One waitress at a North Carolina Waffle House restaurant was denied a $1,000 tip due to company policy.
Shaina Brown, 26, says she was working the night shift in the Raleigh Waffle House on Mother’s Day when a kind customer came in to dine. The customer was reportedly impressed with her waitressing and overall demeanor, so when he paid the bill, he wrote a $1,500 tip on the credit card receipt.
The man asked Brown to give a nearby customer $500 from the tip, as a random act of kindness, and to keep the remaining $1,000 for herself. Before he left in a cab, the generous tipper told Brown, “You have a good spirit.”
Brown was overwhelmed by the customer’s kindness, but her excitement was quickly shattered when her manager informed her that she could not accept the tip because it was not left as cash or a check. The manager said that Waffle House’s policy does not allow for extremely high tips to be left on credit card receipts in case customers decided to get a refund or dispute the charge.
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"It wouldn't be different if the man landed cash on the table, and the manager had snatched it away and said, 'You can't have it!' It was very humiliating," said Brown. "I've never heard of this. Whether it is $5 or $100, I would've gotten that tip, but because it was that substantial amount, I don't know what the reason is but it's just a lot of run around."
Once Brown’s ordeal made headlines, the anonymous tipper eventually caught wind of the story, called the waitress personally, and offered her the money in the form of a check.
“He's like a hero to me, and I thank him for that,” said Brown.
Brown, a seven-year employee of Waffle House, plans to use the money to fix the broken transmission on her car.