Arkansas Waitress Forced to Split $4,400 Tip and is Then Fired

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A waitress was sacked after receiving a generous tip from customers and being forced to split it…

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Ryan Brandt from Arkansas was working at the Oven and Tap in Bentonville when a large party arrived…

To her surprise, the group of over forty people was part of a $100 Dinner Club, where each member agrees to pay $100 extra to help servers who are struggling financially.

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The organizer of the meet up, Grant Wise, posted Brandt’s reaction when she found out that she’d be receiving $2,200 of the $4,400 tip split with the other server who went home early.

“Leaving a $4400 tip! I’ll never forget this moment and I hope it inspires more people to host their own $100 Dinner Clubs! Grateful for everyone that helped us leave this tip,” Wise wrote on Instagram.

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She was understandably shaken and immediately broke down in tears.

Sadly, the joyous moment didn’t last long.

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Brandt was forced by her managers to spilt her hard-earned tip with all the other workers at the restaurant, despite never having a tip pooling policy over the last 3 years she worked there.

Brandt told KNWA: “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.”

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When Wise made the resevation for him and his members, he distinctly remebered asking if they had a tip pooling policy. He was told they didn’t, which is why he booked.

Brandt informed Wise of what happened, which led to him asking management for his money back before personally giving it over to Brandt.

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Brandt was later fired.

“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,” Brandt said.

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Although the restaurant has denied claims that Brandt was fired due to telling Wise about having to spilt the tip, writing in a statement…

“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,” they continued. “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.”

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Wise said he tried to get in contact with the manager to make sure Brandt would be ok following the tipping incident. But, he revealed that he was “unable to connect with her outside of a few text messages that eventually stopped.”

He later set up a GoFundMe after learning about her dismissal, raising a staggering $8,732.

“I do not personally know Ryan outside of her waiting on us in past Oven & Tap dinner outings. I do not know what type of employee she was outside of what I personally experienced and what we’ve read from other people commenting that were her regulars,” he wrote.

“My only goal is to help her get through this experience with the least amount of stress and anxiety possible and onto whatever her next opportunity may be.”

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He continued: “We chose Oven & Tap because it was one of our favorite local places to eat and we wanted our clients from all over the country to have the same experiences that we’ve grown to love over the last couple of years. We love the food and we love the atmosphere. Our clients felt the exact same way after dinner was over.”

“My intention is not to cause any harm to what was one of my favorite places in Northwest Arkansas but simply to help Ryan get back on her feet. I thought we did a good thing in hosting our $100 Dinner Club there and was so grateful to get to bless the servers that evening.”

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“We will be working to ensure through this that all staff in the restaurant are tipped so everyone feels blessed by our dinner,” he concluded.

What do you think? Should she have been made to share her tip?

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