Is Applebee’s Ignoring This Former Employee’s Claims of Sexual Harassment?

This blog gives me a pretty loud voice and every once in a while, I like to use that voice to get attention for something that may be overlooked. Such is the case with a former Applebee’s employee who posted something onto Applebee’s Facebook page that went completely unnoticed and unanswered. Odd, considering that when a customer complains about the portion size of their soup or about how the crunchy shrimp wasn’t good enough, Applebee’s quickly replies in order to keep that customer from crossing the mall parking lot to go to Chili’s instead. However, when an employee complains about being sexually harassed by a cook and then being verbally assaulted by a manager, that comment goes completely unnoticed.

Enter my loud fucking voice.

On November 3, Tricia posted on Applebee’s Facebook page explaining how and why she quit the Wichita, Kansas Applebee’s on 320 South Ridge Road. She says she was made fun of on a daily basis, had a cook tell her she had nice breasts and she explains how when she decided to quit on the spot, the manager John called her names and yelled at her. She was “terrified and humiliated.” It seems that her efforts to speak to corporate about the situation are hitting brick walls and no one will respond to her.

Is this alright with anyone who is reading this? It can’t be. How can Applebee’s be so quick to apologize to someone on Facebook about not having the Riblets, yet completely ignore a very real and serious complaint from a former employee? Now, I realize that plenty of people are going to blast me for posting this and say things like, “How do you know she’s even telling the truth?” or “Maybe she was being too sensitive.” The fact of the matter is that Tricia felt terrified and humiliated and that is her reality. If she was willing to post her story on Facebook, why wouldn’t it be true? Why would anyone think it’s anything but true? Because she’s a woman? If a man had made a comment like that, would people still question its validity?

Before you answer, think about this that my friend Jenn Dodd wrote on Facebook:

16 woman accused Donald Trump of sexual misconduct. He’s POTUS.

Almost 50 accused Bill Cosby and it took Hannibel Burress (a man) bringing it up for people to actually listen.

OVER 80 WOMEN have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct. These allegations go back to the 70’s and they’re just now being taken seriously.

**1** MAN accuses Kevin Spacey of assault? Everyone believes him immediately without question, Spacey is duly punished, and his career is over.

So, I choose to believe that this woman was made uncomfortable at her job and I would like to see Applebee’s fucking respond to it. If they can send a freaking gift card to someone because they didn’t get enough Tomato Basil soup in their to-go cup, then they can sure as hell apologize to a former employee who felt threatened enough at her job to quit. Step it up, Applebee’s. Do better. At least reach out to this woman and make amends. Talk to Manager John and get his side of the story. Do something. Don’t just pretend you didn’t see it on your Facebook page and think it will eventually go away because as long as I have this blog, I am going to stand up for servers who are mistreated in the restaurant industry. And to me, it sounds like Tricia was mistreated and it just happened to be at your restaurant. I hope everyone who reads this feels the same way I do.

Applebee’s, the ball’s in your court.

I wait tables and bitch about it on my blog, The Bitchy Waiter.

43 thoughts on “Is Applebee’s Ignoring This Former Employee’s Claims of Sexual Harassment?

  1. During my tenures at Applebees I was sexually harrassed and verbally harrassed. Several of us kept quiet because we needed our job.

  2. I was sexually assaulted and harassed at two different Applebees. Nobody cared. I went to mgr and district mgr. To no avail. On my last day we were having a reopening. A big wig kept touching me. I was told to calm down and that I was overreacting. I even called the police but they laughed at me. They baker acted me because I was so upset. 3 days in a physic ward. I have since been diagnosed with ptsd due to the extent of my humiliation. I also have a phobia of men touching me. I will freak out. I REALLY want to be heard.

  3. Thank you, BW, for speaking out. Even if this account weren’t true (and I believe her), the same or similar happens to women in the service industry all the freaking time. The vast majority of women I’ve known (including myself and some men) have experienced sexual harassment on some level. It is very refreshing to hear someone (particularly a man) stand up for women against that stupid “boys will be boys” crap. It doesn’t have to have happened to you to affect you.

  4. I can tell Lauren is a guy because no woman of childbearing age calls another young woman “dear” when she is talking shit, like Lauren did above. Fail. Either a dude or a mid aged John groupie lady.

  5. Hooray, Tricia! Hope Jarvis was the cook. Now are they going to fire the GM or “transfer” the SOB?

    Here’s hoping it’s just the start of Applebee’s cleaning out all their abuse-infested restaurants.

  6. Erika, thank you!
    Lauren, please don’t text/drink/drive at the same time. You’re really embarrassing yourself.

    I still think you’re John the GM, or at this point, you could be the abusive cook, OR you’re one of John’s “lady friends” to alibi for him.

  7. Thats because I was on maternity leave during the few days that you woeked therw! Guys every company has its downfalls and bad employees but i will atand on the fact that this applevews has not got any harrassment issues ive ever seen this is steictky a case of a bittee waitress out for revenge because she got canbwd cuz she couldnt keep up. And tricia check your facts dear that store is the 3rd busiest in ks! And the highest volune in wichita$ stop lying on these guys it wll blow up in your face in the end!

