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Administrator 2009 SLK 55 AMG/Founding Member 2006
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Waffle House Denies Waitress $1,000 Tip

It was Shaina Brown's lucky day.

During a night shift on Mother's Day in North Carolina, the Waffle House waitress received an extraordinary tip from a humble benefactor. The man, who has not been named, wanted to leave $1,000 for Brown, and an additional $500 he wanted her to share with another customer in the Raleigh restaurant, local outlet The News & Observer reports.

So the benevolent patron wrote $1,500 on the tip line on his receipt before leaving. Brown was overjoyed to receive the gift, until she learned that it was not in Waffle House's policy to let her keep such a generous tip.

As Waffle House policy dictates, large tips charged on a credit card are automatically returned to the customer.

In an email to The Huffington Post, Waffle House representative Kelly Thrasher-Bruner wrote:

When a guest makes a tip of this size, it is our procedure to refund the tip amount and ask the guest to make the tip in either cash or a check. We follow this procedure in the event the customer decides to dispute the credit card charge and ask for a refund for the tip amount at a later date.
In this case, our Management contacted the customer within 24 hours, explained the procedure, and then refunded the tip amount to his account.

Fortunately, the customer found a way around the problem and returned to the Waffle House to write Brown a check for $1,000, WTVD reports.

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- A $1,000 tip given to a local Waffle House waitress should be a heartwarming story, but the restaurant wouldn't let her keep the money.

Shaina Brown was working the night shift on May 11, Mother's Day, at the Waffle House on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh. By all accounts, she was doing what she normally does -- connecting with customers. However, that night, one patron was extremely impressed with her kindness and affable personality.

When it came time to pay the check, he left Brown a $1,000 tip and another $500 for a nearby customer who was kind as well. Yet, at the end of her shift, Brown found out she couldn't keep the money.

Her manager said Waffle House policy is that unless a customer pays in cash or check, extremely large tips have to be refunded in case the customer decides later to dispute the charge or ask for a refund.

Needless to say, this did not go over well with Brown, a single mom with a car that needs a new transmission. The $1,000 would've been a blessing.

"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, a loyal Waffle House waitress for seven years. "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."

Waffle House says generous tippers can pay with cash or check directly to their server, and that's exactly what happened last week. After weeks of wrangling with company managers, Brown got a call from her anonymous benefactor. He'd heard about the trouble over the tip and got out his checkbook.

ABC11 did speak with the mysterious generous tipper Monday. He's a local businessman who doesn't want his name in the news, but Brown knows who he is and says she is extremely grateful.

"He's like a hero to me, and I thank him for that," she said.

Founding Member #2 2008 SLK55 AMG
19,407 Posts
I do understand management's position if the tip was paced on a credit card, as it can be disputed at a later date.

Management could have explained/worded it better to the waitress rather than stating it outright that this is a matter of policy, and perhaps explain to her that they would clarify the matter and also help her secure the tip if this was the customer's wish.

Sadly Gregg has passed away
2,432 Posts
Some late night Waffle House customers may scale their tip to their level of inebriation. Checks? I say Ben Franklins are where its at!

I love waffles and everything about them. Waffles, friends, fast cars, work.....well work certainly falls last! Did you know that Barack Obama was recently quoted asking....."Why can't I just eat my waffle!"
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