September 08, 2013

Waitress implies Indians don't tip

Famous Dave's Waitress Canned For Powwow PoutWhat happens when you work for a massively famous Indian-owned restaurant and go on Facebook and say Indian customers are bad tippers?

Well, if you're this woman from Bismarck, North Dakota, you no longer work for said restaurant! Yes, this young former waitress at the Famous Dave's in Bismarck thought it would be funny to complain about the influx of customers during the United Tribes International Powwow.

Maybe she thought she'd get away with it but Indians are on the Internet these days (surprise!) and word spread quickly about her inappropriate use of social media and she was just as quickly canned by the owner of the franchise.

Employees fired for Facebook post

By Jessica HoldmanTwo employees at Famous Dave’s in Bismarck were fired after posting a photo to Facebook complaining about tips during the United Tribes International Powwow.

The photo depicted one employee holding a cardboard sign that read, “Help I’m a server at Famous Dave’s on Pow Wow weekend! Anything helps! 5 cents 25 cents! It’s more than my tips.”

The employee pictured was in the restaurant and wearing her uniform in the photo. She and the employee who took the photo were both fired.

“Like many employers, we employ many people. People have opinions. Social media allows an outlet for these opinions,” owner Mike Wright said in a statement on Facebook. “Sadly, for reasons unknown to me, often times bitter employees also try to embarrass the employers and taint the businesses where they work. Clearly a recent post by a now former employee fits this description.”
Some comments on the first posting:Sad. She may not have realized she was essentially making a racist remark when she complained so publically that on a very busy weekend tips were poor: I see similar complaints from waitstaff all over the country on busy weekends of all kinds, but she had the bad luck to whine about one such that is definitely about one race. Would she have been fired for making the same comment about a concert weekend? or a rodeo weekend? I hope she realizes she made not just one but TWO serious errors in judgement: first, she cast her business in a poor light by complaining about how cheap her customers were while in company uniform; and second, she potentially did her employer serious harm by making his business look as though it employs racists. Hoo, boy, I can only hope she learns something form this instead of blaming everyone but herself. It's just a shame she may have made herself look like some racist POS without necessarily being one.

I am saddened to see a person's business tarnished by this young woman's inappropriate post. He post signal that there is much work needed to be done to combat racism and negative stereotypes. I am sure she was socialized perhaps by her peers, family and to some extent, the stereotypes in the media, to view Natives in this regard.
Comment:  Some people commented that Indians really don't tip well. One, that may be true in some parts of the country, but not everywhere. Two, it may because they're poor and can't afford it. Three, her negative attitude may have something to do with her lack of tips.

For more on restaurant-oriented racism, see Happy Meal Characters Stereotype Indians and Restaurant Serves "Half-Breed" Hamburgers.


Anonymous said...

Any one that works in the service industry whether its a restaurant, hotel, casino or anywhere tips are allowed should just be thankful! Not every employer allows you to collect tips especially one Indian casino in Colorado where they give away cars. Good workers are hard to find, but even more, good employers are a thing of the past.

dmarks said...

Glad the fast food unionization movement has gone no-where. If we had it, bad workers like these would still be at their jobs.

Rob said...

For more on the subject, see:

Tipping Point: Fired Famous Dave's Server Says 'I Take Full Responsibility'

Former Famous Dave's server Andrea Casson says she doesn't know who created the sign that sparked outrage in Indian country, and never intended for the picture of her holding it to end up on Facebook.

Nevertheless, she told KMOT-TV, she says that she understands that her termination was necessary.