The dream customer would be the big tipper when working in the service industry. In 2021, a waitress took over the shift for her colleague who wasn’t feeling well. She was to serve a large table of customers who ended up giving a $4,400 tip they intended for the original waitress and the one who took over. Things quickly turned south when the manager of the restaurant suddenly changed the rules of how they accept tips. She ended up getting fired for taking the money.
The $100 Dinner Club – Big Tippers
Many servers in the hospitality industry rely on big tips as their salaries are not high enough to get them and their families through the month. Ryan Brandt, a waitress that worked in a restaurant, called Oven and Tap, was serving a table of over 40 people. She only took the tip when her colleague had fallen ill. Grant Wise, or @likegrantwise, the leader of the large dinner party, had intended to bless whomever served them with a large tip.
After they enjoyed their meals, Grant Wise called Ryan Brandt over. He put his arm around her waist while he spoke to his fellow diners. One of the people sitting at the table recorded the moment Grant spoke to Ryan and posted it to Instagram. “We got to bless our server tonight with $4400,” reads the caption of the post. “As a group we collected 100 from each of us at the #witly CMO Conference. I’m humbled to have been part of something so beautiful and generous. To bless someone else without previously knowing them.”
Grant explained that they were all participating in a $100 dinner club night. This is a viral trend going around where people will go out for a meal, and each person at the table gives in $100 as a tip, regardless of the bill’s total. As Grant mentioned that Ryan would receive $4,400, she put her hands to her mouth in disbelief. Shortly after, she burst into tears of joy. The post continued to say: “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.”
Read: Are tip requests getting out of hand? Many consumers say yes.
Unfair Dismissal After Big Tipper Asked for Money Back
Grant Wise, a real estate agent, had called the restaurant beforehand. He asked whether the restaurant had a policy for sharing tips. According to reports, they said the waiters get to keep their tips, but a portion of their salary pays the runners and bar staff. So, the large group enjoyed their dinner, knowing their waitress would be receiving the full tip they intended to give her.
Sadly, Ryan Brandt’s high after serving a table of big tippers was short-lived. The manager of the restaurant possibly overheard Grant announcing her tip. “I was told that I was going to be giving my cash over to my shift manager. And I would be taking home 20%,“ Said Ryan in a interview with KNWA news.
As Grant Wise had called to ask, the restaurant did not normally make the waitresses share their tips. So, this was something new to Ryan. She explained this to her big tipper, but Grant Wise wouldn’t stand for it. He explained to the manager that sharing the tip with other waiters who had not helped him was not a part of his plan.
So, he asked for the money back, which he gave to Ryan outside the premises. According to reports, Ryan subsequently got fired from her job for accepting the money. This unfair treatment left her unable to pay bills or buy food. Additionally, she had student loan bills to pay, which were soon to open up again, following their pause during the pandemic.
Read: Server lashes out at customer who gave 10% tip after complimenting her performance
Refusal to Explain
The restaurant was approached by KNWA News, who wanted to question them about the incident. They asked for an explanation of why Ryan Brandt had been fired. They explained that the big tippers had asked for the tip back so they could give it to specific waitresses. According to them, they obliged.
However, they refused to give a statement on their reasoning for terminating Ryan’s employment. “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.
“Because we value our employees and highly respect their privacy, we never discuss personnel issues. 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.“
Later, they threatened to sue Ryan Brandt for damaging their reputation. They sent her a cease and desist letter after a staggering amount of negative views and ratings were bestowed upon Oven and Tap. They have since “been cast as a restaurant that treats its employees poorly.”
Big Tipper and Fundraiser
Grant Wise has now started a GoFundMe page in Ryan Brandt’s honor. The purpose is to help her get some money so she could pay her rent and utility bills as well as to buy food. The page managed to earn $18,367 in total. Although, $8,732 of that amount is to go to Ryan Brandt. Anything passed that is to go to the next waitress they decide to eat at.
Keep Reading: Large Group Of Teens Tips Waiter Only $3.28. A Few Days Later This Note Is Handed To Him
- “Oven and Tap employee let go after $4,400 tip.” NWA Homepage. Will Moclaire. December 10, 2021.
- “Waitress Fired After Receiving $4,400 Tip From Customer.” IGV Official. Rosario Manochino. May 3 2023
- “An Arkansas waitress served a party that tipped $4,400. It led to her getting fired.” Washington Post. Jonathan Edwards. December 16, 2021.