The internet is all abuzz with the story of an Applebee’s customer who stiffed her waitress, and left a note on her credit card voucher that read, ” I give God 10 percent. Why do you get 18 [percent]?”

A server at the restaurant, Chelsea Welch, posted a picture of the voucher on Reddit, and was summarily fired. She posted it on the website’s “Atheist” page, and made the mistake of leaving the customer’s signature in the picture.

Internet sleuths, armed only with the customer’s autograph, found the identity of righteous woman. Alois Bell, a pastor at the Truth in the Word Deliverance Ministries church in St. Louis, MO, apologized through the media. She told The Smoking Gun that the episode was a lapse in judgment and was blown out of proportion.


“My heart is really broken,” the 37-year-old Bell told the website. “I’ve brought embarrassment to my church and ministry.”

She also claims to have left a $6 cash tip on the table.

Welch was not Bell’s waitress. She posted the picture because she thought it was funny and would get a reaction.

She told that whether or not Bell left a cash tip is irrelevant. Welch made $3.50 an hour, plus tips, and took offense to the note.

“Whether or not she left a tip, the note was still offensive,” she said. “It wasn’t my table, it wasn’t my tip. I’m not sure who ended up with what money at the end of the night. But you can’t really argue with what’s plainly written, and what was written was insulting. Insulted or not, I’ve lost my job over this mess, and that’s what I’m concerned with now. The six dollars one way or another wouldn’t really affect that situation.”

As of now, Welch is still unemployed.

Having waited tables through college and grad school, I can’t tell you how many times something like this has happened to me. I was often left a religious tract or a church’s business card in lieu of a tip. I made $2.13 an hour, and usually only got a few tables at the restaurant that employed me. While the customers were correct in fearing for the fate of my soul, I worried more about paying my rent than my eternal salvation.

I once confronted a pious non-tipper, and he told me that saving my soul was worth more than the tip he neglected to leave.

“God won’t pay my electric bill,” I responded. He later called and complained. I was reprimanded, but not fired.

Service industry folks, if this has happened to you, feel free to vent in our comments section below.


  1. ive always felt a lil bad about that fact that i believe a huge portion of religious people are simply week minded sheep who’ve been rounded up to be relieved of their funds in the name of god. i understand that everybody has their moments (myself included) but people who claim to be living the life that god would wish yet have simple and obvious (to me) issues with how they treat their fellow man drive me crazy sumtimes.

    • I don’t necessarily believe that a “huge portion” of religious people are weak minded sheep.

      I do, however, believe that many people will hide behind religion whenever it’s convenient to avoid unpleasant responsibilities. Those people are deceitful buffoons, and it’s obvious that their one hour in the holy house every Sunday is doing nothing to repair their soul.

  2. There are any number of Bible verses that exhort Christians to be charitable toward the less fortunate (Deuteronomy 15:7. Leviticus 25:35, Proverbs 19:17, Isaiah 58:10, Luke 6:38, 1 Timothy 6:18, among others). Not leaving a tip is just un-Christian, as well as many other things.

  3. I’m a good Christian girl 🙂 and an excellent tipper… makes me sad that a pastor would represent herself (not to mention her church, religion, friends, and um GOD! hello?) in this fashion. There are so many radicals out there giving Christianity a bad rep.

    I’m with Kristian… This pastor should read her Bible and rethink some things!!

  4. ‘As of now, Bell is still unemployed.’ <– You mean Welch.

    $6 says Chelsea Welch intentionally left the patron's sig on, knowing full-well the reddit 'reaction' would be to track her down & harass her. s if that weren't enough, now there's even a satire FB acct of the woman, obviously meant to continue embarrassing & harassing her …

    What dog does Chelsea Welch have in this fight, exactly? Is it really worth having her name forever tied to a childish, vindictive & malicious act that every potential employer will find with a simple Google search of Chelsea Welch's name?

    Good grief, little girl … Let. It. Go.

    • I’m not sure why FWW didn’t research & tell the complete story, but there’s more:

      — Chelsea Welch, caught out lying, initially claimed on Reddit that *she* waited on the lady & that *she* was stiffed, but later told The Consumerist that she didn’t … & of course she’s since deleted the trail of evidence (her Reddit posting history).

      — Too late though; Reddit had already gone vigilante on the Applebee’s patron, flooding the server on her church website, harassing her on her Youtube & Facebook until she closed those accts, posting even more of her personal information & also adding crude things to her pictures which were then reposted to mock the patron.

      — Contrary to it all, Applebee’s (in a firestorm of damage control on Facebpook) says that a compulsory 18% gratuity was added to the ticket & paid …

      I wonder why so many people ever bought into this BS right off the bat … my first instinct is *not* to trust a server who leaves a restaurant w/ a receipt that she has no business keeping.

      • Research? I linked two stories about the whole ordeal. I’m not going to summarize someone other writer’s work and pass that off as research. It wasn’t my story. I just linked it and added my personal experiences. I was hoping this would be a forum for other people to vent, not an investigative piece.

        I appreciate your enthusiasm for the story, but I can’t take credit for doing any reporting. Maybe it was an incomplete summary on my part, but I was trying to engineer a discussion, not crib someone’s work and pass it off as my own.

        To your points: I don’t understand how her actions were BS. She never purported to be the pastor’s server. She just thought it was funny. I agree with Welch in that it doesn’t matter if she tipped. The note was offensive, and I for one am glad she was called out.

        • But see, she DID purport to be the Pastor’s server, & only later did she say (excerpt for brevity*): “I would like to stress that this was not my table, and I was not the server that missed out on the tip. I represented myself as the server and I purposely described the note writer incorrectly so that everyone would have the right to their privacy.”

          Why not change the conversation, if it’s real discussion that you’re wanting to engineer? Merely recycling a sensationalized version as opposed to presenting the bigger picture only serves to perpetuate a mob-mentality reaction that’s already too pervasive.

          Just my .02 — thanks for your time.


          • “Merely recycling a sensationalized version as opposed to presenting the bigger picture only serves to perpetuate a mob-mentality reaction that’s already too pervasive.”

            Here’s the problem with faith-based thinking. Here’s an unaltered photo of a receipt signed by the good reverend. Everyone having the same reaction to it isn’t mob mentality. Maybe the title should’ve been “dick move by reverend”. Something we can all get behind.

            She brought her religion into this, no matter who her actual server was. Split hairs all you want, but in this case, the picture really is worth a thousand words.

  5. I don’t think most people understand all the crap that servers have to put up with. It goes both way, so I’m not making excuses for either side, but there is NO reason for someone to go OUT OF THEIR WAY to say they’re better than you. “Pastor” or not.

    I once greeted a table when I was waiting tables at a mexican restuarant, did my intro, told them about happy hour margaritas..offered know, the usual. They then replied by turning their nose up at me and telling me they were good Baptist Christians and do not drink and to please not offer it again.
    Excuse me for not knowing what a “good Baptsist Christian” looks like. A simple “no” would have sufficed.

    I’m sorry, but this woman had it coming. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Simple physics. Maybe next time, she’ll think before she responds so snobbishly.