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Waitress Who Posted Pastor's Tip-less Receipt Fired

Yesterday, we brought you the story of a St. Louis-area man claiming to be a pastor who—following an unsuccessful attempt to dodge paying a restaurant's auto-gratuity policy—chose to leave no tip whatsoever, writing in the margin of the receipt, "I give God 10%, why should you get 18?" Today comes word that the waitress who posted a picture of the receipt to Reddit was fired from Applebee's for the deed. “I originally posted the note as a lighthearted joke,” Chelsea, the waitress, told The Consumerist. “I thought the note was insulting, but it was also comical. I posted it to Reddit because I thought other users would find it entertaining.” The picture went viral, and along with it, the pastor's signature (although nobody seems to be able to read the signature—the identity of the pastor remains a mystery). Nevertheless, according to Chelsea, the alleged pastor got wind of it and promptly called the Applebee's, lovingly demanding that everyone in the entire place be fired. That didn't happen, but Chelsea did lose her job. “I was just trying to make a joke," she said. "But I came home today unemployed” ...

UPDATE: The Smoking Gun is reporting that the pastor, Alois Bell, has apologized for a "lapse in [his] character and judgment,” saying, “My heart is really broken, I’ve brought embarrassment to my church and ministry.” Thanks for the tip.


Glenn Andrew Peoples


Glenn Andrew Peoples commented…

"Yesterday, we brought you the story of a St. Louis-area man" - You may want to edit that. This person is a woman.

Paul Chin


Paul Chin commented…

As a Christian who's worked in an environment heavily reliant on tips before, this breaks my heart. Firstly that God could be (poorly, I might add) used to justify a failure to "render unto Caesar what is his", then furthermore this apparently insincere apology amidst demanding the termination of Miss Welch. It sounds to me like Pastor Bell is more sorry she got caught, than apologetic for the action itself.

Kyle Dickerson


Kyle Dickerson commented…

As a minister, I've done some boneheaded stuff. Christians are known for being cheap....we shouldn't be. The fact that he did something wrong and stupid followed by more wrongness and stupidity THEN followed with an apology reveals some ugly character but he is human. Make it right, don't be cheap or preachy with a tip.

Corey James Brooks


Corey James Brooks commented…

Seriously? She shouldn't have lost her job.

J Conley


J Conley commented…

First of all, the pastor was wrong for writing that self-righteous note on the receipt. Invoking God in addition to her ignorance to the restaurant's policy and/or her stinginess makes it worse, and reflects horribly on believers in an already hostile environment.

However, I believe the waitress was rightfully fired for posting the receipt online. When she made the decision to put something like that on the internet, it created public backlash against both the consumer *and* the business. Right or wrong, putting someone's name and info on the internet is highly unprofessional.

Yet, despite all of this, I am humbled. After reading the original article, I admittedly developed a little sympathy for the pastor: her church was small, she was a mother of three, etc. Although her actions created a huge backlash, she's a real person, like the waitress.

Earlier this week, I vented ferociously at another driver who honked at me. No one Youtubed me, thank God. But what about the other drivers who witnessed it? What negative effect did my outburst have on them?

I'm humbled because while it's easy to judge people on the internet, under wildly different circumstances I, or any other believer, could have easily been the object of derision on Reddit.

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