Waffle House denies waitress $1,000 tip, but diner finds loophole

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Waffle House

A Waffle House waitress told to give back a $1,000 tip after the company said it violated policy. (WTVD)

RALEIGH, North Carolina (PIX11) – A Waffle House waitress who received a $1,000 tip for her service was stunned to find out the company wouldn’t allow her to keep it — because it was too generous.

Shaina Brown, who has worked for seven years at the Raleigh restaurant, was waiting tables Mother’s Day night when a generous diner decided to richly reward her kindness and personality.  The anonymous customer gave Brown a $1,000 tip, according to WTVD, and another $500 to a customer as well.

Brown, a single mother in need of a new transmission for her car, was thrilled with the apparent godsend — until the Waffle House manager informed her that policy sometimes prevents employees from keeping large tips.

Waffle House

Waffle House employee Shaina Brown is a single mother and was planning on using some of the money to get a new transmission for her car. (WTVD)

Unless the tip is given in the form of cash or check, the money must be refunded in case the diner has second thoughts and seeks a refund.

“It wouldn’t be different if the man landed cash on the table, and the manager had snatched it away and said, ‘You can’t have it!’ It was very humiliating,” Brown told the station. “I’ve never heard of this. Whether it is $5 or $100, I would’ve gotten that tip, but because it was that substantial amount, I don’t know what the reason is but it’s a just a lot of run around.”

The story did have a happy ending, however.  Far from regretting the $1,000 tip, the unidentified diner saw the story in the news and contacted Brown directly to giver her the money.

The man, who Brown describes as “a hero,” is a local businessman who said he wanted to keep his name out of the story.



    • druvirus

      It’s not about greed. It isn’t like Waffle House was trying to keep the tip for themselves; the tip itself would have been voided out as if it never happened. The reason they don’t accept tips in this way is so that a random waitress/waiter doesn’t forge an outrageously large tip in an attempt to score some free money by adding a few zeroes to the tip. That could cause all sorts of problems across the board, from the customers to the store to the bank. Leaving it in cash or check is a much better way to track a tip. Waffle House just wants to cover it’s own ass so that they don’t have any problems, legally. I think it’s pretty understandable.

  • Michael Friedman

    I’m very glad to learn that Shaina Brown got to keep her well deserved tip.
    Te Waffle House should for all the aggrivation and grief that they caused Shaina
    should be made to match that gift !

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