It was a typical Saturday shift for Samantha Heaton at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Rockport, Illinois. That is, until the end of her service with a family of five.
When Heaton, 20, went to pick up her check, she was not greeted with a normal 10-20% tip. Instead, she found no tip at all and a rude note.
The note read: ‘Can’t tip someone who doesn’t love Jesus. Bad tatoo [sic].’
The tattoo, a rainbow equality sign, and receipt in question can be seen in the Facebook post below. The post was made by Heaton’s co-worker, reminding people that religion and homosexuality do not have to be mutually exclusive.
Despite the fact that Heaton’s sexuality nor religion ever came up during the service, the patrons decided not to tip on their $60.55 bill.
‘I went above and beyond for this couple, and for them to leave that [note] kind of hurt,’ Heaton told The Rock River Times. ‘Like, I have bills to pay too.’
Tips are crucial for servers. In the United States, tipped employees can receive a wage as low as $2.13. That amount combined with tips must meet the federal minimum wage. If they do not, the employer must make up the difference. In Illinois, minimum wage is $8.25.
‘Kids are going to be under the impression that it will be OK to discriminate’
This interaction, however, did not leave Heaton feeling beat.
‘Someone asked me the other day if I would go back in time and get the same tattoo and I said, “No I would get it bigger,”‘ she said.
Heaton explained she’s primarily concerned children saw this happen. ‘The kids are going to be under the impression that it will be OK to discriminate against anybody,’ she commented, referring to the young kids who were also at the table.
She also questioned the parents’ decision to judge her without knowing her.
‘I do believe in Jesus and God. I myself am a Christian. And, as a Christian, thou shall not judge,’ she further said to the Rock. ‘No matter how someone looks, you should love them for what’s in their heart and how they treat you—not for what is on the outside. As someone who came out when it was still a battle for the LGBTQ community, that’s just plain rude and uncalled for. What if one day their kids grow up and want to be with the same sex, are they going to disown them? Throw them on the street?’
Buffalo Wild Wings corporate did not immediately respond to comment.