It happens more often than you might think.
Whether it’s a famous customer who didn’t tip as much as an employee expected or a nasty note left on someone’s receipt, complaints about things that happen at restaurants tend to find their way to the local evening news.
This time, the story is a 25-year-old employee of Outback Steakhouse in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., lost her job because she complained on social media about not being tipped by Christ Fellowship church, which made a massive take-out order amounting to $735.
The controversy began last Wednesday when the church placed a 75-item order and Tamlynn Yoder posted that she spent much of her shift preparing it and only made $18 in tips the rest of the day.
Today, the controversially seems to have mostly been resolved, with the exception of the job situation.
Yoder was fired for that complaint because it violated her employer’s policy, which specifically prohibits such complaints. Outback Steakhouse spokeswoman Cathie Koch told the Palm Beach Post that employees cannot post about customers on social media and are subject to termination if the policy is violated.
Despite this, there has been a lot of debate online about the story: whether take-out should be ever tipped and, if so, when; whether Outback Steakhouse’s policy on employee complaints is too strict; and, of course, whether the church or Yoder was in the wrong.
Yoder would say that she was upset because of how much time she spent on the order.
“When I brought it out and put it in the car and received the payment, there was no gratuity. I got upset. I posted a post on Facebook about the church not leaving a gratuity tip,” she explained to WPTV. “We live off of tips. If we don’t have that then we have nothing.”
The good news is that, while Yoder remains out of a job, the church did respond by calling this a “misunderstanding,” saying that a volunteer picked up the food and wasn’t aware that he should tip.
“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,” Executive director of business for Christ Fellowship David Lonsberry said in a statement. “He probably didn’t know to tip since it was a rush of the moment thing.”
Yoder said the church gave her “more than a 20 percent tip” and that they have been “wonderful.”
“The church did reach out to me, they have been wonderful,” she said. “They reconciled the whole situation.”
She is also said the church is helping her find a car and a new job.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.