As people line up for free pancakes at IHOP this morning, it’s probably important to know that DineEquity, owner of Applebee’s also owns IHOP. But hey, a free meal is a free meal.
Last week, an Applebee’s restaurant in St. Louis fired server, Chelsea Welch, for taking a picture of pastor Alois Bell’s receipt with snarky comment written on it, stating, ” I give God 10% why should you get 18%?” It was posted on Facebook and Twitter.
Applebees management team at that location felt that this was a violation of customer privacy and fired the server. Then after public backlash that garnered millions of comments on their Facebook and twitter pages, a huge PR hiccup occurred as Applebees social media managers deleted hundreds of negative comments about the situation and issued a blanket apology that still stood by their decision to shit-can the server.
A meaningless boycott began, and I call it meaningless because the boycott was created to penalize DineEquity in defense of the server who was fired. Who does this really penalize? Every server left at Applebees. Think it out people.
Former restaurant employee, Sandy Smith states it perfectly, ” I’m not for boycotting, because the employees in the trenches suffer. However, the management team at DineEquity needs to be called on this. They not only handled the initial situation poorly, the BLEW it on Twitter and FB by their defiance, and posts that amounted to kicking and screaming.
And on a biz perspective, with 99% of their stores being franchised, they owe apologies to the operators of their nearly 2,000 outlets. They don’t pay royalties for the pleasure of the corporate big-wigs absolutely blowing it.
I find the servers at Applebee’s to be extremely pleasant (much more so than the food there–diff story), and as far as I’m concerned, they should be treated as such by their employers. Instead, DineEquity has gotten shitty about a) Health Care bene’s, and b) This incident.”
My suggestion is to go enjoy some free pancakes at IHOP and heavily tip your server. Trust me, they deserve it and they need it.