A waitress in Findlay, Ohio, says she was fired by Texas Roadhouse after she complained on her personal Facebook page about a customer leaving a bad tip.
Kirsten Kelly told WPMI-TV she posted her comments on Facebook after a Friday night shift where she earned just $60 in tips after she claims several customers left little or no gratuity.
One of the customers was reportedly one of Kelly’s former classmates, who is friends with her on Facebook. That customer got upset, took a screenshot of Kelly’s Facebook post and took it to the restaurant manager.
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Kelly was then reportedly fired on Monday. She says her comments were vague and she didn’t think she could be fired over her opinion on tipping. The actual Facebook post appears to have been deleted.
"I just said, 'If you come into a restaurant and spend $50 or more, you should be able to tip appropriately for that,'" Kelly told WPMI-TV.
However, a spokesperson with the Texas Roadhouse corporate office told TheBlaze that the company fired Kelly because she used a derogatory name when referring to the customer in the post.
"It is not a social media issue, it is a matter of respect," spokesperson Travis Doster said in an email. "Calling a guest or guests '[a**hole]' is not okay at any time or venue when representing Texas Roadhouse. ... Her quotes are not accurate."
Many Facebook users disagreed with the decision to fire the waitress.
“What happened to our First Amendment Rights? It's not like she went to Texas Roadhouse's page & said it there,” one user wrote. “She said it on her own page. It doesn't matter WHAT she said about the customer in question, they have no legal grounds for firing her.”
“My question is why in the world would the customer Facebook-stalk this server to locate the post? When you go ‘looking’ to cause trouble, you are worse than the other person. You should tip appropriately or you should stay home,” another user commented.
A different Facebook user argued the firing was a “bit harsh” and she should have been issued a warning.
“Ain't it just like an a**hole to not only not tip but then complain to management when someone who makes no money serving them speaks out about it,” yet another user complained.
However, a few people questioned Kelly’s decision to allegedly use a derogatory name to describe a customer that she is friends with on Facebook.
“She wasn't fired for her comment about the tip she was fired for the way she [referred] to the customer. So yes she should have been fired,” one man said.
“WTH was she thinking? She knows the people, they have mutual friends on FB. Did she not think her post would be seen? She probably could have gotten away with a little rant, but to post a derogatory name was going too far,” another user added.
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This story has been updated.