NC Waffle House Server Denied $1,000 Tip, Customer Finds Way Around Rule

waffle house waitress

When a server at a Raleigh North Carolina Waffle House was given a $1000 on Mother’s Day management told her she?could not have it.

Seven year employee Shaina Brown is a single mother of three?who works the night shift. She received the tip from a local business man on his credit card. When he paid his bill he told Brown he ?was ?leaving a $1500 tip. He asked her to give $500 to a lady sitting at a table nearby and to keep the rest for herself. With that he told her she had “a good spirit” and got into a cab.

After the customer had gone management told Brown that it was their policy to refund any large tips have to be refunded in case the customer decides later to dispute the charge or ask for a refund. A Waffle House spokesperson told the?The News & Observer?customers who want to make large tips can do so directly to the server with a check or cash.

Needless to say Ms. Brown was not pleased.

“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 a just a lot of run around.”

After weeks of debating with the corporate offices the business man, who wishes to remain anonymous, heard what happened and mailed Brown a check for $1000.

“He’s like a hero to me, and I thank him for that,” she said.

Since then Waffle House has issued an apology and said they are reviewing their policy

??This has given us cause to review our procedures so we can get tips to our associates quicker in these unusual situation.,? said the Waffle House post. ?It says a lot about this customer that he was willing to tip our associate this generous amount. Our intentions were for the associate to get her tip all along. We are sorry that our associate and the customer are having to go through this.?

I have been a server it is hard and often thankless work for low wages, especially when you work at a greasy spoon like Waffle House. If Waffle House’s concern is customers requesting refunds and disputing the amounts of tips on their credit cards, then why do they accept tips on cards at all??If they are worried about fraud among their employees, it is their job to safeguard the customers and make sure their employees get their money.

The only reason they are allowed to pay servers so little is because they make tips. They shouldn’t stand in the way of servers receiving their tips no matter the size. Let us know your thoughts at the Liberal America Facebook page.

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edited by tw

Laurie Bertram Roberts is the president of Mississippi National Organization for Women, a feminist activist, full spectrum doula and writer in Jackson, MS. Her family suspected she was trouble when at age 8 she preferred reading weekly news magazines over girly magazines. Her early fascination with liberal ideals, women's rights, was not quite welcome in her conservative fundamentalist Christian home. She is incredibly passionate about reproductive justice and fighting all forms of oppression. When not speaking truth to power she is likely hanging out with her children watching sci fi or doing other nerd like things.