This one has it all (Outback firing)

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by Pea-n-Me, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

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    A little of everything, lol...

    Outback Steakhouse employee fired for complaining on Facebook that a church group with a $735 order that she spent her whole shift preparing stiffed her for a tip so that she only made $18 in [other] tips for her whole shift that day. (ETA a 15% tip on $725 would've been $110.)

    In her FB post, she named the church, but not the restaurant.

    Church contacted restaurant to try to remedy the situation, saying the person who picked up the order didn't know they were supposed to tip on takeout orders.

    Outback fired server because it's against their company policy to complain about customers on Facebook.

    Church feels bad now that she was fired over the situation. Two parishioners forked over a generous tip for her.

    Outback refunded church's money for their trouble.

    Employee still without a job. (But church trying to help her find another.)

    Employee starting a campaign to educate consumers on tipping for takeout orders.

    Holy Moly! :rotfl2:

    Original article (long):
    http://www.tampabay.com/news/busine...ut-order-complains---and-gets-fired_165416443

    Updated article (a little more concise):
    http://www.tampabay.com/news/busine...5-order-mega-church-finally-pays-up_165437896

    Pick an issue for response!

    Takeout orders - to tip, or not to tip?
    Facebook - to complain about work, or not to complain?
    Servers' wages relying on tips
    Church spending - ? extravagant
    Who did what in the aftermath
    Should Outback have refunded the cost of the church's takeout meal?
    Do you need education on tipping?
    Who likes Outback, anyway? :laughing:
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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  2. SteveH

    SteveH Earning my Mai Tai

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    I can respect what Outback did by terminating her employment. Social media has become a big issue and seems they have a policy to avoid this.

    I feel for her, but I do not blame the church for not tipping. I don't tip through the drive through or anytime I order from a counter. But on an order of that size some type of tip would have been appropriate. But IMHO the order should have been put together by the manager or Outback should compensate the employee. With minimum wage on it's way to $13.50/hour in my neck of the woods I am tipping less. Back when tips were the main portion of a person working at a restaurant I agreed with tipping. But for those working in other similar paid jobs that don't get tips I don't see why somebody at a restaurant like Red Robin deserves $13.50/hour plus tipping at 20%.
     
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  4. anniemae

    anniemae Either she is eating a delicious

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    I agree with firing her. Social media has become a huge issue in jobs. Many employers go on interviewee's fb pages to see what they are like i.e. are there photos of them drunk and partying, bad language, bad mouthing former employers, inappropriate photos etc. Many young people are told to lock down their fb pages when applying for jobs. She should not have gone against company policy. I think people are so used to putting everything out on fb that they forget who is looking. Just because you can do something does not mean you should.

    Tipping for takeout is something people do not agree on. One argument is that nobody is technically serving you. Nobody is fetching you drinks, checking on you, getting you silverware, etc. But, someone is organizing your order, boxing it up and bringing it to you. I usually don't tip on take out because the one preparing and boxing up the meal, the cook, does not get tipped anyway. The cashier just brings the bag to the register and rings you up. At times, we have gone to a restaurant and sat at the bar while we put in an order and have a soda while we wait. We always tip the bartender generously in this case.
     
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  5. Wendy31

    Wendy31 DIS Veteran

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    Well, tipping aside, according to the first article, it's against company policy for employees to complain about customers on social media.

    From the article -

    "A spokeswoman for Outback Steakhouse told the Palm Beach Post that company policy prohibits employees from posting about customers on social media."

    And, even if it weren't against policy, I find it incredibly tacky of the employee to post a rant about a customer on social media.

    The customer paid. The customer wasn't unruly or rude when picking up the order. The customer just didn't tip on the takeout order. The employee was still paid her wages for doing her job. Tips are extra.

    Also, while I might personally think the church could have tipped on such a large order (depending on the church's budget & how much money had been set aside for their event), how would the church know that a single person would be responsible for an order that large?

