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Old 01-31-2013, 05:51 PM   #1
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Applebee’s fires waitress who posted receipt from pastor complaining about auto-tip

Applebee

I can see the company firing her based on company policy, BUTT it would be very hard to NOT post this online though.

And why did the pastor write that on the bill to begin with, that was so dumb to begin with.

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Old 01-31-2013, 08:37 PM   #2
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the right thing to do would be to forgive the parties involved, and restore their previous relationships/employment .

is this really that diffucult?

everyone has a bad day, here and there.
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:44 PM   #3
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I sympathize somewhat with the pastor. I find this whole auto-tip business to be annoying. A tip is a good will gesture on the part of the customer. It's based on receiving good service and shouldn't be automatically applied to the bill. Doing so makes it a "fee", not a tip.

And 18%? Since when? I was always taught that 15% is a proper tip when the service has been good. On some occasions, I've given up to 20% for exemplary service, but those occasions are rare.
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:52 PM   #4
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On a related note, I find this whole auto-tip business to be annoying. A tip is a good will gesture on the part of the customer. It's based on receiving good service and shouldn't be automatically applied to the bill. Doing so makes it a "fee", not a tip.

And 18%? Since when? I was always taught that 15% is a proper tip when the service has been good. On some occasions, I've given up to 20% for exemplary service.
We always do 20% unless something isn't right. My math skills are dreadful, but it's easy to take the total and double it

I think that an automatic tip of at least 10% should be added for tables of 6 or more. 18% might be a bit excessive. Additional tip would then be up to the table. Some folks don't tip at all, and speaking as a former bartender, 6 or more people is a lot of work. Big tables require a lot of coordination, and most servers make minimum wage or less, relying on tips to make a living, pay their rent and bills.

And $35 divided by 8 people? Give me a break. $4.37 each for just the bill without tip. Preacher was way out of line considering all the work the server had to do.
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:25 PM   #5
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The pastor could have done without the comment.. also states on the menu if you have a party of 8 or more 18% will be added.. talk to a manager if you dont like it..
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:34 PM   #6
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I usually go for between 15% and 20% on the tip depending on the service. However, sometimes I wish we could do away with tipping all together. It's always bugged me too that we base it on the amount of the bill. Compare the corner diner with the 5 star restaurant. The servers at each place work hard and I bet the diner server does more than the 5 star wait staff yet the 5 star staff will receive a larger tip just based on the cost of the meal.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:26 PM   #7
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I agree that the amount wasn't that much and it could've been handled better by both parties, but what I have a problem with is Applebees automatically adding a large "gratuity" to the bill. As a customer, that would anger me a little, too.

If you're adding something to the bill, then call it what it is: a fee or surcharge. I would have no problem with a 5-10% "large party fee" added to the bill (provided it didn't come as a surprise at the end of the meal).

I also worked as a server in my younger days and certainly appreciated a good tip. But I would rather have earned it myself than to have my place of employment automatically tack it on to the guest check. Where I worked, we always enjoyed the bragging rights that went along with a good tip. It meant we were doing our job.

It should also be noted that the word gratuity comes from the Latin gratuitus, which means "freely given," meaning it's up to the customer and shouldn't be considered mandatory. It's icing on the cake and incentive for the server to go above and beyond. People these days seem to expect to have everything handed to them. What if the service isn't so good and the waitress is rude? That 18% fee is going to be a tough pill to swallow.

Just my couple of cents.
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:12 PM   #8
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For years I've gone out to lunch weekly with a group of 8 to 10 ladies. Lately we've been asking for separate checks and 99% of the time the waitress has no problem with that, as us splitting the check wasn't working out. Once a waitress objected and since there wasn't an automatic tip added to the group check, we reflected our displeasure with the tip amount, and never returned there. I don't see why an automatic tip should be added for a group. It makes no sense to me.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:03 PM   #9
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For years I've gone out to lunch weekly with a group of 8 to 10 ladies. Lately we've been asking for separate checks and 99% of the time the waitress has no problem with that, as us splitting the check wasn't working out. Once a waitress objected and since there wasn't an automatic tip added to the group check, we reflected our displeasure with the tip amount, and never returned there. I don't see why an automatic tip should be added for a group. It makes no sense to me.
The thing with large groups is that the single waitress for one full hour could wind up only with that table for service. That is why a forced tip will occur at least at applebees.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:56 PM   #10
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The thing with large groups is that the single waitress for one full hour could wind up only with that table for service. That is why a forced tip will occur at least at applebees.
If she serves say 10 plates to one table, she's saving herself time and steps opposed to serving several tables. The norm around here is 20% for good to average service so she's lost out at 18% tacked onto the check. I think most people find the automatic "tip" offensive.
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:09 PM   #11
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The pastor is a she. With a 15 member church.

