Social Media Flames Applebee’s Story

This is a lesson in the power of social media.  It may also be a lesson in the responsible use of social media, a lesson in privacy and in corporate use of social media.

A St. Louis minister touched it off when she scribbled a protest on a restaurant bill, saying she gives 10% to God who why should she be paying an 18% tip to a waitress?

applebees reciept

Another server saw the receipt and took a picture of it.  She posted it on  The next day the pastor heard the posting had gone red-hot viral and complained to the restaurant.  Applebees fired the waitress who posted the photo.

Then the firing story went viral and all hell broke loose.  Reddit, Twitter and Facebook pages were flooded with cries to re-hire the waitress and Applebees has repeatedly tried to explain itself only digging deeper and deeper holes.

Here is a detailed and documented step-by-step of how this story has unfolded (so far.)  It is a great case study for :

-students to consider the responsible use of social media, especially where privacy is an issue

-employers who have or should have a clear standard for employee use of social media

-companies who have to be nimble in responding to a fast spreading viral campaign


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