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PR Lessons: The Applebee’s Receipt Edition

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We’ve been closely monitoring the entire Applebee’s dilemma that developed late last week. If you’re not familliar with the situation, here’s the deets (image and description via PRDaily):

receiptcroppedLast Friday, the pastor of St. Louis-based church Truth in the World Deliverance Ministries took her congregation to an Applebee’s after an evening service. The receipt for the meal added an 18 percent gratuity, which is restaurant policy for parties of eight or more.

However, Pastor Alois Bell crossed out the 18 percent and left the server a note that said: “I give God 10% why do you get 18.”

An employee at the Applebee’s took a picture of the receipt and this week posted it to Reddit, where it went viral. The employee was swiftly fired from Applebee’s.

Applebee’s released a public statement that you can read here. The gist of it is:

“Our franchisees are committed to acting in the best interests of guests and team members. This is a regrettable situation and we wish it had never happened. However, the disregard for an important policy left the franchisee no choice but to take the action they did.” -  Applebee’s President Mike Archer

Today, Pr 2.0 Chat had a full discussion on the issue via. Twitter. We thought we’d share some of the notable tweets from the conversation:

What are your thoughts on the situation? Do you think it should’ve been handled differently? Discuss!

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