It's not easy being a restaurant server, and the job is even harder when people leave lousy tips. That's why Pastor Chad Roberts of Preaching Christ Church in Kingsport, Tennessee has set up a website for servers to vent about waiting on Sunday church crowds called "Sundays are the Worst."
He explains on the website:
Christians have a bad reputation when it comes to Sunday lunch times. Being a server at a restaurant is even harder; bad tips/ rude people/ more complaints-- the list goes on. As a church we want to change! This site is a place of pure honesty and testimony for those who serve at a local restaurant to share how they get treated when the church crowd comes in. Compared to a normal weekday, Sundays are the worst.
Roberts told the Times News that he came up with the idea for the website after hearing about the story of Alois Bell, a pastor who wrote on her receipt in lieu of a tip, "I give God ten percent, why do you get 18." He wanted to address the "disconnect" between the serving community and the church crowd that he perceived.
He said that some people don't realize how much their behavior reflects on their faith, explaining, "That’s the purpose of this campaign, to cause them to realize that their attitude matters and it affects those around them." The initiative began on March 2nd, and will continue until Easter Sunday, a day on which Roberts is encouraging people to double their tips.
Every server who submits a story to the site will receive an apology from the church and a chance to win a gift card for groceries or gas. “It’s a way for our church to tell the serving community that we’re sorry for what you have to go through on Sundays and that we really do appreciate you and what you do for our community," Roberts said.
Sometimes church members are the biggest obstacle standing between a potential church goer and the church. One woman explained:
For me, what made the experience so bad wasn’t just the rude behavior from these adult women, or the cheapness of stiffing me on the tip, or the sneakiness of leaving fake money on the table, or the assumption that I was beneath them because I didn’t discuss my beliefs with them, or any of the other things that added up into that experience. What really got me was that I was in a place, that very day, where I was considering going to church. A friend of mine had just committed suicide, and that very church had been recommended to me for grief counseling. I never went, I worked through it on my own, but the point is, those rude, presumptuous, and honestly mean women were the ONLY thing standing between me and the church that it was so important to them that I attend.
Are Christians actually bad tippers? A 2010 Cornell study revealed that while on average they gave a tip of 17.3% for good service, well inside the 15% to 20% norm, 13% of Christian diners left less than a 15% tip, which was almost double the percentage of unaffiliated diners. It concluded, "So while it is statistically false to say that Christians are bad tippers, it is true that Christians are more likely to stiff their servers than people of other religious (or non-religious) bents."
Perhaps "Sundays are the Worst" can change that.