Restaurant employees work hard to earn their tips. When they don't receive the gratuity on which they depend to make ends meet, they're understandably upset.
When one Outback Steakhouse employee was given $0 in tips on a $735 order for a church, she took to social media to share her dismay and disappointment.
And she was fired for it. As you'll see in the video below, she says that she wouldn't change a thing.
Outback Steakhouse wisely offers delivery services in some areas -- in these days of Amazon Prime and soon-to-be days of delivery via drone and autonomous vehicle, your restaurant has to be exceptional if you expect for people to physically leave their homes to eat your food.
However, delivery service at one Palm Beach County, Florida Outback was delayed, and so a local megachurch, Christ Fellowship, sent a volunteer to pick up the order directly from Outback.
The order for 25 people came out to $735.
The volunteer paid for the order and left.
There was just one problem: the volunteer didn't leave a tip. Annoying on small orders. On a massive order that took a while to put together, that kind of slight can leave wait staff financially devastated for the day.
One of the employees who worked on the order was Tamalyn Yoder.
Speaking to the Palm Beach Post, she explained why this is a problem, even though there was no table service:
"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."
As a result, she says that she made only $18 in tips from other orders -- as so much of her time was occupied preparing the large order.
It's important to remember that, though the minimum wage is not really a living wage, many restaurant employees are paid even less.
As a number of servers have done since the advent of social media, Tamalyn took to the internet to express her disappointment that such a large order would come with no tip.
A large part of her intention was to raise awareness -- some people may believe that tipping isn't necessary because they aren't being waited upon at a table. It's easy to forget how much goes on behind the scenes.
She was also just upset, folks. As anyone would be if their work went uncompensated.
Unfortunately, Outback responded by firing her, citing its policy of firing waiters who do literally exactly what she did -- complaining about customers on social media.
Now, Tamalyn is speaking to the media about why she felt that this was worth being fired.
"When I brought it out and put it in the car and received the payment, there was no gratuity. I got upset."
She's very matter-of-fact about events.
"I posted a post on Facebook about the church not leaving a gratuity tip."
She reminds everyone of the importance of tipping.
"We live off of tips. If we don’t have that then we have nothing."
A lot of people aren't sure how to tip when it's not in a restaurant. In a restaurant, 20% makes sense as a bare minimum, sure, but if you're picking up, she recommends:
"Coming in to eat or takeout, you should automatically be wanting to tip 15%. From there you either go up or you go down, based on service."
She doesn't quite agree with Outback's policy.
"I feel that we should be allowed to say something especially to big parties that don’t leave anything...they pay the exact amount."
Some places put an automatic gratuity on large orders; perhaps Outback should implement that. They may even learn from this example.
Tamalyn says that what has transpired was worth it.
"I probably would still do it the same way. I wouldn’t change anything."
She is currently searching for a new job. But she mentions that she doesn't harbor any ill will towards Christ Fellowship.
"The church did reach out to me, they are trying to rectify the whole thing. And I thank them."
Christ Fellowship has clarified that the volunteer was unaware that the church always tips, as it was a last-minute arrangement.