STL Pastor Stiffs Applebee’s Server: ‘I Give God 10%, Why Do You Get 18’

Restaurant swiftly fires server, and the internet gets up in arms about it all


Internet hell broke out after a server from Applebee’s in St. Louis posted this image of a receipt to reddit’s atheism board with the caption: “My mistake sir, I’m sure Jesus will pay for my rent and groceries.”

Pastor Alois Bell, who had dined at Applebee’s with a large group, wasn’t compelled to comply with the automatic 18% gratuity automatically tacked on to parties of more than eight people. She then proceeded to cross out the tip amount that had been added on, writing in a zero, and wrote in her—ahem—two cents: “I give God 10%, why do you get 18?”

Chelsea Welch, then a server at Applebee’s, posted the picture without thinking to obscure the customer’s name, and once the good pastor found out that her oustandingly rude gesture had gone viral on the internet, she allegedly called the restaurant and asked that Chelsea, and anyone else even remotely involved, be terminated. Citing that the customer’s right to privacy had been compromised, Applebee’s did in fact fire her.

Chelsea tells The Consumerist: [emphasis ours]

“When I posted this, I didn’t represent Applebee’s in a bad light. In fact, I didn’t represent them at all. […] But because this person got embarrassed that their selfishness was made public, Applebee’s has made it clear that they would rather lose a dedicated employee than lose an angry customer. That’s a policy I can’t understand.

[…] We make $3.50 an hour. Most of my paychecks are less than pocket change because I have to pay taxes on the tips I make. After sharing my tips with hosts, bussers, and bartenders, I make less than $9/hr on average, before taxes. I come home exhausted, sore, burnt, dirty, and blistered on a good day. And after all that, I can be fired for ‘embarrassing’ someone who directly insults their server on religious grounds.

Pastor Bell has come forward to The Smoking Gun, calling her actions a “momentary lapse of judgment that has been blown out of proportion.” Going on to explain that it’s all made her heartbroken, she laments: “I’ve brought embarrassment to my church and ministry.”

The other victims in all of this? Applebee’s PR and social media teams, who are taking quite the beating on Facebook and Twitter. They just released the following statement: [emphasis ours]

“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.

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. […] 

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. 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.

I can appreciate that. Lord knows I wouldn’t be caught dead in an Applebee’s, and if I ever did have to wander in there for some ungodly reason, I hope to high hell that nobody would ever find out about it.

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  • H. Hall

    Applebee’s has no problem violating their customs’ privacy by posting comment cards and notes that leave positive statements. If the pastor didn’t want her word spread to the people, she should find a different line of work and stop writing snarky comments to be left to read by others!

  • pyntch

    If the pastor is paying tithing, I demand to see the receipts. I have a feeling “Alois” ain’t tippin’ NOBODY no ten percent…. not even Jesus.

  • k2


    Would JESUS have stiffed the waitstaff?

  • FK.Thegodfather

    Pastor Bell is not generous as you can see, she must be fired. Young Lady you learned a good lesson now that you got fired, you work for a company you must protect your customers privacy.
    Just remember young lady What goes in Applebee’s stays in Applebee’s.

    • thegodfather2

      young man, young man, young man. Get that big stick out your a??

  • scallywag

    Because God always wants to make sure you atone for your sins and audacity….

    Pastor knows best….

  • fixin2reckon

    I am deeply saddened by this whole thing! I would pray that God help this “pastor” examine their heart. Not only being disrespectful to someone, but going out of your way to make sure they know it’s been done under GOD’S NAME??????????? I just want to try to get the point across to people, that when you have a bad experience with a “Christian”….to remember that it is a bad experience with PEOPLE……NOT God! God is about LOVE!

    When I was a waitress, I had a few regular customers that I already KNEW were going to be rude/obnoxious and tip me NOTHING. I still did the very best job I could do and also did it WITH A SMILE. That is what God calls us to do! Our LIVES/ATTITUDES/ACTIONS are the real testimony for Christ. As far as Christians dining out, or anything else customer service/people related..we should always be polite and generous from the heart!…. do we forget WHO WE REPRESENT???????? God gets 10%???? How about GOD GETS 100%!? In everything we do or have?

