Applebee's uses Facebook in response to firing of waitress, creates PR nightmare
On February 3, 2013 At 11:14 am
Responses : 4 Comments
The God Discussion reported on 31 January 2013 about a waitress named Chelsea, who was fired from her job after she posted an image of a receipt she got from a table that was left by a guest who happened to be a Pastor. The image is in the header picture for this article.
The note the Pastor left said, 'I give God 10% Why do you get 18,' and was accompanied by a zero in the tip portion of the receipt. Chelsea posted the image to Reddit as a lighthearted joke, stating,
“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.”
As most restaurants do, Applebee's adds an automatic gratuity for parties that have over a certain number of guests. This number varies by restaurants, but is commonly eight or more patrons. According to the reciept, the Pastor scratched out the $6.29 gratuity and wrote the zero as referred to earlier, along with the note.
According to a story written journalist, R.L. Stoller, 'Pastor gets waitress fired' was only the beginning. What ensued was a bizarre series of replies and actions by what appears to be the official Applebee's Facebook account, and as Stoller points out, is like a 'slow-motion train wreck from which you cannot tear away your eyes.' Stoller unfolds how 'Chapter Two' is where Applebee’s 'apparently wants to commit suicide in front of our digital eyes.'
What followed was a cacophony of commentary from Applebee's, which resulted in tens and tens of thousands of comments from consumers and supporters of Chelsea. Applebee's behavior throughout this debacle can only be described as 'perplexing,' at best.
Navigate over to R.L.'s story, which is exhaustive (in a good way), and includes screenshots from the Applebee's public Facebook page and other media. Stoller did great job rolling this out for us, and shows exactly what a corporation should not do when faced with a sensitive issue that anyone with a rudimentary understanding of how quickly something like this can blow up.