Waffle House denies waitress $1,000 tip, but she gets it back


Waffle House, a restaurant chain found primarily in the South, has apologized after forcing one of its workers to give back a $1,000 tip.

Shaina Brown was working the graveyard shift at a Waffle House in Raleigh, N.C., in the early morning hours on Mother’s Day, when a customer left her a $1,000 tip using a credit card.

The customer paid his bill, left $1,500 on the tip line of the credit card ticket, and then asked Brown to give $500 of it to a customer at a table nearby, the Charlotte Observer reported.


“He said, ‘I’m going to bless you today,’ ” Brown told “He was just trying to show that there are still good people out there.”

But Brown’s manager told her she needed to cancel the tip. Now the chain is apologizing for its actions.

“Our intentions were for the associate to receive her tip all along,” said Waffle House spokeswoman Kelly Thrasher-Bruner. “Our management contacted the customer within 24 hours, said we would refund the tip amount, and asked him to give the tip in either cash or check.”

Thrasher-Bruner said the company’s intent was to ensure the unusually high tip was really intended for Brown.

“We regret we did not explain the process fully to our associate, and this caused a misunderstanding,” said Thrasher-Bruner. “We apologized to the associate for not communicating the process better and not having a better solution.”

The Observer was able to track down the customer, who later connected with Brown and wrote her a personal check.

Waffle House has since issued a statement on its Facebook page saying it will review how it handles the distribution of tips paid by credit card.

“It says a lot about this customer that he was willing to tip our associate this generous amount,” the statement reads. “We are sorry that our associate and the customer are having to go through this, and we are working on a solution to better serve our customers and associates.”

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