After the controversy surrounding the Applebee's waitress that was fired after posting a receipt with a message gained a national audience, the national restaurant chain has finally issued a statement.
Chelsea Welch, the waitress that was fired, has drawn national attention after a customer questioned the amount of gratuity that she was to be given. The message on the receipt read, "I give God 10 percent, why do you get 18?"
Applebee's insisted that its actions were justified because it requires a level of professionalism from it staff.
"We recognize ... the tremendous contribution they make … 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," according to a statement published by Applebee's.
"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," the statement added.
The customer, who has been identified as 37-year-old Alois Bell of St. Louis, initially filed the complaint after she recognized her signature on the receipt after it went viral online. Bell revealed that she feels bad for creating the situation.
"My heart is really broken," Bell told The Smoking Gun of her judgment when writing on the receipt. "I've brought embarrassment to my church and ministry."
Welch was fired in part because she violated the company's social media policy which states: "Employees must honor the privacy rights of APPLEBEE's and its employees by seeking permission before writing about or displaying internal APPLEBEE'S happenings that might be considered to be a breach of privacy and confidentiality."
There has also been a large response of various social media outlets, with respondents upset over the way a self-professed pastor handled the situation.
"This alleged pastor and Applebee's should both be ashamed of their actions," one commenter on Yahoo wrote.