She should have left her pen in her pastoral purse.
Instead, Alois Bell, a learned St. Louis Pastor, added this to her Applebee’s restaurant check:
That showed some class, huh?
I Was In The Restaurant Business
First off, that pastor never should have never penned that insult to her server. As a former server, (who made $2.01 an hour + tips) I can tell you that if I had received a note like that, it would have messed me up for at least that day. It’s really insulting.
Now, I worked in the restaurant business pre-social-media. (If I told you that cell phones at the time weighed 3 pounds or more, you could probably guess when I was in the business.)
Regardless, I would have shown the note to my manager, and he or she would have had a little chat with Ms. Bell. (Maybe)
It’s a bit tricky, though. I probably would have said something to the lady if I was the manger at the time-not the server. That’s because I know that servers rely on tips…not their hourly wage. I would have asked this customer what the problem was, and I probably would have explained our tipping policy. (At Applebee’s for example, an 18% tip is added to parties of 8 or more-automatically.) So, if that was the case, unless the customer felt that the service was lousy, I would have gently stood by my server. But, I would have had to put the customer first, in my conversation.
Applebee’s Restaurant Social Media Fail
I read a great post that my friend, Laura Petrolino shared with me.
It was written by R.L. Stollar, who’s is an investigative writer at the Eugene Daily News.
He wrote the following:
“Applebee’s fired the waitress in question, named Chelsea Welch. This created a fury of rage on the Internet, with social media users taking to their weapons of choice and lambasting away, thousands at a time, against the restaurant’s decisions. Numerous ‘Boycott Applebee’s’ groups sprung up on Facebook, along with ‘Rehire Chelsea Welch’ and other similar groups. Applebee’s website has a “’What’s the Buzz’ widget, that shows what people are saying on Twitter about the company. It’s been non-stop attacks, all publicly displayed on Applebee’s own page.”
In his post, Stollar goes through the Applebee’s social media timeline, which strangely enough seemed to have most of it’s activity 3:00 AM.
That’s not how to do social media, people.
Here’s another good post-this time on social media policies for franchisees, from my good friend, Paul Segreto.
It’s Not About The Pastor
The Pastor has apologized. Big whoop. If you were a server, would you want to serve her at a restaurant?
I actually hope that she get’s refused service by servers who recognize her.
I’d actually like to help make that happen…here’s Pastor Bell’s picture.
(Picture courtesy of Gawker.com)
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Do you think I’m being a jerk?
You wouldn’t, if your current or previous career included being a server.
I know that I would refuse to serve her.
This entire debacle-the stupid, classless note, and Applebee’s social media #fail is really about the server who was fired.
It’s actually about every server who gets paid a shit wage, and has to rely on the whims of customers for his or her income.
Lots of customers are cheap…they leave a 10% tip, and think that it’s okay. Some customers actually don’t even know what the customary tip is for a waiter or waitress. (It’s 15% of the amount of the check, before taxes.)
I almost always leave a 20% tip. Sometimes even more. And if I ever do leave a 10% tip, it would be for disastrous service. ( I have left 10% tips)
No Tip From This NBA Player
One more thing: I still know a lot of people in the restaurant business. One of my friends shared this with me, and it wasn’t the first time I had heard of it.
“When (insert the name of an ex-Cleveland basketball player who’s 6″8 and rich-beyond belief) comes in to our restaurant, he never leaves a tip. Instead, he signs the tablecloth.”
When I was in the business, I took care of several celebrities and corporate big-wigs. Here’s how they tipped:
Don Rickles- 20%
Art Modell- 20%
Frank Sinatra Jr.- 20%
Telly Savalas- Generous
Joseph Gorman (TRW) – 20%
Charles Bolton– 20%+
JP Maloney, (Cole National) – 20%
Jerry P. (Bodyguard for a union president) – 20%
There are a few more, but you get the point.
Leave a good tip. You’ll be remembered-and you’ll be taken care of very, very, well.
Are you a server? Tell me, what would you have done? Would you like to share some tipping stories?
The comment section below would be the perfect place to do it.
*Image courtesy of Applebee’s Woodbury Common by goodiesfirst, on Flickr