CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story was accompanied by a photo of a pamphlet that looked like a $20 bill. The pamphlet left behind in this case DID NOT look like money. And the customer left a small monetary tip with the pamphlet.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The general manager of a local restaurant is standing behind an employee who she says was shorted on a tip and left a religious pamphlet from a local church.
Penny Craver, general manager of Dish in Plaza Midwood, says one of her employees, who's also a student, was really upset on Saturday after receiving a religious pamphlet from her guests and a less-than-8-percent tip.
Craver, who felt bad for her employee, did something most people in the service industry only dream of; Craver looked up the church listed on the pamphlet and wrote an email to the church's pastor.
I am the general manager of Dish (restaurant) in Plaza Midwood. Imagine one of my server's surprise when she received a small pamphlet (Every one of us will face eternity one day) instead of a tip when she served what I assume was one of your congregation. Her particular religious beliefs are not discussed at work; however, I do know that this pamphlet can not pay her mortgage or her electric bill. It concerns me that someone would consider a pamphlet fair monetary exchange. Suppose your congregation felt it was sufficient to tithe their personal writings instead of 10% of their income. Your church wouldn't be paying their bills for very long. I think it would be great if you used this in a sermon. Pride, one of the 7 Deadly Sins, is considered, on almost every list, the original and most serious of the seven deadly sins: the source of the others. It is identified as believing that one is essentially better than others, failing to acknowledge the accomplishments of others, and excessive admiration of the personal self (especially holding self out of proper position toward God). I think it could be educational for at least one member of your congregation. Thank you very much for your time.
Craver says she printed out the email and brought it in to show her staff because she wanted them to know she has their back. Craver continued that she felt compelled to write the email because this was the third or fourth time that particular employee had received a religious pamphlet in lieu of a tip, and she felt it was unfair.
The waitress works hard-- when she's able to pick up shifts between her classes, Craver says, and those pamphlets aren't helping to pay her bills.
Craver says the waitress was very touched after reading the note, and her employees as a whole "were just happy that I stood behind them".
Pastor Simmons, the recipient of the email, says the church always encourages its congregation to leave tips because they know how hard people work. Pastor Simmons said that he himself worked in the food industry in college, and knows how hard the service industry is.
Pastor Simmons says that he's spoken to the congregant who left the pamphlet at Dish, who stated he left a tip on the credit card receipt.
In response, Pastor Simmons said, "If it turns out we did not pay that tip, we're going to take care of them, because we always leave a 20-percent tip. We'll make sure it gets taken care of."
After hearing from a man claiming to be the congregant who left the pamphlet called to say he left a tip, Dish investigated and told NBC Charlotte that there was a $2 tip left on a bill of $25.96-- a 7.7-percent tip.
Craver says that despite the fact that in this case there was in fact something left for the server, on several occasions every month, at Dish alone, servers are stiffed and left only with religious pamphlets.
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