Pastor Stiffs Waitress, Gets Her Fired

An Applebee’s waitress posted on the internet a receipt with a nasty note from a pastor complaining about the automatic 18% gratuity added to the bill.  To add injury to injury, the pastor complained and the waitress was fired.

“I give God 10%, “Why do you get 18?” Bell wrote on the receipt, scratching out the automatic tip and scribbling in a zero where the additional tip would be.

Since the Alois Bell, pastor at Truth in the World Deliverance Ministries Church, had more than eight people in her party at the St. Louis Applebee’s, it triggered the automatic 18 percent tip.

Lessons Lost

Would it have been more accurate to say that god gives the Pastor 10% of her parishiners’ incomes?

The pastor’s lack of gratitude and ethics wasn’t the only lesson lost that day. Chelsea Welch, the waitress, uploaded a photo of the bill to‘s atheism page. She later wrote to Yahoo News that Pastor Alois Bell told Welch’s manager at the St. Louis-area Applebee’s that “her reputation was ruined “after the receipt went viral. Heaven forbid she be held responsible for her own actions.

Presumably, the Pastor said grace before the meal, thanking god and his representatives – including the waitress – for providing the food she enjoyed. Unfortunately, her cut off point to god is 10%.

The Wrong Person Got Fired

Bell told the Smoking Gun the snide note was “a lapse in my character and judgment.”  The minister said she didn’t know her receipt was being reviled across the Internet until a friend called and said she was “All over Yahoo. You went viral!” “My heart is really broken,” Bell said. “I’ve brought embarrassment to my church and ministry.”

Awww… A come to Jesus moment.

Hypocricy Incorporated

Applebee’s apologized to Bell for violating her “right to privacy” and confirmed that Welch “is no longer employed by the franchise.”  Yet Applebee’s had posted another customer’s comments, with name, on the back of a receipt earlier on their Facebook account, and also removed it when this controversy arose.

Welch had been having a successful career at Applebee’s and was hoping to soon move up to management.  She told

When I posted this, I didn’t represent Applebee’s in a bad light. In fact, I didn’t represent them at all…I didn’t break any specific guidelines in the company handbook. I had no intention of starting a witch hunt or hurting anyone. I just wanted to share a picture I found interesting. I come home exhausted, sore, burnt, dirty and blistered on a good day. And after all that, I can be fired for ’embarrassing’ someone who directly insults their server on religious grounds.

Not only is this a wrongful termination, but a waste of talent, since Ms. Welch might have had as much to teach Applebee’s as she did the hypocritical pastor. But it may not be a completely lost learning opportunity once her lawyer gets to work on the case. In the meantime, “netizens” can continue to put social media pressure Applebee’s to correct their wrongful action before it becomes a full blown PR disaster.