The heart of the matter is the insulting note she wrote.
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:43 PM   #12
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I agree.

Though Applebee's was within its rights to do what they did.

This situation isn't about a mandatory gratuity.
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:57 PM   #13
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If she serves say 10 plates to one table, she's saving herself time and steps opposed to serving several tables. The norm around here is 20% for good to average service so she's lost out at 18% tacked onto the check. I think most people find the automatic "tip" offensive.
nah Large parties monopolize your time. I'll take 5 tables of two over a party of 10 at one table every time. The tips average out very nicely when you have 5 tables because there's always a good tipper that more than makes up for the cheap SOB.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:21 PM   #14
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Party of 8 and the bill came to just $34? What did they have? Just coffee? I would have rounded it off to $40 for taking up the table space.
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:31 PM   #15
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Party of 8 and the bill came to just $34? What did they have? Just coffee? I would have rounded it off to $40 for taking up the table space.
as far as I know the bill was split up...
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:50 PM   #16
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If the restaurant's policy to charge an 18% tip for parties 8+ is printed on the menu, the pastor had (1) the option to select a different restaurant; (2) speak to the manager before ordering. Should the waitress of posted it? Probably not. Did this warrant her getting fired? Not if it wasn't in the employee handbook. Maybe suspended for a week, but fired?
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:45 PM   #17
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Right or wrong, adding an automatic service charge to a large party's bill is fairly common. You are told up front and have an opportunity to object at that time.

The pastor was embarrassed by her actions, not the waitress'. If she hadn't written a smart ass comment, this never happened.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:46 PM   #18
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Right or wrong, adding an automatic service charge to a large party's bill is fairly common. You are told up front and have an opportunity to object at that time.

The pastor was embarrassed by her actions, not the waitress'. If she hadn't written a smart ass comment, this never happened.
I agree. If she was going to be embarrassed by her actions, she shouldn't have written it. It's true that the server shouldn't have posted it, but since the picture doesn't contain any personal info from the card, I think a formal write up should have sufficed.

Also, the check was split, which is why the total is so low.

I wish the 18% gratuity wasn't necessary, but unfortunately there are plenty of people who would happily stiff the server who gave perfectly great service, never mind the fact that she makes minimum wage or less, and pays taxes on 10% of sales, regardless of whether or not it's received. I have basically paid to serve people enough times to be grateful for the gratuity. Whether or not it is printed on the menu, it IS optional. That's why it is still called a gratuity, not a fee. Someone happy with the service would likely be too embarrassed to ask to have it taken off, and if someone is unhappy with the service I'm sure the manager would like to know about it, anyway. If the restaurant picks and chooses what checks to add it to, it is profiling and opening them up to a lawsuit. Adding it to every large party protects the server from being ripped off, and protects the restaurant from being accused of discriminating. If you take a big party, and miss out on other tables, it hurts way more to be stiffed than it would from a 2-6 person table. Just my two cents.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:55 PM   #19
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I agree. If she was going to be embarrassed by her actions, she shouldn't have written it. It's true that the server shouldn't have posted it, but since the picture doesn't contain any personal info from the card, I think a formal write up should have sufficed.

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It had the pastor's signature, which is how this came to light in the first place ...
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:01 PM   #20
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It had the pastor's signature, which is how this came to light in the first place ...
Whoops- you're right. I guess she should have blacked or cropped that out if she insisted on posting it (which as funny as it was, was really dumb).
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