Waffle House waitress Shaina Brown earned one generous tip in May. But a little-known restaurant policy almost cost the North Carolina woman $1,000.
On May 11, Brown received a $1,000 tip while working the night shift at a Waffle House in Raleigh, reports local WTVD. After receiving what he deemed exceptional service from Brown, the patron left the hefty tip and an additional $500 for a customer who was also friendly.
According the Charlotte Observer, the patron used his credit card to pay for his bill. He wrote $1,500 on the tip line of the receipt, instructing Brown to take $1,000 and pass the remaining $500 on to the other customer.
Later that night, Brown says her manager informed her that she would not be allowed to keep the tip. Waffle House policy states that a customer must pay extremely large tips in cash or check. This policy is in place in case a customer later disputes the charge or requests a refund.
Brown was surprised by the denial of the tip, telling WTVD that she was embarrassed by the incident.
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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, 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 runaround."
After several weeks of discussion with company managers, Brown received her long-awaited tip directly from the original patron. The man, a local businessman who wants to remain anonymous, returned to the restaurant with a check for Brown.
Brown told WTVD she knows who the man is and is thankful for his kind actions.