On Mother’s Day, a customer at a Waffle House in North Carolina was feeling quite benevolent when he left a hefty tip for his waitress.  The customer called Shaina Brown over, and told her, “I’m going to bless you tonight.” And blessing he did. He paid his bill with a credit card and wrote $1,500 on the tip line, asking Brown to share $500 with a haggard-looking woman at a table nearby.

Unfortunately the Waffle House doesn’t take large tips via credit cards and made Brown ‘return’ the tip.
The Waffle House spokeswoman said those tippers who leave large tips are asked to tip again by cash or check. The restaurant handles it that way, she explained, in case the customer decides to dispute the tip later or ask for a refund.

I  think they didn’t let Brown keep her money because they didn’t feel like bothering with it. It’s easier to disappoint a hard-working waitress than lift an extra finger and maybe ruffle a feather or two up the corporate ladder.

When I called the businessman, he told me he didn’t know Brown’s name or number. So I gave it to him, and he’s writing her a personal check for the tip.

But to me, 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. And more than anything, you don’t dump on your own people as a matter of policy.

I’m guessing Brown’s co-workers are wondering what’ll happen the next time they get rewarded for a good deed. I’m also guessing that any of the Waffle House managers who made this call would feel differently if they’d had a bonus swiped from them.

So I suggest everybody visit the Hillsborough Street Waffle House on Thursday, Friday or Saturday night and specifically request Shaina Brown’s table. Bring cash. Write her name on the bills. And don’t let management take it.

It’s always good to know there are still nice people in the world.


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  • Anonin

    Checks for tips? And who cares about ruffling feathers of people up the corporate ladder us plebs can use our money we work for however we like seeing the way they treat us.

  • Michelle

    I am trying to understand why the tipper didn’t tip her with money instead of a check, for the second time.
    The Waffle House policy makes sense. A few months ago, a server had jumped into some hot water, when she billed a person $1,500, as her tip.

    • Mr. Z

      Who knows, maybe they weren’t carrying big bills like that around with them. I personally wouldn’t. That’s asking to have a target painted on your back.

  • Kiah G.

    Another faux controversy. Businesses OFTEN require further confirmation on credit card tips to ensure that money will not be disputed down the road. To accept an additional $1,500.00 charge and given to the waitress is a liability MOST companies are not willing to risk. So she was not DENIED her tip. The Waffle House immediately contacted the customer, informed them of the company’s policy and the customer then wrote the waitress a check at which point she was fully compensated and given her tip. This idea that some injustice was behind this or some phantom controversy is pure crap and it’s sad that once again instead of the facts people are writing partial stories just for shock value.

    This woman was given her FULL TIP within a day IF that long. Company’s have a right to protect their interests…they did the right thing in alerting the customer and ensuring that the waitress received her tip in accordance with the laws that govern their business.

    Why does everyone insist on creating outrage without facts to back it up?! For the full story and outcome: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/10/waffle-house-1000-tip-shaina-brown_n_5479054.html

  • ALM247

    It looks like the customer was able to write her a check for the large tip later on, so everything worked out in the end.