Diners Tipped Their Servers US$4,400 After A Big Meal & One Server Was Fired Over It

The generous act didn't play out the way the diners expected.

Global Staff Writer
Diners Tipped Their Servers US$4,400 After A Big Meal & One Server Was Fired Over It

Two waitresses at an Arkansas restaurant received the surprise of a lifetime when a 44-person table left them a huge tip ahead of the holidays.

Each person at the table left a $100 tip, totalling US$4,400.

But one server claims that management forced them to hand over most of the cash, in a move that they’d never seen before at the Oven and Tap restaurant in Bentonville, Arkansas.

After the managers took the tip from them, they told the servers that they would only be allowed to take home 20% of the cash.

That set off a disagreement between management, the servers and the customers that ended with one of the servers being fired, according to KNWA.

Once the diners found out about what had happened with the tip, they asked the managers to return the money and eventually gave it all back to the servers.

Ryan Brandt, the waitress who was fired, says she was asked to share the tip with the rest of the restaurant employees, which she had never been asked to do before, she told KNWA.

Customer Grant Wise, who organized the meal and the tip, says he actually called the restaurant beforehand to check their tipping policy, and he was disappointed by how things played out.

"It was an incredible thing to do, and to see her reaction was awesome," said Wise.

When he found out about what the restaurant had done, he asked them to return the tip and ended up giving Brandt the money outside the restaurant.

Brandt was fired shortly after that.

The restaurant claims it fired Brandt because she violated policy by telling Wise about how the tips are divided, according to KNWA.

“I can’t understand why but I think it’s incredibly unfortunate,” Wise said in a video reaction to Brandt’s firing. “Especially this close to the holidays.”

The termination puts Brandt, who has bills and loans to pay off, in a tight spot.

“It was devastating; I borrowed a significant amount for student loans,” said the waitress. “Most of them were turned off because of the pandemic, but they’re turning back on in January, and that’s a harsh reality.”

In an effort to help Brandt further, Wise has since started a GoFundMe campaign for her which has raised over US$15,000.

The restaurant provided a statement to KNWA, which said: “After dining, this large group of guests requested that their gratuity be given to two particular servers. We fully honored their request. Out of respect for our highly valued team members, we do not discuss the details surrounding the termination of an employee.”

Since then, they released another statement to KNWA via email, which claimed that they didn’t fire Brandt over her keeping the tip.

“The other two servers who received generous tips that evening [...] — including one who also received $2,200 — are still members of our team,” said the statement.

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