Lessons in tipping
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 23:02
Anyone who has visited a restaurant in the past 10 years should know that tipping twenty percent of the bill is now the norm.
Most restaurants nowadays will place a 15-20% gratuity on larger tables to ensure justified compensation for the server, as tips are a server’s primary source of income.
Instead of leaving the 18% gratuity Pastor Alois Bell was suggested she add to her tab, she wrote on her receipt “I give God 10%. Why do you get 18?” alongside a fervently slashed zero penned below the scratched-out, would-be gratuity.
On Tuesday, January 29, server Chelsea Welch posted Bell’s unflattering credit card receipt on Reddit. The post went viral. Welch decided to edit out the signature she had inadvertently left after the initial posting, but the damage had already been done.
Affronted and enraged, the pastor took action and had the server fired for her vengeful act.
Some may argue that the release of Bell’s signature was an overstepping of boundaries, and that therefore Welch was deserving of her harsh punishment. However, there is no doubt that had the server posted a receipt that displayed Bell in a flattering light, the issue would not exist. This is an example of shame and regret in one’s own behavior that has been expunged at the expense of someone else.
Pastor Bell claims that the incident “brought shame and embarrassment upon [her] church and ministry.” The only shame and embarrassment that has been brought to light is that of Pastor Alois Bell by way of her own behavior.
On behalf of all people who work for tips, let this be a lesson to all you parsimonious patrons: you may be walking out of a restaurant a few dollars richer than you might have been, but the punishment of being a bad tipper is yours long after your server’s shift is over.
Emily Stenquist is a Tower staff writer. Email her at