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Schedule Change For Local Waitress Means Goodbye Church Crowd, Hello Tips

Category: Society
Philbeck on the job

SHELBY, NC – Waitress Doris Philbeck of Earl’s 25 Hour Grill is thrilled with her promotion to Head Server. According to Philbeck, the advancement means she will no longer have to work the Sunday afternoon shift when tips typically hit a weekly low. “Thank goodness I don’t have to endure that church crowd anymore. We have a nickname for them around here – God’s Tightwads.”

The 10-year restaurant veteran echoed the sentiments of her cafe colleagues who have grown weary of serving large parties of Christians and receiving less than 5% gratuity. In an exclusive THO interview conducted in the break room during Monday’s ‘Early Bird’ shift, Philbeck said, “It’s like, the longer and louder they say grace, the less tip you can expect. Everybody knows it. It’s infuriating. The worst is when they leave you a tract instead. One flocking member even left funny money with some ‘plan of salvation’ on it. Thanks. I’m sure Kroger’s redeems those for bread and milk. And if they don’t, I’ll just pray the sinner’s prayer until my hunger pains subside.”

Philbeck’s experience is buttressed by research from the Barna Group, who revealed that only 1 out of every 10 Christians leaves a tip of 15% or more. The group’s recent findings exposed a startling nationwide epidemic that reached a crisis point on February 25th – the opening night of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.”

The newly ordained Head Server believes it is a day that will live in dining infamy. “We call it ‘Black Wednesday,'” said the haggard single mother, 33, while taking a drag from a Salem Light 100. “After the matinee at Cinetropolis, all the homeschoolers started trickling in, and it was on. Youth groups of 6, 8, and 11 with their ‘Xtreme Teen’ Bibles and ‘Acquire the Fire’ T-shirts. Well, the only thing I acquired was the two buck tip their den mothers would leave after a $70.00 tab. And it only got worse from there. Singles groups, AWANA, Bethel Assembly’s 173 members, the Cloggers for Christ – it didn’t matter. I had one party of 47 who rang up a $634 bill. You know what I got? A $5 spot and a ‘This Was Your Life’ tract. How prescient. I dang near ‘offed’ myself that night.”

The seasoned waitress’s nasal exhale seemed to release more than mere cigarette smoke. For Philbeck, the shift change resulting from her promotion is an emancipation from years of Sunday afternoon stiffings. “All I know is, I can go home after my shift and tell my daughter that we can afford cable now. And no more nightmares about men and women in Lord’s Gym and Real Men Love Jesus T-shirts. Thank God for truckers and bikers.”

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  1. What a horrible story!!

  2. There’s 2 sides to every story, and I’ve seen both of this one.

    I work for a “Christian” company, and I constantly hear about “good stewardship”. What that means is working 55-80 hours a week for 36 hours pay. (I took a 10% paycut based on the “lower cost of living” when I moved here. Turned out that the cost of living was HIGHER.)

    However, I worked food service and delivered pizzas to put myself through college, and I was stiffed more often than not. So now, if we can’t afford a tip, we don’t go out. I’m glad that Philbeck can afford cable, cause we can’t.

    Here’s a question, though : since dining prices have more than kept up with inflation since the 80s and early 90s when I did it, how come the standard for tips back then was 10%, and it is now required to be 15%+? That’s an additional 5% PLUS inflation? I wish MY paycheck increased that way…

    What really infuriates me, though, are mandatory 18% tips (we have 7 children, well-behaved and not very messy). So where’s the incentive to do a good job, when you have guaranteed pay? We once had the waitress take the mandatory tip off the bill : we then gave her more than that amount. Why? It was about the principle. Oh, and she did an exceptional job.


  4. Iam working person and i put in 12 hrs of work a day and iam paid 130 for a month and God has blessed me with it .by Gods grace there are no debts my two girls are in college. if you live in gods ways u will be blessed what others do you dont worry you should walk in gods path dont work on a sunday that is the lord day.

  5. Actually, there’s no such thing as a mandatory tip, they’ll add it on, but you’re not required to pay it. And also, being a Christian and a former waitress I found this to be true so many times. If you, as a dinner have a problem with the amount of a decent tip, don’t go out and/or lobby that the restaurant minimum wage be raised to the state minimum. I used to only make $2.45/hour and without those tips I couldn’t make a living! It shouldn’t be up to the dinner to pay their wages, but until it is, help them out a little!

  6. This needs to be printed out and nailed to the front door (all of the hundreds of front doors) at Willow Creek Community Church… not that it will do any good, other than provide a cathartic release for all of the servers and restaurants at the SE corner of Barrington & Higgins Rd. 😉

  7. you can’t say it’s just Christians that undertip. it’s probably more noticeable because they come in larger groups at specific times. and the increase in gratuity is proportional to the increase in cost of living. waitresses/waiters are usually paid less than minimum wage, so the tip is actually part of their pay. if they don’t get good tips, they don’t get good pay. i am a proponent for increasing or decreasing tip based on value of service, but will usually never go below 15% unless it is incredibly poor service, and if it’s that bad, i probably won’t stay for the meal anyway. 🙂

  8. @dan on parties over 8, and sometimes starting at 6, a mandatory gratuity is included on the checks. If you don’t like it, you can speak with a manager about it most the time.

    And I agree, the 2.35 an hour or what not you are earning an hour should be increased, that is the restaurants fault for being cheap and not taking care of their employees. It’s an old system that needs to be changed into today’s new economy. However, bottom line will remain to be, the bottom line.

  9. Can you please post or send me the Barna Group research that you cited?

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