After receiving thousands of twitter messages and e-mails objecting to the firing of one of their waitresses over a receipt that was posted on line by a waitress that did not actually wait on the customer themselves, Applebee’s President refuses to back down in a message tweeted on Feb. 1, 2013.
The mess all began when a Pastor from the World Deliverance Ministries Church objected to the 18 percent gratuity added to the $34.93 check, the gratuity was automatically added because it was a large party and normal company policy. The tip would have been $6.29.
See the slideshow for pictures of everyone involved.
Pastor Alois Bell crossed out the tip and stiffed the waitress, writing on the check that “I give God 10 percent, why should I give you 18 percent.” Another waitress, other than the one who waited on the cheap Pastor took a picture of the receipt and posted it online. The embarrassed Bell called the restaurant manager to complain after she found out her name was visible and the world found out what a heathen she really was. As a result the waitress in question, Chelsea Welch was fired which caused a feeding frenzy on social media.
Applebee’s President Mike Archer refuses to back down, and tweeted “I appreciate the chance to explain our franchisee’s action in this unfortunate situation.”
“Please let me 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.”
“At the same time, as I 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.”
“Employees must honor the privacy rights of Applebee's’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."
After his initial statement, Archer is taking a beating. No one is accepting his stance and demanding that Welch be reinstated and have already launched a “Boycott Applebee’s” page on Facebook. After the first statement did not satisfy those who smell blood in the water, Archer made one more attempt, which sounds more like a plea to make it all go away. Archer stated, "Please note that we are also not excusing the Guest's behavior in this matter and the unacceptable comment she wrote on the receipt, which is offensive to us and all our hard working team members. To be clear, the 18% gratuity added to large party tickets was paid by the Guest’s party. This is a regrettable situation, and we wish it had never happened. We hope this provides you with some additional insight. Thanks again for the chance to explain."
Archer would be wise to find a quick solution to this problem, sticking to your gun’s when the public does not agree with you will cost you in the long run, if you don’t believe me, ask the CEO of Spirit Airlines, who refused a dying veteran a refund.