    I think the church took the high road, & the church members have been very gracious to the employee.

    And I have no idea why the employee feels the need to start a "campaign to educate the public on tipping takeout orders." Tipping is not mandatory, & it's not my duty as a customer to make up the difference in a server's wages.

    When we go pick up takeout orders, we generally do not tip. If there is curbside service, we usually will.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  6. Lynne G

    Lynne G DIS Veteran

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    I think there was a thread here about tip or no tip on take out. Some always do, some do at certain places, and some don't at all. I'm in the I do camp, but can see why those do not.

    Yeah, while harsh to be fired, now, since everyone can see what you post online, she should not have named the customer, even if not the place where she worked. I guess I don't mind employee talking about a customer, but how and where to do it is not online like she did.

    Very nice of the Church to be so generous. If it was Mr. So and So, I am sure the outcome may have been different. Still does not excuse her from thinking it was an okay thing to post.
     
  7. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

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    It suppose it's going to be more confusing trying to figure out who makes what.

    We should have some way of knowing, perhaps.

    In this case, though, from the first article:

    "Servers, especially at casual chain restaurants, typically make less than the minimum wage, and the difference is made up by tips. Florida’s minimum wage is $8.25 an hour, but the tipped minimum wage is $5.23.

    Yoder said that because she spent so much time working on the carryout order, she couldn’t tend to other tables, and made only $18 in tips that day."
     
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  8. GreatLakes

    GreatLakes DIS Veteran

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    When will people learn to keep work off of social media with the exception of LinkedIn?
     
  9. SteveH

    SteveH Earning my Mai Tai

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    That's the challenge right there, I base my actions on where I live - though I did check to see what the Minimum wage in Florida was before our trip. In my state there is no tipped minimum wage, everybody will be at $13.50 - even the 15 year old with no experience.
     
  10. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

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    Yes, interesting! I remember reading somewhere (maybe here!) that quite a bit of work went into getting the order ready and someone has to do it, so, on the rare times that we order takeout from a restaurant, I have been tipping. Probably not quite as much as someone who's actually serving it to me and working hard to see that I'm well taken care of, but a tip nonetheless, to sort of soften the blow for whoever had to get my order ready.

    (The last two times our order has been incorrect, so that has been frustrating! :headache: )

    I don't know if it takes as much work as serving an actual meal, but also from the first article:

    "We take the order over the phone, we put the order together, take payment and then take [the] order to the car," Yoder told the Palm Beach Post. "It’s a lot of work, just as much as serving."
     
  11. Christine

    Christine Would love to be able to sit on

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    Yeah, this has been hotly debated on another site I visit.

    Definitely correct to fire her for her social media complaint.

    As for the Outback, in my state those servers at the Curbside to Go make $2.13 per hour (unless it's gone up recently). They don't just carry your food to the car after someone else in the kitchen put it together. The cooks prepare the food, that server assembles the order in takeout containers and organizes all the other things that go with it. For a large church order, that must have been a lot of work.
     
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  12. morgan98

    morgan98 DIS Veteran

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    Maybe restaurants need to add a service charge once take out orders get to be exceptionally large and time consuming. In many cases, that is already done for larger parties that eat in at the restuarant. I am not saying that it needs to be the same % as a tipped table where the server is providing full service, but maybe a lesser percentage.

    After reading tipping threads for years on the DIS, I feel that I am an excellent tipper % wise when I do tip, however, I do not tip as often as many people do. Just because there is a jar out, does not mean I am putting money in it. Also, if you are not working in a tipped position and therefore have a higher hourly wage, I am only going to tip for exceptional service in certain situations.

    All that being said, I do generally tip for take out, especially at one restaurant I frequent where they will sometimes add in freebies as well. I take care of them, they take care of me.

    However, a $735 order had to be HUGE. Boxes and bags everywhere. I cannot imagine people coming into a restaurant, seeing all of that and not leaving a little something extra.
     
