Sometimes splitting the bill can lead to drama — and the same can apparently be said for splitting the tip!
According to reports, an Arkansas waitress found herself in a pickle when she received a generous $4k tip, only to be fired after her manager tried to make her split it with her co-workers.
It all went down on December 6, when waitress Ryan Brandt (above, right) and another server waited on a party of over 40 at Oven and Tap in Bentonville. Each eater had put in about $100 in tip money for a total of $4,400!
Grant Wise (above, left), who ate at the restaurant after a local conference, explained to CBS 5:
“We knew servers were really hit hard through COVID, and it was something that we had come up with to help give back.”
Brandt was blown away. She told KFSM:
“I was definitely like just in shock and overwhelmed with joy and gratitude in that moment as soon as I realized what he was saying.”
You can see the whole beautiful moment (below):
A post shared by Rebecca ???? Soto (@rebeccasoto_legacy)
A very kind gesture indeed… that ended so, so badly. See, the diners intended for the money to be split only between their two servers — for a whopping $2,200 apiece!
Unfortunately, the eatery’s manager had other plans, and ordered Brandt to share the tip with her co-workers who didn’t serve the large party. Tip pooling is a common practice at some restaurants — but not at the Oven and Tap! While speaking to Fox 59, Brandt said tip pooling was unprecedented in her more than three years working there. And when you learn who she was supposed to suddenly be sharing the money with, you’ll understand why she was so incensed:
“I was told that I was going to be giving my cash over to my shift manager, and I would be taking home 20 percent.”
That’s right. We aren’t talking about tip pooling anymore, sharing between the waitstaff. She was being ordered to give some to her manager — that’s not even legal!
Naturally, Wise wasn’t having that. After the real estate pro found out about the manager’s idea, he called and asked if tip pooling was something the restaurant did regularly, and he says they admitted they do not. He demanded the restaurant return the tip money to him, which they did — then gave Brandt the $2,200 himself outside the restaurant!
The next day, however, Brandt was given something else: the ax. She told the news station:
“They fired me from Oven and Tap over the phone and I’ve been there for 3 1/2 years and that was really heartbreaking. Especially because I didn’t think I did anything wrong.”
Why exactly she was fired, however, is apparently up for debate. Oven and Tap said in a statement that Brandt was canned for reasons unrelated to the tipping incident, and that it “fully honored” the party’s requests to reward the duo who served them.
The statement explained:
“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. The server who was terminated several days after the group dined with us was not let go because she chose to keep the tip money. The other two servers who received generous tips that evening from the Witly organization — including one who also received $2,200 — are still members of our team.”
Brandt begs to differ though. She said about losing her job:
“It was devastating, I borrowed a significant amount for student loans. Most of them were turned off because of the pandemic but they’re turning back on in January and that’s a harsh reality.”
It’s a little hard for us to buy that after the tip dispute, she just happened to be fired for a completely unrelated reason the restaurant couldn’t be bothered to even give. How awful!
For his part, Wise is hoping to continue helping Brandt out during a hard time. He launched a GoFundMe page for the waitress, which has raised over $10,700 as of this writing.
What do U think really went down here? Share your thoughts (below).
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