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.

"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.