Update: Since her firing, Christ Fellowship church reached out to Tamlynn Yoder to make amends. The church explained that there was a “misunderstanding” as the volunteer who picked up the order was not aware that they should tip. The church then decided to tip Yoder well over 20%.
“We did not call the restaurant to have her fired, we wanted to get the situation resolved. That night, we had a volunteer go to the restaurant and pick up the order since we were having a big conference,” said Executive director of business for Christ Fellowship David Lonsberry in a statement.
She has since called the church “wonderful.” “They reconciled the whole situation,” she added of the church, which is now helping her find a car and a new job.
Outback Steakhouse also explained that Yoder was indeed fired for making the complaint as such complaints are in violation of the company’s policy.
A server at an Outback Steakhouse in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, says she was fired on Thursday after posting on social media that she was not tipped for a $735 take-out order placed by Christ Fellowship.
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.
“We take the order over the phone, we put the order together, take payment and then take order to the car,” Yoder said. “It’s a lot of work, just as much as serving.”
Yoder said a person from Christ Fellowship came to pick up the order, and when Yoder put the food in the car, she received no tip. Yoder said because she spent most of her shift preparing the 75-item order for Christ Fellowship, she only made a total of $18 in tips that day on other orders.
“Tips is how we make our money; we still make a low wage as servers,” Yoder said.
Yoder said, out of frustration, she posted on Facebook that Christ Fellowship left her no tip on an order totaling $735 — but did not mention where she worked.
Yoder said a male friend who saw her post told her to delete it, and he told her he would call Christ Fellowship about the incident. Yoder said the friend told her the church was going to contact the restaurant to make amends.
When Yoder arrived at Outback the next day for her shift, she was told by her manager that Christ Fellowship got a full refund for the $735 order and she was fired.
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, and made a statement to The Palm Beach Post on Friday.
Christ Fellowship said in the statement to The Post that their intent “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,” said David Lonsberry, an executive director of business for Christ Fellowship, who also spoke to The Post.
Lonsberry, said the group is trying to make the situation right, and that members usually leave a generous tip on take-out orders because a lot of church members work as servers.
“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.”
Christ Fellowship said they are trying to contact Yoder.
Yoder said her termination won’t stop her from pursuing another serving job because she is devoted to her work.
“One day I would like to own my own restaurant,” Yoder said. “I love this business.”