An Applebee’s server by the name of Chelsea Welch posted what she deemed as an “insulting and comical” receipt to Reddit in which customer Pastor Alois Bell wrote:
“I give God 10% why do you get 18”
Bell had scratched out the automatic gratuity that was charged because the party was over 6 (5 adults and 5 children) and penned in “zero” beneath her snide remark. The image of the receipt went viral, as they say, and when Bell found out about it and the fact that her name was clearly legible on the image, she dialed up the restaurant demanding that whoever posted it be fired. She got her wish.
Chelsea, who wasn’t Bell’s server – just a co-worker, got goaded to identify the correct Alois Bell as Reddit users went on an internet hunt but she refused, later attempting to repost the receipt image sans the signature. By that time, it was too late. Chelsea spoke with The Consumerist and had the following to say about being fired:
“I had been well-liked and respected. My sales were high, my managers had no problems with me, and I was even hoping to move up to management sometime this year. 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. But because this person got embarrassed that their selfishness was made public, Applebee’s has made it clear that they would rather lose a dedicated employee than lose an angry customer. That’s a policy I can’t understand.”
“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. I am expected to portray a canned personality that has been found to be least offensive to the greatest amount of people. 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.”
Applebee’s spokesperson Dan Smith (great generic spokesperson name) acknowledged that they had canned Chelsea:
“Our franchisee has apologized to the ‘Guest’ for violating the patron’s ‘right to privacy.’ The individual responsible for the leak is no longer employed by the franchise.”
Bell, 37, spoke with The Smoking Gun and stated, “My heart is really broken, I’ve brought embarrassment to my church and ministry.” Bell heads a 15-member-church called Truth in the Word Deliverance Ministries. She is a mother of 3 who, “gave her life to Christ in 1997 while she was pregnant and homeless with her youngest son.”
Here’s a video of Alois Bell preaching – looks like the clip has been taken down – so here’s an interview via a local FOX affiliate with Bell:
Bell claims that she left a $6 tip on the table and later discovered that her credit card was charged the 18%. She also states that the overall bill was divided up among several parties.
Alois Bell images: YouTube