Should what happens at Applebee's stay at Applebee's?


  1. pastafarian

    pastafarian Pâtes avec votre foie Moderator

    My take? The waitress should be fired for posting the check online. Regardless of what a customer does, it should stay in the place of business unless it's fraud, in which case contact the police. The pastor OTH deserves all the angst she receives, she's a truly ugly individual. This also highlights the broken food service payment system in the US. The servers are now dependent on tips as part of their salary because the restaurant industry was successful in lobbying to reduce their minimum wage below all other industries. This has led to increased tipping by customers, mandatory tipping in some cases and confusion by tourists in the US and US tourist dining outside the US. A tip USED to be a small amount left for outstanding service received. Now it's a mandatory payment that causes many headaches for all involved. It just keeps getting worse as many restaurants sneak in a mandatory tip in the check in hope that it will be missed by the guest, who will then tip the now customary 18% on top of it. Including the tip in the check opens up a whole other can of worms as it's all to common to find out that those tips are kept by management and never dispersed to the server or team it was intended. What a broken system!

    That this all happened at an Applebee's, a restaurant I wouldn't recommend to even my worse enemy is another issue. Greasy reheated trash, the signature riblets are one of the worst dishes I've ever been served in a restaurant. The only good thing I can say about Applebee's is that it's better than Friendly's.

    Avoid the chain's, dine local!
  2. AntimonyER

    AntimonyER AF Addict VIP Member

    I'll be honest, this story is just a fail all around. No one comes out of this looking good.
  3. pastafarian

    pastafarian Pâtes avec votre foie Moderator

  4. AntimonyER

    AntimonyER AF Addict VIP Member

    Haha I noticed that too, hazard of changing your avatar within a day of answering a question about it I suppose ;)
    pastafarian likes this.
  5. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Well-Known Member

    There was another receipt posted where one of the wait staff referred to a table of rather plump ladies as fat.
    Customers Called ‘Fat Girls’ on Restaurant Bill - ABC News

    That is nasty and the server/staff member was fired.

    Then you have this one:
    Whine & Dine, Extra edition: Laurenzo's waiter refuses service -- for a good reason | Houston Restaurants | 29-95.com

    I don't think that except for not blacking out enough, the 10% was such a big deal.
    There are people that do tithe more than 10% - And bringing religion into it was stupid. She could have refused to tip with no comment.
  6. unnamedny

    unnamedny Well-Known Member


    I did not know that truth could be offensive :). The one with fat chicks is funny. I just don't get it. If you have party of black guys, party of tall guys, skinny girls, etc. It would not be offensive, but for some reason it is, but in this case it was used as a distinguish attribute and nothing else.

    In second scenario, they should even filed a police report for discrimination.
  7. ParishL31

    ParishL31 Well-Known Member

    I just saw the image of the receipt on the second link. Made me giggle that she actually used her Pastor title in her signature like she's better than normal people.

    I totally agree with the whole tipping issue as that's pretty much how I tip too, I was just more upset that this lady was rude enough to leave a condescending insult in addition. Leaving rude insulting messages is not necessary at all and is just childish and mean. If you have that big of a problem with the server confront them in person and get the manager involved.
  8. Gmash

    Gmash Well-Known Member

    Why is it that those who deem themselves the most "Godly" among us seem so often to be the most tone deaf to what Jesus was actually about? I'm not religious _at all_, but I'm sure stiffing a poor waitress in the name of God wasn't what he had in mind.

    And demanding the staff be fired? What happened to forgiveness? the "pastor" must have been absent from Sunday school that day, I guess.
    davoid and Speed Daemon like this.
  9. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    Then you're doing your part.

    Most experts advise giving a lower tip, and maybe even explaining why the tip is low. If you don't tip at all, they may think that you just forgot.

    There's nothing wrong with tipping in line with the level of service. But sometimes I see people withhold tips because of the food quality, decor and other things that the server has no power over. In those cases it isn't fair to punish the server.

    Because large groups use up a lot of wait staff, and are most likely to "forget" to tip. It's there because too many people have stiffer their wait staff in the past. Maybe it's not the best solution, but let's not forget that something caused it.

    Docking the salary of a person who can make anywhere from a couple bucks an hour to nothing at all isn't much of a punishment.

    The art of tipping has worked well enough for a very long time. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
  10. mikedt

    mikedt 你好 Guide

    I've never been in a restaurant that has mandatory service charges added to the final bill. I think this is something that should be at the customer's discretion, whether they want to pay any gratuities or not. If I ever come across such a thing, I'd seriously think twice about eating in that establishment.

