Iowa waitress stiffed on tip for not being 'normal looking'

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |   March 17, 2016 at 2:04 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa, March 17 (UPI) -- A server at an Iowa restaurant felt like she was "back in middle school" when a stingy customer left a note reading, "Tips are only for normal looking people."

Taelor Beeck, a popular waitress at Zombie Burger in Des Moines, said she collected the completed bill from a customer Tuesday night and discovered the patron has crossed out the tip line on the $17.26 tab and wrote in, "Tips are only for normal looking people."

Beeck said she was shocked by the note.

"At first, I felt really upset, I felt attacked, I almost felt like I was back in middle school all over again, like being bullied," she told WHO-TV. "I felt like a burning anger inside of me."

"But I didn't act on it because it's not worth it when someone puts hate out there, you know to respond in a hateful way will do no good," Beeck said.

Zombie Burger's parent company, Orchestrate Hospitality, released a statement in support of the worker.

"We believe that zombie burger is a place that celebrates individuality. We stand by our staff. We also believe that our customers enjoy zombie burger because it is a wonderfully unique place and that includes the team members. We are in 100% support of our staff. And we're confident that our customers will be as well. She is an example of a great team member and we are standing by her."

Beeck said she does not plan to alter her personal style to suit customers like the stingy tipper.

"It's the way that I can express myself artistically and it's really important for me that I'm allowed to do that, and it's OK if people don't understand it because it's just who I am," Beeck said.

Beeck said she has a message for the offending customer.

"I would tell them to not judge someone based on what they look like," Beeck said. "I mean, I may look like a weirdo but I'm actually a very nice, decent person."

The server said she has been overwhelmed with support from customers and members of the public.

"It's truly incredible how something so negative can turn into something so positive," she tweeted. "Radiate light."

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