Shaina Brown’s graveyard shift on Mother’s Day at a Waffle House in Raleigh, North Carolina took a bright turn when a customer said he was going to reward her because she had a “good spirit.”
A generous man told Brown, a 26-year-old mother of three, “I’m going to bless you,” and left her a $1,500 tip on his restaurant receipt, according to the Raleigh News-Observer.
The patron, an unidentified Raleigh businessman, asked Brown to share $500 with another patron in the restaurant.
But Waffle House crushed Brown’s spirit and confiscated that blessing when it informed her that she couldn’t have the gratuity, citing company policy.
“I feel like they stole from me,” Brown told the Raleigh News-Observer. “They did exactly what they teach us not to do.”
Why did Waffle House do this?
“When a guest makes a tip of this size, it is our procedure to refund the tip amount and ask the guest to make the tip in either cash or a check,” Waffle House spokeswoman Kelly Thrasher told The Daily Caller through email.
“We follow this procedure in the event the customer decides to dispute the credit card charge and ask for a refund for the tip amount at a later date.”
“In this case, our management contacted the customer within 24 hours, explained the procedure, and then refunded the tip amount to his account,” said Thrasher, adding “the manager also explained the procedure to the associate who was involved.”
The policy seems to be behind the times as more and more Americans leave their checkbooks, if they have them, at home and use credit cards instead of cash. Only 21 percent of Americans carry a checkbook with them on a daily basis, according to one survey.
And according to Javelin, a marketing research firm, in 2011, credit and debit cards were used in 66 percent of all point-of-sale transactions.
There are no available statistics on what percent of Americans carry $1,500 in cash with them into diners at 3 a.m.
But the story had a happy ending. The Raleigh News-Observer contacted the patron on behalf of Brown, who did not have the man’s contact information. He told the newspaper that he would be cutting Brown a check.