applebee's waitress boycott

‘God’ Receipt Waitress Fired, Applebee’s Responds!

The Applebee’s ‘God’ receipt waitress scandal — which we at The Inquisitr have been following quite closely — has mostly involved the side of the story of Chelsea, the server fired after patron Alois Bell complained when the slip on which she’d stiffed a co-worker of Chelsea’s became a Reddit sensation. (To recap, Bell crossed out the mandatory gratuity added for large parties, writing in “I give God 10%, why do you get 18?”)

Although the “God” receipt waitress story has gone viral, most information has come via the now-fired server and most of the chatter has been in the media or on social sites. Last night, Applebee’s tweeted:

“We’re listening to every tweet. We promise.”

While the post indicated the chain was well aware of the uproar over the “God” receipt waitress’ being fired, it also did not address the situation one way or another.

Now Applebee’s has responded to the drama as well as calls for a boycott on Twitter and by users besieging their Facebook page. The chain sent a tweet, embedded below, and linked to a lengthy statement on the entire issue on their Facebook page.

Already, the post on the “God” waitress being fired has drawn nearly 4,000 comments itself. (Most seem to indicate the anger sparked by the termination of Chelsea has not abated.)

In the post, Applebee’s tells the “God” waitress story from their perspective, beginning:

“We appreciate the chance to explain our franchisee’s action in this unfortunate situation … Please let us assure you that Applebee’s and every one of our franchisees values our hard working team members and the amazing job they do serving our guests. We recognize the extraordinary effort required and the tremendous contribution they make, and appreciate your recognition and support of our colleagues.”

The chain then explains why the “God” receipt waitress was fired, saying:

“At the same time, as we know you will agree, the guests who visit Applebee’s — people like you — expect and deserve to be treated with professionalism and care in everything we do. That is a universal standard in the hospitality business. That includes respecting and protecting the privacy of every guest, which is why our franchisees who own and operate Applebee’s have strict policies to protect personal information — even guest’s names.”

Applebee’s lists off an account of events as they’ve happened in the past few days:

“With that in mind, here is what happened in St. Louis:
– A guest questioned the tip automatically attached to her large party’s bill by writing: “I give God 10%. Why do you get 18?” on the check.
– A different server, who did not even wait on the group, photographed the receipt, posted the photo online and commented about the incident.
– The guest subsequently heard from friends who identified her from the posting, where her name is clearly visible, and the restaurant was notified. There was no further communication with the guest.”

Here’s what happened next, Applebee’s claims:

“- The team member was asked about posting the receipt and admitted she was responsible.
– When she was hired, the team member was provided the franchisee’s employee hand book which includes their social media policy and states:
‘Employees must honor the privacy rights of APPLEBEE’s and its employees by seeking permission before writing about or displaying internal APPLEBEE’S happenings that might be considered to be a breach of privacy and confidentiality. This shall include, but not be limited to, posting of photographs, video, or audio of APPLEBEE’S employees or its customers, suppliers, agents or competitors, without first obtaining written approval from the Vice President of Operations.’ The policy goes on to specify: ‘Employees who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.’
– As a result of her admission to violating a clear company policy intended to safeguard guests, the team member is no longer employed by the franchisee.”

Of the “God” receipt waitress being fired, Applebee’s concludes:

“Our franchisees are committed to acting in the best interests of guests and team members. This is a regrettable situation and we wish it had never happened. However, the disregard for an important policy left the franchisee no choice but to take the action they did.

“We hope this provides you with some additional insight. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to explain the facts involved.”

It appears Applebee’s has committed to stand behind their decision regardless of public sentiment. The tweet sent reads:

And below, one of the top replies adds:

This is what Applebee’s had to say in response to Dave and ostensibly any former customer who feels they can no longer patronize the chain after their treatment of the “God” receipt waitress:

In response to another lost customer, the chain says:

Do you think the “God” waitress scandal will impact Applebee’s in the long term?