Tennessee Pastor Creates Website to Shame Churchgoers Who Tip Lousy on Sundays

chad-robertsAsk most servers and they’ll tell you, Sunday morning is one of the worst shifts of the week to work – if not the worst.  It’s busy, people are rude, impatient and tip lousy.  Which is ironic considering that Sunday mornings the majority of the “rush” comes from churchgoers who had just left a building that supposedly told them to be kind, giving and “love thy neighbor.”

I should know, I did it for over eight years.  In fact, Sunday morning shifts are where I really learned first hand how hypocritical “churchgoers” often are.

Let me give you a quick background on the service industry.  Most places servers make below minimum wage (often $2.13 an hour).  This means most servers rely entirely on tips to survive.  Not only that, but most restaurants force serves to pay a “tip out,” which is usually based on a percentage of sales that goes to bussers, hostesses or bartenders.

Let’s say one table’s tab is $100, and the server has a tip out of 3 percent, that means that server pays $3 to wait on that table.  So in reality, if that table doesn’t tip – that server paid to provide them service. And that’s if the tip out is just 3 percent.  I’ve worked at restaurants with 5 percent tip outs.  I’ve also worked at places that you pay 10 percent of your alcohol sales to the bartender.  So if you run up a bar tab with a server of $100 and don’t tip, they still have to give the bartender $10.

Is it fair?  No. But I’m not here to discuss the semantics of the rights or wrongs of how the service industry works.

I am here to salute a Tennessee pastor who has apparently noticed this hypocrisy.  He says the motivation came from a story in St. Louis where a pastor wrote on a server’s receipt, “I give God ten percent, why do you get 18?”

Maybe because God doesn’t have children at home to feed?  A car payment?  Rent?  Tuition?  This ridiculous argument some churchgoers use – and they use it often – is exactly what that pastor wrote.

That or they might not even leave a tip at all.  Instead they’d leave a little piece of paper, often one that looked like money, saying they gave your tip to God.

I could honestly write a 5,000 word article on how horrible Sundays were as a server.  And even in retail, Sundays were the worst.  Though at least in retail you’re making hourly.

Well, in response to this ignorance, Tennessee pastor Chad Roberts decided to create a website called Sundays Are the Worst where people who serve at local restaurants could vent about how they were treated.

Is this a perfect idea?  Of course not.  But I still love it anyway.

Being in the service industry isn’t something everyone has done or can even do.  It’s hard, backbreaking work where your faith in humankind is constantly tested and so is your sanity.  Situations that are often made much worse by the good “churchgoing crowd” on Sunday mornings.

And as a former server, I applaud pastor Chad Roberts for taking a stand against the hypocrisy and ignorance so many in the church community display every Sunday when they’ve been told to be giving, caring and kind – yet when they leave church are often none of the above.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Cemetery Girl

    This is wonderful. I worked in a popular restaurant for the Sunday morning crowd. (Normally I was a server, but Sundays I only did Hostess duty because even though it was chaotic I knew what I’d make.) I saw so many people that would pull these stunts. I’d see customers complain we all needed to find God and leave those little pamphlets on Christianity as a tip. The reality is, a decent number of us would attend Sat or Sun evening services (because Sun morning we had to work!) I’d see customers come straight from church, literally curse out the staff for everything from the length of time they had to wait at the packed restaurant for a table to the little jelly tray being out of the kind they like, and then leave a 5% type. Working a Sun morning is hard. You know at least 75% of the customers are going to be horrible. All my “serving sucks” stories come from Sun mornings. All of them. And so often the worst people to have to deal with were the ones wearing their Sunday best

  • Anonymous

    Here’s an idea – pay servers working Sunday hourly instead of tip wage and help them out as the owner of the business. If you know you have unhappy servers and selfish customers, do what you can to help your employees. Not a hard concept.

    • TattooHero

      Are you willing to pay 10-15% more for your meal? That is what will happen if we get rid of tipping. The price of your meal will go up at minimum 10-15%

      • CooperMV

        If I knew the servers and other restaurant staff were guaranteed a decent wage, of course I’d be willing to pay a little more, and if the service was above and beyond I would still leave a tip.

      • shutdafrtdoor

        Sooooooo…you are one that leaves NO tip? Because if you did you would already realize that tipping raises the price of the meal by AT LEAST 15%. Dolt!

      • Eduardo Garcia

        I always tip and tip well, but only if I go to a REAL restaurant. Not a buffet, where you serve yourself. I don’t tip barbers. For taxi cab drivers or shuttle operators, I usually don’t tip because it seems like it’s getting to the point where everybody thinks they deserved a tip.

      • ellen72


      • Eduardo Garcia

        Yes I would. I rarely eat in restaurants. I cook at home; which is what most people should be doing. For me, going to a restaurant is a special occasion.

  • Sunnysmom

    Ok, at first I thought this was a cool idea to collect these stories and I suppose if you just take it at face value, it still is. But then you look at their “questions” section on the “Sunday’s are the Worst” website and here’s a quote: “Church is a place to go to hear and to learn about the right way to do life.”

    I’m sorry, but that just flat pisses me off. I’ve spent very little time in a church in 41 years and I lead a pretty good and decent human life. I do not need a church to tell me how to do this. This is equivalent to leaving a Jesus flyer for a tip Pastor Roberts. Ugh.

  • Robert Lee Smith

    Goodness. I worked at the Office Despot Easter Sunday many several years ago. It really was one of the worst days of my life. It really is totally poop that food service employees deal with the same awful people but- from what this story leads me to believe- they are paid significantly less for their service.

  • Gary Menten

    Tip well and people will be grateful. Tip very well and they will remember you.

    Jack Valenti

  • Eduardo Garcia

    The wage laws should be changed to qualify servers for minimum wage requirements.

  • Eduardo Garcia

    The problem is it’s getting to the point where everybody thinks they deserved a tip: barbers, shuttle operators (at the airport), hotel staff, taxi, servers at buffet-only restaurants (where you serve yourself). Nobody tips me at my job.