    1. If you were on maternity leave when she worked there, how do you know she’s lying about what happened? You should try typing with your fingers and not your face.

  8. For every woman and man who courageously comes forward to bring light to abuse in the workplace, there are probably thousands who can’t. They need their jobs or they fear either verbal or physical repercussion. Bitchy, please keep us updated.

    And Lauren, I think you’re John the GM. You really should take a beginning grammar class. You’ll have a lot of time for that when you’re fired!

  9. I called the Kevin Spacey thing. My husband asked if I thought that anyone was going to believe the guy who accused him. I said, “of course they will, he’s a *guy.* Spacey will get fired, they will stop the show, and his career will go into the toilet. Of course if it was a *woman* accusing him, like the ones being called liars (still) about Cosby et al., that would be a whole ‘nother thing.” Oh and lookie there, just exactly what I said would happen.

    For the record, false accusations of rape/sexual assault are rare and in line with false accusations about all other violent crimes, that is to say almost always true. Of course when someone says they were mugged on the street we believe them…unless it’s a woman who was *also* sexually assaulted. In that case we call her a liar, say it was her fault.she was askign for it, or get mad at her for ‘ruining’ the life of a sexual predator.

  10. “If a man had made a comment like that, would people still question its validity?”

    Nope, not for one hot second. Everyone would take it as freaking gospel truth.

  11. I have been a server at the Applebee’s that Tricia worked at for 3 days and ive worked there for 2 years!Tricia had a bad attitude from day 1 and i believe the part about thecook. Thete r a few cooks that are foul mouth womanizers but they dont do it in front of management so management dont know! however I do not believe anything about John yelling at anybody John does not raise his voice to people he is almost always professional and he is concerned about the store and the customers as well as the employees. tricia is simply a better employee who did not get what she wanted and now has turned and try to get somebody in trouble who did nothing to her cuz she didnt get her way. Grow up Tricia! she quit because she couldn’t keep up she couldn’t handle it because it was a busy store as a lot of people can’t. the story is the biggest crock of BS I’ve ever heard in my entire life to Hughes John of this bull because you didn’t get your way. the story of these accusations are lies and absurd as everybody will see in the upcoming weeks. everybody please Focus your attention on real victims of abuse not Tricia as she is not!

    1. I worked at my local Applebees for approximately 4 weeks. I completed training and my first day working alone I was told to ask questions. So, if I was unsure of anything I would ask. The cooks humilated me, telling me I was stupid, and would laugh whenever I asked them anything. This was my first day serving without a trainer and also a busy Friday night. I brought this up to the GM and nothing was done. He said the cooks work the hardest and the don’t have the time to answer my questions. I stopped asking questions and put orders in regardless if I was unsure. The other servers were as helpful as they could be and management simply did not know enough to answer my questions.
      About a week later, I came in to open. I already had previous problems with the manager on duty but wasn’t going to let it ruin my day. I put back a salad and the lady who ordered it wanted to make some changes after I put the order in. I was than ridiculed and made fun of for not knowing which person did salads….this was my third shift.
      I was called numerous names in Spanish…PUTA being the only one I recognized.
      I didn’t want this to escalate any further so I went in the kitchen to find the MOD. She was cutting some produce with a large knife. I told her I was not putting up with the cooks harassment and needed to go. I had the restaurant’s money all ready for her and told another waitress to watch my section. The manager than picked up that large knife, shoved it in my face and screamed in my face that I was the problem not the cooks
      This was the first time I have been verbally attacked with a weapon at any job. I called the corporate office the same day and still have not heard back. This was in July 2015

      1. And you never will. I have some of my own horror stories at an Applebees in Athens Tn and Cocoa Florida. I am now on dissability due to ptsd. I reported and pleaded and nothing was ever done. I may not be famous but I still think our stories need to be told.

  12. As a Wichita resident, and in the industry, I can attest to the hell hole this place is. I have hired former cooks who said they could not handle the drug issue going on at that location. Among other things apparently. #metoo does nothing to gain the self respect back, the management team has let the inmates run the asylum too long, and without proper leadership and accountability it will continue until it shuts down. We have had TGIF and two Granite City’s shut down this last month, both better than microbees.(TGIF barely) Thank you for promoting this, hopefully it will shine a light on the harassment that goes on in an industry that more than not permits it.

  13. Dude. You have NO IDEA! I am a former Applebees Manager. I left the company for 10 years and came back recently as a server/bartender. The UK was kind of weird but aren’t we all? Anywho, I am older and most of the employees knew me either from when I worked there previously or because my son still worked there. Small town. You know how it is. As I got acclimated I heard stories about the GM talking inappropriately to the younger female employees. Then I heard about pics of his junk being sent to females. Stories about him going to a local massage parlor with a male server to get a “happy ending”….etc. I chalked some of it up to simply restaurant drama….but then I saw some of the messages for myself. THEN the dumbass decided to hit on my daughter who recently began working there. Now. I know he’s married. And obviously felt he was above the law since he had no qualms about acting like that around me. Well a new manager went to bat for my daughter and other young ladies who all came forward. Lots of staff members gave statements. In fact, one staff member had pages of documentation showing where she had filed a complaint 3 years previously…to no avail since the GM was a top performer for the company so the AD brushed it under the rug. After ALL of this came out he wasn’t fired. No. He was simply moved to another store. However once they did an inventory and realized he was falsifying the numbers and we were short 9000 they finally canned him. BUT NOT FOR BEING A PERVERTED SHIT who had some girls so freaked out that they wouldn’t open alone with him. Oh no. Only because he was hitting thier bottom line. It makes me physically ill.

