ST. LOUIS — A local pastor who neglected to leave a tip after dining at a St. Louis Applebee’s restaurant has become an overnight sensation after a disgruntled Applebee’s employee took a picture of the receipt and posted it online.
The pastor scrolled: “I give God 10 per cent. Why do you get 18?” on a receipt that included an 18 per cent gratuity charge. Applebee’s discovered the image and fired the waitress, Chelsea Welch, after the image went viral on Reddit. According to the chain, Welch violated the company’s social-media policy, which prohibits employees from publicizing internal happenings. The chain took to its Facebook page to explain: “That is a clear violation of our guest’s privacy and against the franchisee’s company policy that the team member was provided when hired. We simply cannot accept behaviour that compromises the safety and privacy our guests have every right to expect and deserve.”
Meanwhile, Alois Bell responded to the backlash in an interview with The Smoking Gun, a website that publishes public documents. Bell said her lapse in judgment was blown out of proportion, adding, “I’ve brought embarrassment to my church and ministry.”
Supporters of the axed employee have started a “Hire-Back-Chelsea” Facebook page, which has garnered more than 14,000 likes.