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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Thursday, July 17, 2014

Waffle House Stiffs Waitress On $1,500 Tip

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By Clark Howard

ClarkHoward.com


If you work as a restaurant server, you know there are times when you work really hard and you get stiffed on a tip. One of the Kardashian sisters allegedly stiffed a server for a tip in the Hamptons and that's become a big story recently.

But wait until you get a load of this story that I read about in The News & Observer out of Raleigh, North Carolina.

Waffle House gets scattered, smothered, and covered in public outcry

A man who was eating at the Waffle House left a waitress a $1,500 tip on Mother's Day. He paid by credit card, wrote the tip in, and specifically asked that the waitress—a single mother of three named Shaina Brown—share $500 of the $1,500 tip with a "haggard-looking woman at a table nearby."

All of which he did right before running out the door to catch a cab…It has all the elements of a feel-good story, right?

Except that Waffle House did not allow Shaina to have the tip!

Company policy states that when somebody leaves a big tip on a credit card, the money is refunded to the patron. Waffle House assumes it will be an act of fraud and expects that it will come back as chargeback. A company spokeswoman said that patrons who want to leave large tips are asked to do so by cash or check instead.

Etiqette expert reveals the new normal for tipping.

But as the reporter for the News & Observer wrote: "It sounds weak to me. You’re denying your workers a benefit based on a worst-case scenario. Nobody carries $1,000 in cash to a Waffle House, and plenty of people leave the checkbook at home."

After public outcry, the restaurant chain subsequently apologized for refunding the tip and promised to review its policy. The anonymous patron, meanwhile, was tracked down by the News & Observer and he's since written Shaina a check for $1,000!

Read contributor Mike Timmermann's article, Tipping in America: Who Should You Tip and How Much Should You Give?

What do you think of Waffle House's actions?

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