  14. I worked for Applebee’s for 12 years and I fully believe this young woman’s story. One of my coworkers joked about raping me on two different occasions and my managers did nothing about it. They even went as far as to make it seem like I was being too sensitive about the situation. This isn’t the first time I had been sexually harassed and it certainly wasn’t the last. Applebee’s has gone way downhill and will only continue to do so because they don’t give a fuck about their employees.

  15. Thanks BW for getting the word out. Tricia, if you need $$$ for an attorney, please make sure you post it on your FB page. I’ll be more than happy to contribute.

    It’s too bad you didn’t call the police while you were in the restaurant, desperately trying to get out.

    I’m sure your future attorney merely needs to put out the word that he/she needs more employees or ex-employees of this hellhole franchise who’ve been sexually harassed (and I’m sure there’s a long history of that at that particular restaurant), that you and other victims will be able to hit these subhumans where it really hurts – their wallets.

    At the very least, the cook and GM should be fired ASAP.

    When does the abuse shop? When will employees be treated as PEOPLE?????

  16. I’m sure she’s telling the truth. I’m a server at an Applebee’s and every single time I go in to work I get sexually harassed by one of our cooks who is so friendly with one of the managers that he won’t do anything. One time he slapped my ass so hard I almost dropped the plate I had in my hand. And our managers don’t get a damn about what we have to say or how we’re feeling about how everything is going. It’s gotten to the point that I’m ready to quit and find somewhere else.

    1. Talk to a lawyer who specializes in sexual harassment. You shouldn’t have to deal with that. Neither should Tricia (or anyone else).

  17. Sounds like the only thing this shitty company listens to is the sounds of the phone ringing from the lawyers office. This woman DEFINITELY needs to file a lawsuit against them. Like another commenter, I’m not sure-happy but honestly, this company has gotten away with WAAAAYYY too much for ex-employees to be quite any longer. They have crappy food and shitty management all the way up the corporate ladder. It’s time for this sad excuse for a company to be shut down. It’s just time.

  18. This has happened to a former (shift manager) employee at a local applebees in Virginia, she was hit with a broom while pregnant. she made many complaints no one would listen to her. She left but if you listen to her story you can hear feel her pain. She was only trying to make a better life for her unborn child she put up with alot of crap she normally wouldnt have.

  19. For all the attention (rightly) paid to sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood, women in workaday service jobs get it just as bad if not worse. I hope she’s able to get a lawyer and sue the shit out of them. I’m poorer than a church mouse, but I’d give her a couple bucks if she’s having trouble with the initial retainer payment.

  20. This is my favorite post that you have ever written. Thank you for using your platform to stand up for employees (especially women) being mistreated.

  21. I was employed by Crapplebees for almost 10 years and I for one fully believe this young lady. She needs to stand up and hire a lawyer. No I’m not a sue crazy person but it’s the only thing that will get their attention and only thing that will get her vindication. The list is long of crazy and outrageous things I witnessed in the decade I worked there. Life’s too short!!!

  22. I read every one of your post especially the ones on applebees. And I have never commented but this is crazy. No one deserves to feel that way at a job where they have to give up their tips any way!! I have to say I love my job ill never ever work for any applebees

  23. Sexual harassment is serious, hostile work environment is serious, and not being allowed to leave and being held by management is kidnapping. Press charges and sue the fuck out of them!

  24. I worked for Applebees for 7 years, it took a female cook a year to get listened to about her sexual harrassment. (The GM AND Area director both got fired but only after massive lawsuit was threatened) The Applebees Corporate mentality is employees are subhuman upsell machines, easily replaceable, and are told this in a shift meeting almost daily. If you dont like something, gtfo then. It was truly the shittiest company i have ever worked for, if not for my awesome regulars keeping things fun and lucrative 🙂 i would have left long before i did. Applebees “family” only applies to the nasty old ladies complaining about too much broccoli on their plate, in which case they would be glad to buy everyones dinner. Employees are the heart and soul, and unfortunately Applebees does in no way feel this way about them. They will however give you a 5.00 gift card to Starbucks if you sell 200 perfect margaritas so high five for that.

    1. I was harassed at Applebees as well.. My manager would repeatedly touch me and other girls there. He even did it in front of another manager. He repeatedly insulted my boyfriend which was not necessary or called for. I quit with no notice bc I as starting to have anxiety attacks prior to and at work.

  25. A-FUCKING-MEN!!!!!
    Thank you for using your platform and your voice to help those who need it, Bitchy.
    In the meantime, FUCK APPLEBEES, I want justice for Tricia!

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