*A server from the popular Outback restaurant chain was terminated after she posted her frustration of not being tipped for an over-the-phone order totaling a hefty $735 placed by Christ Fellowship church on Facebook.
Tamlynn Yoder, 25, of Lake Park, said Christ Fellowship ordered 25 steaks, 25 chickens and 25 potatoes on Wednesday morning at the restaurant on Military Trail near Northlake Boulevard.
Yoder, who said she spent so much time on this order that she only made $18 in tips for the entire day defended her actions saying, “We take the order over the phone, we put the order together, take payment and then take order to the car. It’s a lot of work, just as much as serving.”
Yoder said someone from Christ Fellowship came to pick up the order and when she put the food in the car, she received no tip.
“Tips is how we make our money, we still make a low wage as servers,” Yoder said.
According to the server, a male friend of hers saw the post on social media and asked her to delete it. He said that he would contact the church, and that they would make amends. But Yoder, who said she never mentioned the name of the restaurant, said when she went to work the next day, she was met with termination.
Christ Fellowship got a full refund of $735.
Cathie Koch, a spokeswoman for Outback Steakhouse, told The Palm Beach Post that, per company policy, employees cannot post about customers on social media and can be subject to termination if the policy is violated. Koch declined to “go into specifics” about the incident.
Christ Fellowship expressed their apologies about the incident on their Facebook page, but personally, I have a problem with their reasoning.
In a statement, Christ Fellowship said the call they made to the restaurant 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,” David Lonsberry, an executive director of business for Christ Fellowship said.
And truly, all of that sounds well and good. This next part is where I have a problem.
“That night, we had a volunteer go to the restaurant and pick up the order since we were having a big conference. He probably didn’t know to tip since it was a rush of the moment thing,” said Lonsberry.
“We love our volunteers, and the one chosen to assist with this pick-up errand was not aware of our gratuity tipping practices,” the statement read. “At no time, did any Christ Fellowship staff dine-in the restaurant that evening as we were hosting a major event at the time.”
It appears the church through a volunteer under the bus. Was the volunteer supposed to have this money to tip? Business practices? Why weren’t they shared with the person picking up the order? Was the bill already paid, and the volunteer was just picking the order up. If so, why wasn’t the tip already included?
While Christ Fellowship claims they are attempting to contact Yoder, she doesn’t appear to be holding her breath.
“One day I would like to own my own restaurant. I love this business,” Yoder says as she puts in applications for a position at another restaurant.