    Normally in China you don't pay tips anyway, and nor are they expected. BTW it's often the reason why many Americans(of if they think you're American) tend to get charged higher prices here, or just ripped off. Probably because Chinese seem to think Americans like to give money away(generous tips) and therefore they must be rich.
  11. breadnatty08

    breadnatty08 pain rustique VIP Member

    My philosophy is if service is THAT bad, instead of no tip or a super low one, ask to speak to a manager and explain why it was. Not only will (well hopefully) the staffmember get retrained or reprimanded, you may actually get something comp'd on your bill. :)
  12. pastafarian

    pastafarian Pâtes avec votre foie Moderator

    I hear ya! The mandatory gratuity started in some restaurants for large groups (10+). I've seen the group size lower to in some cases parties greater than 4 (!!). Often the notification of the charge is snuck in as small print somewhere on the menu or check in the hope you won't see it and tip ion top of it. On cruise ships, the gratuity is now built in to almost everything. Even though it's listed as "gratuity", it no longer is ( it's a backhanded price increase) and you're still expected to tip on top of that. I don't. I'm usually a good tipper and will exceed 18% for good service, much more if exceptional. If there's a mandatory gratuity? That's it! No matter how good the service, I will not exceed the mandatory amount and I will explain that to the server and management. I also will explain that having a mandatory gratuity policy will negatively effect my decision to return.
    mikedt likes this.
  13. mikedt

    mikedt 你好 Guide

    Most of the restaurants I use around here, are often family run and staffed by family members. The exception is usually the franchised places, but tips are not expected and nor are they mandatory. When I was in the UK, I would sometimes tip. I never came across mandatory service charges there.

    BTW I will often tip the taxi drivers around where I'm living, because most of them know me and the standard metered fare is ridiculously low. Even a 50% tip is hardly anything.
  14. jhawkkw

    jhawkkw Chinchillin' Moderator

    There's 3 things in play with the whole tipping issue.

    The first thing is that customers feel that tipping is their right, and there has been many cases of backlash found on the internet about mandatory gratuity. Personally, I hate the idea of it being mandatory because it gives little incentive for the staff to actually do a good job. If service is bad, you can complain; however there's no guarantee that you bill will be adjusted and you're the one who gets stiffed. Sure, you could choose not to come back, but they already got your money.

    The second thing is that tips have become semi-mandatory because restaurants pay below state minimum wage. I don't know how they pulled this one off and how state legislatures or the department of labor hasn't stepped in and put an end to this practice. There's a reason why it's called minimum wage. I do wonder if no one tipped, would the restaurants be required to give them money to make it back up to minimum wage or else be found in violation of the law?

    The third thing in play is that restaurants don't have to pay less than minimum wage, but do so in order to keep food prices low. So would customers be willing to pay more for the food if they didn't feel obligated to leave a tip?

    Just things to think of.
    davoid likes this.
  15. davoid

    davoid Well-Known Member

    Exactly. If restaurants were forced to pay a reasonable wage, then tipping would be as it should be - a reward for good service. The price of food would be more expensive but then you wouldn't be expected to tip - only if you felt you wanted to because the waiting staff made your meal a more pleasant experience. You would be essentially paying the same for your meal as you are now with mandatory gratuity (which sounds like an oxymoron to me) but you would not be deceived into thinking that the cost of paying wages and preparing your food is as cheap as the present system suggests.

    This way, service staff would have better morale from the get-go because they wouldn't be receiving their lowly miserable wages that no doubt has a negative psychological effect on their self-worth, and they would be in a better position to make the diners feel welcome and happy because they would be happier in themselves. Then tipping would be an incentive to even greater quality of service.

    This is an all round better proposition for everyone.
  16. breadnatty08

    breadnatty08 pain rustique VIP Member

    Jhawk, don't know if we're the exception or not, but if our delivery drivers (who are paid just slightly below min. wage, ~$6/hr I think) don't make at least min wage, we pay the difference. Granted, this has never happened and they make a ton with tips, but it's how we operate.
    One other thing to keep in mind, is in the world of Yelp, if you have bad service, folks will find out and you're business will fail.
    ocnbrze likes this.
  17. jhawkkw

    jhawkkw Chinchillin' Moderator

    I'm not sure what the general rule is, but it seems you delivery drivers make more than a lot do. I know my cousin only made $3.50 per hour when state min is 7.25(and might go up). One thing some place do is institute a delivery charge, which is not part of the tip.
  18. breadnatty08

    breadnatty08 pain rustique VIP Member

    Yep, we have a $3 delivery charge which a TON of people scoff at. Hey, well then order from Domino's or Pizza Hut. Wait, they charge too! :rolleyes:
    We also give them a milege incentive too I believe. Trust me, these guys ain't hurtin. :)

    One other thing. We do a considerable amount of catering. Sometimes, the totals can be well over $1k. Often those idiots tip like $10 which is atrocious. I really feel bad for the drivers then.
    ocnbrze likes this.
  19. jhawkkw

    jhawkkw Chinchillin' Moderator

    Yeah, I remember my roommate had a big argument with a pizza hut delivery charge when I was in college. That was "interesting" to listen to. :rolleyes:
  20. sntaylor

    sntaylor Well-Known Member Contributor

    Excuse me for my ignorance, but what is the point of having a minimum wage if it is not adhered too?

