why do you get 18?”
Welch, who did not wait on Pastor Bell’s table took a photo of the bill and uploaded it to Reddit where it soon went viral.
“I thought the note was insulting, but it was also comical,” Welch told TheConsumerist. “I posted it to Reddit because I thought other users would find it entertaining.”
Bell, who did not see the humor in this, complained to the restaurant’s manager. Bell told The Smoking Gun she did not expect her signature to be all over the Internet.
Applebee’s confirms that Welch was fired. In a statement, the company says:
“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.”
Pastor Bell told The Smoking Gun she is sorry for what happened and points out that she left a $6.29 cash tip on the table.
“My heart is really broken,” she told them. “I’ve brought embarrassment to my church and my ministry.”
Welch told Yahoo! News she is shocked she was fired. But even more shocked by Bell's message.
“I come home exhausted, sore, burnt, dirty and blistered on a good day,” she said in her email to Yahoo! “I’ve been stiffed on tips before, but this if the first time I’ve seen the Big Man used as reasoning.”
What do you think? Did this waitress deserve to be fired?