Although there is a lot of disagreement about how much to tip your server, no one can dispute that it is a fundamental aspect of American restaurant culture.
I was taught to always tip wait staff. Although I don’t think employers should be able to get away with underpaying their staff and placing the blame on customers instead, that’s unfortunately the way things are done. Many waiters and waitresses rely on tips for their livelihoods.
In any event, I believe we can all agree that the majority of servers deserve the tips they receive. They put forth a lot of effort to assure client happiness in 99 percent of the situations, thus whatever additional money they get as a result should be theirs by law.
However, there are rumors that one waitress at the Oven & Tap in Arkansas was let go after receiving a sizable tip from a table she was serving.
When Ryan Brandt received a $4,400 gift from a table of business executives in 2021, she was rendered speechless. However, any happiness was quickly replaced with disappointment when the Oven & Tap restaurant gave her her marching orders shortly after.
Rebecca Soto, one of the executives at the in issue table, posted a video clip to Instagram to capture the moment Brandt received her for her efforts in the form of a substantial bundle of cash.
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.”
Grant Wise (seen above), the show’s presenter, is seen in the video handing Ryan the money and saying, “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 thanked Grant and the table in floods of joyful tears, but the story had a sting she hadn’t anticipated.
The server remarked: “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 went on to say that she had worked at Oven & Tap for more than three years and had never been instructed to turn in her tips.
As soon as Grant Wise learned of the predicament, he demanded the money back. He then gave it to Ryan once more outside the restaurant to make sure that his initial gift was received by the proper individuals.
But when Ryan returned to her workplace, she was no longer employed because of her acceptance of the payment.
“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.”
Ryan’s GoFundMe page was launched by Wise and his sympathetic coworkers, and it quickly accumulated $8,700.
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 if this institution tried to seize Ryan’s tip money, I think there’s something very strange going on.