    I agree completely with davoid, everyone should be paid that minimum amount while tipping should then be an optional extra depending on how good the service is!

    I do leave a tip, usually around 10% which I believe is customary over here, but then the people serving us are paid a minimum wage!
  21. breadnatty08

    breadnatty08 pain rustique VIP Member

  22. pbf98

    pbf98 Well-Known Member Contributor

    I'm not a server, but was told by a friend who had been a waitress for years, that if a server does not get an 8% tip, they are losing out from their check.. she explained to me why but that was a year or so ago.

    but I do not think gratuity should be 18% .. I like to tip based on how the service was.. from my understanding isn't that why tips started? To encourage servers to do a good job.. If I really like the service I get I'll give the wait person a 20% tip ... but if I am absolutely displeased with the service I will give as little as 0%.

    One example of a time i gave 0%.. My girl and I were seated and got our drinks right away. 2 minutes later our waitress came back to take our order, but we had just barely looked at our menus, so she leaves.. 30 minutes later returns saying "sorry, forgot about you over here" We get our order in, and when it came out she asked us if she could get us anything.. and I asked for ketchup for fries she goes to get it and comes out with a bottle right away, but then gets distracted by another table, and ended up giving the ketchup to that table, then 10 minutes later brought one to us saying sorry again for forgetting. We finished just a few minutes later and wait another 20 minutes just sitting there waiting for our check, when finally a someone who worked there went by and I asked for the check. I signed my name and put 0.00 in the tip section and on the back of the receipt wrote "sorry i forgot the tip".

    There has only been 3 times where I felt the service didn't deserve a tip and that is the worst of the 3.

    But after working in a place where the customer is always right I quickly learned how often the customer is always wrong. And I think places need to stop encouraging people to get free things at the expense of the business. I worked in a grocery store for 5 years and though the motto was the customer is always right I stood by my belief that the customer could be wrong.

    I never get confrontational at places, especially somewhere they serve food. Now I'm not sure if it's because I saw the movie "Waiting" or just my respect for people that are trying their best to work a lower income job.

    Do I think the waitress should have taken it upon herself to post the picture online, no. But do I think she should have been fired, no.. I do believe it was a little bit of a selfish act with what the pastor did. But who knows how the service was, nothing was said about the service.
  23. breadnatty08

    breadnatty08 pain rustique VIP Member

    Hehe, regarding Waiting. You don't want to hear how customers are talked about once they're out of sight. ;)
  24. pbf98

    pbf98 Well-Known Member Contributor

    I'm sure its similar to the way my coworkers and I talked about customers when they left when I worked at the grocery store haha

    I thought that movie reference was fit for this topic haha even has something to do with a bad tip in it!
  25. lightsleeper23

    lightsleeper23 Well-Known Member

    She should definitely have blacked out everything except what the pastor wrote. At the least. I guess she broke a pretty serious rule, but I still feel bad for her. Its people like that pastor that give religious people a bad name. As an atheist, I don't have any issue at all with a person who believes, so long as they don't act like this lady.

    As for tipping in general, I believe servers should be paid at least minimum wage. Because they shouldn't be so dependent on tips. Makes them bitter when they don't get what they think they deserve. And the very thought of restaurant staff doing ANYTHING to food that they serve is horrendous. I hated the movie Waiting because of the fact I know there are people that actually do that, and it disgusts me. I don't care how bad a customer is, be professional. Talk about them later, fine they deserve that. But tampering with food is atrocious.

    Side note about pizza delivery: I absolutely tip in a restaurant, but it became a pet peeve of mine when dominos and pizza hut started charging for delivery. I have had friends and family that delivered for both, and I know they make a standard wage, not a servers wage. So I saw my $3 or so tip (depending on size of order, which is usually small) as a nice bonus. After the delivery charge, I no longer tip them. May be a little silly yeah. But they do make a standard wage, and a delivery charge is already collected. Besides, while they are delivering an order, they're not really serving like a waiter is. They're not coming back and forth to me, refilling my drinks, making sure the food is good and I have plenty of condiments and napkins and whatnot. I mean come on.
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