Waitress who was left $4,400 tip by stranger is fired after boss ordered her to share it with colleagues
A WAITRESS handed a whopping $4,400 tip by a stranger has been fired – after her boss ordered her to share it with her colleagues.
Real estate boss Grant Wise gave the cash to Ryan Brandt after he and friends visited the Oven and Tap in Bentonville, Arkansas earlier this month, with each contributing $100 during the evening.
Wise, who came up with his idea of the '$100 club' during the pandemic, told KNWA he called the restaurant ahead of the outing to confirm servers didn't share tips.
Brandt and another waitress were left in tears as he gave them the money.
But soon after, Brandt said, restaurant managers told her she'd have to split the tip with all of her co-workers – something she claims hasn't happened in the three-and-a-half years she has worked there.
The University of Arkansas grad, who is in her early 30s, told Fox 59: "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."
She said she was "devastated" – as she'd planned to use the money to help pay off her student loans.
Just a few days later, Wise discovered Brandy had been fired for "violating" the restaurant's rules.
The businessman told 5 News he had picked the Oven and Tap as it was one of his favorite restaurants.
After dinner, he presented Brandt with her tip in a moment that was recorded and posted on Instagram.
In the footage, he says: "I'm so sorry to interrupt everyone's dinner, this will only take 60 seconds.
"We have a table full of absolutely amazing people from all over the country who have traveled here, and tonight we're hosting a $100 Dinner Club.
"Everyone at this table has contributed or tipped $100 for you and for the other waitress who unfortunately had to go home because she's not feeling well.
"And then we put it out to our social media channels, and then we actually had a bit more money sent in, so we are tipping a total of $4,400 for you to split with the other girl who took care of us."
Brandt was visibly in tears after the announcement, but soon, Wise said, he found out that the restaurant managers asked her to split her tip.
Wise said he tried to get in contact with the owner to "ensure that everything was going to be OK", but was unable to connect with her.
'I DON'T UNDERSTAND'
He then went back to Oven and Tap to get his money back and hand it to Brandt directly, outside the restaurant, he said.
But by December 7, Wise posted on social media, he had found out that Brandt was fired from her job.
"I'm so saddened to hear that the girl we tipped the other night at our $100 Dinner Club has been fired from her job," he wrote on Facebook.
"I don't fully understand why this would happen to what seems like such a sweet and kind-hearted woman.
"Nonetheless, I'm committed to showing her that there are great people in the world that will do good when they can."
He later set up a GoFundMe for Brandt, and told followers: "I hope that we can help this girl stay on top, and not let something like this get her down."
In a statement to FOX 59, Oven and Tap officials said: "After dining, this large group of guests requested that their gratuity be given to two particular servers. We fully honored their request.
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"Out of respect for our highly valued team members, we do not discuss the details surrounding the termination of an employee."
On Thursday, Wise posted an update saying Brandt was offered a job at another restaurant, and began work on December 8.
He shut down the fundraiser on Saturday, after it surpassed $8,700.
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