Waitress receives $4,400 tip from happy customer – what her employee did next is so out of order

There’s a strong debate to be had regarding tipping one’s server, but though not everyone looks at the custom the same way, none can deny that it’s a cornerstone of restaurant culture in the US.

I myself was raised to always tip my server. Many waiters and waitresses depend on tips for their livelihoods, and though I don’t agree that employers should be allowed to get away with underpaying their staff and putting the onus on customers instead, unfortunately that’s the way things are done.

In any case, I think we can all agree that most all servers deserve the money they make from tips. In 99 percent of cases, they work tirelessly to ensure the satisfaction of customers, and any extra money they receive as a by-product should, by rights, be theirs.

According to reports, though, one waitress at the Oven & Tap in Arkansas was fired after receiving a huge tip from one table she was waiting.

Credit: Instagram/@rebeccasoto_legacy

Ryan Brandt was speechless when, in 2021, she was given a $4,400 from a table of business executives. Any joy soon turned to dismay, however, when she was given her marching orders by the Oven & Tap eatery soon after.

One of the execs at the table in question, Rebecca Soto, uploaded a clip to Instagram to document the moment Brandt was handed a thick wad of cash for her services.

Soto captioned the heartwarming clip: “I’m humbled to have been part of something so beautiful and generous. To bless someone else without previously knowing them.

“I have been blessed, so it is wonderful to pay it forward and bless someone else.

“God bless all who contributed and the servers who received it. I pray it may be multiplied and impact their life for the better.”

Credit: Instagram/@rebeccasoto_legacy

In the video, the host of the evening, Grant Wise (pictured above), can be seen giving the cash to Ryan, telling her: “Everybody at this table has contributed or tipped $100 for you, and for the other waitress, who unfortunately had to go home because she wasn’t feeling well.

“And then we put it out to our social media channels, and we actually had quite a bit more money sent in. So we are tipping you a total of $4,400 for you to split with the other girl that took care of us.”

Ryan, in floods of happy tears, thanked Grant and the table, but there was a sting in the tale that she didn’t see coming.

The server told KNWA News: “I was told that I was going to be giving my cash over to my shift manager, and I would be taking home 20 per cent.”

She further elaborated that she had been an employee of Oven & Tap for more than three years and had never been told to hand in her tips before.

Credit: Instagram/@rebeccasoto_legacy

When Grant Wise caught wind of the situation, he promptly asked for the money back. He then handed it over to Ryan again, outside the restaurant, ensuring that his initial offering went to the right people.

Ryan, however, reentered her work place to find out that she’d been fired for accepting the money.

“It was devastating,” she said.

“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.”

Wise and his compassionate colleagues started a GoFundMe page for Ryan which subsequently amassed from $8,700 in a matter of days.

Oven & Tap, meanwhile, issued a statement on the matter, insisting that they had “honored” Wise’s table’s request that the tips go to Ryan and her colleague.

“After dining, this large group of guests requested that their gratuity be given to two particular servers,” the restaurant said.

“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.”

I don’t know about you, but I think there’s something seriously fishy going on if this establishment tried to take Ryan’s tip money.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Let us know that, as well as your opinions on tipping culture as a whole, in the comments box.

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