It also didn't help that the founder of the chain -- which has outlets all over the country -- is Native American.
In the photo posted to Facebook, the waitress is wearing a Famous Dave's shirt and standing in a restaurant kitchen; she is holding a cardboard sign that reads:
Spare Change? Help I'm a server at Famous Dave's on Pow Wow weekend! Anything helps! 5¢ 10¢! Its more than my tips <sic>
The employees weren't identified, but the chain's founder Miigwetch "Famous Dave" Anderson, said in a statement on the Last Real Indian's Facebook page that the waitress in the picture was "very, very remorseful" and that she didn't understand how the picture might be seen as disrespectful. He is Choctaw and Ojibwe, according to Indian Country Today, and a former Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs in the Department of the Interior.
Mike Wright, owner of the Famous Dave's Bismarck franchise and the employees' boss, also posted a statement, which read, in part:
When an employee decides to make an ass of him or herself they can now do it for all to see. Sadly, for reasons unkown to me, often times bitter employees also try to embarass the employers and taint the businesses where they work. Clearly a recent post by a now former employee fits this description.
It isn't clear where the image first appeared, but it was copied to multiple places on Facebook, including the Last Real Indians page and the Famous Dave page, according to the Indian Country Today Media Network.
That post (which appears to have been deleted) suggested Natives boycott the restaurant and sparked hundreds of comments from angered American Indians.
To many, the juxtaposition of a comment about tipping and the explicit reference to the International Powwow suggested that Native Americans are as a class poor tippers. As the Bismarck Tribune reports, the Powwow weekend results in $2 million spent at local businesses, according to the Bismarck-Mandan Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The original posting of the image on the Famous Dave's page "caused an immediate intense, visceral, and vulgar, set of reactions from both sides of the issue," according to the Last Real Indian's post on Anderson's apology.
It got ugly: people making threats at each other, potential threats directed at the waitress, using misogynistic terms and views, using racist terms against each other, you name it, it was said and we deleted those comments and banned every single perpetrator regardless of race or classification...
Food service and restaurant workers have been fired before for complaining about tips. There was also the Applebee's waitress fired for the appearance of a credit card receipt allegedly from a pastor with a party of 20 who left no tip. The image supposedly wasn't even posted by the waitress who served the table, but someone else at the restaurant.
Two employees at a Thai-Japanese restaurant in Delaware lost their jobs for posting photos of credit card receipts and racial slurs on Instagram. And there was the New York City food truck worker who lost his job over shaming non-tippers on Twitter.
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