Waitress sacked for $940 bill rant
A STINGY Florida mega-church has been bombarded with hate messages after an Outback Steakhouse waitress lost her job for complaining about the lack of a tip on a $US735 ($940) takeaway order.
Tamlynn Yoder was sacked by the Palm Beach Gardens restaurant on Thursday after posting about the incident on Facebook. The 25-year-old had prepared an order of 25 steaks, 25 chickens and 25 potatoes for Christ Fellowship Church, which was holding a conference.
The waitress told the paper when she delivered the food to the car for the person sent to collect the order, she received no tip. Because she spent most of her shift working on the order, she only made $US18 in tips that day.
"Tips is how we make our money, we still make a low wage as servers," she said. "Coming in to eat or takeout, you should automatically be wanting to tip 15 per cent. From there, you either go up or go down based on service."
A male friend read her Facebook post and called the church to complain, which told him the person collecting the order didn't know to leave a tip and that it would make things right. Ms Yoder said when she arrived for her shift the next day, she was told the church had received a full refund of its $US735 - and she was sacked.
Outback Steakhouse said it had a strict policy forbidding workers from posting about customers on social media.
"I feel that we should be allowed to say something, especially to big parties that don't leave anything, that pay the exact amount," Ms Yoder told local TV station WSVN-TV. "I still feel the same way, and I'd probably still do it the same way today. I wouldn't change anything."
The Christ Fellowship Church said its intention was not to get Ms Yoder sacked and that its intention "was to find a way to get a tip to the employee and did not desire in any way for punitive action to be taken".
"We did not call the restaurant to have her fired, we wanted to get the situation resolved," church official David Lonsberry told the Palm Beach Post. He said the person sent to collect the order was a "volunteer" who "probably didn't know to tip since it was a rush of the moment thing".
In a statement on its Facebook page, the church said it was "sorry to hear about this situation and our leaders have been notified about it".
"We value our local business partners and those who work in their establishments - many of whom are members of our church - and it is customary for us to leave a generous tip whenever we pick up a carry-out order," it said.
"We love our volunteers, and the one chosen to assist with this pick-up errand was not aware of our gratuity tipping practices ... [Our leaders] will be looking into what happened in this instance. We are reaching out directly to the people affected."
The church's Facebook page has been plastered with abusive messages in response to the controversy. "You guys are pure evil!" wrote Joseph Moro.
"You stiff a waitress on a tip, call and complain and get the $US735 order for free and have her fired! You're not a church, you're a business who preys and profits on the faith of others. You're not Christians because you have no idea what it is to be a Christian. In the end you will be judged."
Alyssa Rieden wrote, "I know a girl who really needs your prayers right now. She just lost her job and doesn't know how she'll pay rent or survive. Please pray for her."