  13. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

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    I updated the OP to reflect that, even a 15% tip on a $735 order would be $110.
     
  14. Hikergirl

    Hikergirl DIS Veteran

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    I like Outback, but not for their steaks.
    (bolded above are my responses)
     
  15. Wishing on a star

    Wishing on a star DIS Veteran

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    Hate Outback.... EWWWWW!!!!!!
    But, negativity about specific customers on Social Media is a big NO-NO!!!!!!

    Don't restaurants usually have automatic gratuities on large parties or large orders????
     
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  16. soccerdad72

    soccerdad72 DIS Veteran

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    I saw the headline of the article yesterday, but didn't open the story, so I didn't realize it was a To Go order.

    I guess I never really thought about who does the work involved with those to go orders (I've never done one personally). I wouldn't think that a server who also has tables in the restaurant would be responsible for them. I guess they are - that doesn't seem a very efficient use of their time.

    Complaining on social media, IMO, has gotten out of hand - and I guarantee that this story doesn't become "news" minus the "church group" aspect.
     
  17. Forevermarypoppins

    Forevermarypoppins DIS Veteran

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  18. morgan98

    morgan98 DIS Veteran

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    Yeah, 15% on an order that size is probably too much. But $40 or so?
     
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  19. SC Minnie

    SC Minnie <font color=purple>Are we there yet???<br><font co

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    $735 for a takeout order? :earseek: That sounds more like a catering order.
     
  20. MIGrandma

    MIGrandma Lives in the middle-of-the-mitten.

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    Wow, you're right OP, this one does have it all!! :laughing:

    I do think a take-out order of $735 does deserve some kind of tip, that's a BIG order for someone to have to take the time to put together and box up!

    And I do understand the server's point in that the order took so much of her time that she couldn't take care of the customer's at her tables in the restaurant. I had that happen to me many times when I worked as a server. I don't know how it works in all restaurants, but where I worked it was usually a server who answers the phone so that server has to deal with the take-out order. Yes, it's the cook who prepares the main food and he/she puts it into take-out boxes but it's the server who boxes/bags up the order. If the order needs salads it's the server who makes/boxes them. If the order has desserts, it's the server who gets those. The server is the one who gets the napkins/disposable cutlery to add to the box, and all condiments necessary for the order. If drinks are ordered it's the server who gets those too. Lots of "little things" the server has to take care of, all of which takes TIME, and if the server has very many tables of customers then those customers may be left waiting longer for drink refills, or to even greet them and take their orders, get their desserts, their bill, etc. etc. It's hard to deal with a take-out order when you have customers in-house that you're waiting on, and we definitely appreciated the tips we received for the take-out orders. Now if we had a hostess working, they usually took care of the take-out orders, but we didn't always have a hostess working and helping us out.

    But I also understand the server at Outback should never have ranted on Facebook about it, and it was especially bad that they named the church in their rant. Not good. When I worked as a server there was a web site (can't even remember the name of it now) where servers could go to rant about customers and get sympathy from other servers, but we didn't name restaurants or customers, it was just generic ranting. And if it truly is against Outback's policy that servers aren't allowed to rant on FB, then they were justified in firing her.

    It's hard to be a server. Yes, usually the tips are good but then there are those customers who do not ever tip, or they say "if you don't like working for tips, get another job". 95% of my customers were great, and made me truly enjoy my job, but then there was that 5% that made it less than fun. I'm glad I'm retired from it. :)
     
  21. Hikergirl

    Hikergirl DIS Veteran

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    That is what I was thinking.
    I think the Manager should have helped the server prepare that order or had someone else help her.
    If a large group of people came in and ordered that much, the server would have most likely had help serving it to them.
    I also think there should be some kind of limit on take-out orders, if it is very large it has to be done as a catering order which probably has a different procedure (like multiple people helping getting it ready).
     
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