An Outback Steakhouse server in Florida says she spent practically a whole shift last week preparing a single huge order for a local megachurch, only to be tipped $0 on the $735 bill. When she vented her frustration on Facebook afterwards, she was fired.
According to the Palm Beach Post, 25-year-old Tamlynn Yoder said Christ Fellowship Church placed a big order on the morning of Wednesday, February 7. She says the church ordered 25 steaks, 25 chickens, and 25 orders of potatoes, and the total bill came to $735. The church reportedly sent someone to pick up the food in a car, but after Yoder brought out all the food and put it in the car, she was surprised to receive no tip at all.
In a Facebook post afterwards, Yoder reportedly complained that she’d only made $18 in tips for the whole day, because she’d spent most of the day preparing that big order for the church.
“We take the order over the phone, we put the order together, take payment, and then take the order to the car,” Yoder said to the Palm Beach Post. “It’s a lot of work, just as much as serving.”
While everyone knows that tipping 15 to 20 percent is the standard for sit-down service in the U.S., there isn’t such a set amount that is a general guideline for takeout and delivery.
According to The Daily Meal’s definitive guide to tipping, when it comes to takeout, “If you’re just picking up a sandwich from the local deli, leaving a tip isn’t a necessity, but a buck or two is always appreciated. If you’re picking up a large order, however, you should plan on tipping at least 10-15 percent, because boxing up all that food isn’t easy and takes up valuable time.”
Christ Fellowship said on Facebook that they customarily leave a tip on takeout orders, but that the volunteer who picked up the food did not know that. After a friend of Yoder’s called the church to complain, the church said it contacted the restaurant to try to get a tip to the server, not to get her fired.
When Yoder went to work the next day, however, she says her manager told her that she was fired, and that the church had been given a $735 refund on their whole bill. A spokesperson for Outback told the Post that company policy says employees can’t post about customers on social media, click here to find out 10 other things you didn’t know about Outback Steakhouse.