Waffle House Forces Waitress To Give Back $1,000 Tip
By Ashley Lutz
A Waffle House waitress who received a $1,000 tip says she was forced to give the money back to her customer.
Shaina Brown has worked the late shift at a Waffle House in Raleigh, North Carolina for seven years.
She told Josh Shaffer at the Raleigh News-Observer that she was working at 3 a.m. on Mother's Day when a customer said "I'm going to bless you tonight."
The customer added a $1,500 tip to the credit card receipt, instructing Brown to take $1,000 and give $500 to a woman at a nearby table.
Shaffer confirmed the tip with the customer, a local businessman.
But Brown, a mother of two, didn't get to keep the tip.
A Waffle House spokeswoman told the newspaper that it's procedure to refund large tips to customers.
"Generous tippers are asked to tip again by cash or check," Shaffer writes. "The restaurant handles it that way, she explained, in case the customer decides to dispute the tip later or ask for a refund."
The businessman said he plans to send Brown a check.
But Shaffer writes that he disagrees with Waffle House's policy.
"You don't put up roadblocks to charity. You don't make it hard for people to be nice, or they'll give up trying," he writes. "And more than anything, you don't dump on your own people as a matter of policy."
Since Shaffer reported on the incident, many customers have taken to Waffle House's Facebook page to express their opinions.
While most customers side with the server, others see the logic behind Waffle House's policy.
"People who leave thousand dollar tips or otherwise give large amounts of money to strangers are often suffering from a neuropsychiatric condition (manic episode, major depression, dementia) or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs," one customer writes. "Waffle House's policy is very responsible and avoids potential lawsuits from the gift-givers or their families."