    May myself and every other Believer meditate on this prayer-
    Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10 NLT)

  • Terri Hidock

    This pastor should be removed from the church. She is lucky to be able to go out to eat..who pays for it but the congregation. This waitress is a child of God just like she is and to do this and judge her was wrong to write that and she should have spoke to managment if she didn’t want to leave that 18%. God should never have been brought into the picture and if she only gives God 10% as a paster, instead of 100%, remove her. As a christian, I am appalled by this comment. There are many people struggling, homeless, losing their jobs, and because of her this waitress just lost her job. That is deplorable and as a pastor, she should have approached this in a different manner. Do unto other as you would have them do unto you…I guess the pastor doesn’t follow God’s word…. She should be removed fromt he church and the waitress rehired immediatley.

  • Xavi

    Sad to say this is not a unique incident. People exactly like this pastor, who are ill-tempered, demanding, and flat out rude to their servers, continually do this everyday in restaurants all over. Funny how a check for 8 people comes out to only $34.93. They probably made the girl wait there for 10 minutes while she took their order of the cheapest things on the menu (unless she had some illegitimate complaint and had things taken off the bill to make it that cheap, which is likely the case) and then went on to sit there for an hour or two, depriving the server of other patrons that might actually sit down at that table, be pleasant, and leave an 18-20% tip.

    Let me guess: she sat down, didn’t make any eye contact with you while you spoke to her (staring only at the menu, annoyed by your very presence), asked for the sweetest drink you have (some sort of flavored tea or neon-colored frozen alcoholic beverage), asked for a mug of hot water to dip her silverware in (because you are dirty), and asked for her steak/burger well done and then asks why it’s taking so long, analyzes the bill for 5 minutes after you drop it off, not only stiffs you but writes a nasty comment on the cc receipt, and then is astonished that someone might actually call her out on her deplorable behavior that is, of course, “a lapse in judgment.” Yea, ok. It’s amazing how predictable people can be.

  • CMH

    It’s taken me a bit to get back to this story trying to sort out thoughts. I’m disgusted. If the posting would have been a generous tip, I’m sure the pastor would be glorified at the attention. The pastor has a congregation, who if all give 10% probably lives quite well. God has nothing to do w/the amount of money one leaves for tips, (to insure professional service). The pastor, out of selfishness, contacted Applebees as her congregation recognized her name and she was embarrassed. So, she tried to safe her reputation and in the meantime, got someone fired. Christianity – selfless, giving…not in this case. She was more worried about herself than the server. If I were the church, she too would be done! She is a disgrace, (the pastor)! Gives me less faith in those that preach. I too have served and know the value of a tip left! I’ve supported my family with minimal hourly salary and was reliant on superior service and tips. Guaranteed they got great service, and regardless, she chose to be cheap! Let’s suggest to the congregation, requirement is 10%, however, give what you feel. Let’s see how long that particular branch lasts! Hang your head in shame – you are pathetic!

  • Julia Burns

    I have worked in this hospitality industry but not as a waitress. I am a tell it like it is Christian. In my life (more than 53 years) I have seen Christians come from church, eat like pigs, let their children run around and make messes and expect the wait staff to be their slaves because they aren’t in church but working! SHAME ON YOUR HYPOCRITICAL PEOPLE…the waitstaff is not your personal maid….They make less than 3.00 an hour in most cases and live off of tips… To Pastor ALOIS BELL…who do you think you are? Your are not representing GOD. You are representing the evilness in your heart not to help thy fellow man in making sure they can meet their needs. SO YOU CHRISTIANS (NOT ALL DO THIS) WHO FEEL A TIP ISN’T NECESSARY! GET UP OFF YOUR DEAD BUTTS AND CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS. From a die hard christian…BETTER TIP NEXT TIME…I may be in that restaurant you are at and if I find out that a person does that we are going to go outside, me in my wheel chair, and have a religious sit to!