A North Carolina Waffle House waitress received a $1,000 tip, but wasn’t allowed to keep it.
Shaina Brown was working the late shift on May 11, Mother’s Day, at the Waffle House on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh. One person who was extremely impressed with her kindness and personality told her that they were “going to bless [you] tonight.”
When it came time to pay the check, he left Brown a $1,000 tip and $500 for another haggard-looking woman at a table nearby, 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.
That policy didn’t sit well with Brown, a single mom with a car that needs a new transmission. The $1,000 would’ve been a blessing.
“I feel like they stole from me,” Brown told the Charlotte Observer. “They did exactly what they teach us not to do.”
“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.”
After a couple of weeks, Brown got a call from her anonymous generous tipper. He’d heard about the trouble over the tip and got out his checkbook to write her the tip all over again.
ABC11 did speak with the mysterious generous tipper. 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.