Arkansas Waitress Fired After Receiving Huge Tip

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[5NEWS][YouTube]

Damir Mujezinovic

For workers in the service industry, there is nothing better than receiving a large tip, but one Arkansas waitress recently received such a huge sum that she made the news.

After attending a conference, owner of the real estate company Witly, Grant Wise, sat down for dinner with 40 other people at Oven and Tap in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Wise and his friends felt particularly grateful and generous that day, so they all chipped in and left an enormous $4,400 tip for their servers.

Scroll down for the story.

Generous Tip

Wise and his friends left the huge tip because they felt like servers needed all the help they could get due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"We knew servers were really hit hard through COVID, and it was something that we had come up with to help give back," Wise said, as reported by The New York Post.

Two servers took care of Wise and his friends, but one of them, Ryan Brandt, was told by the manager to pool the tip with her co-workers who didn’t serve the large party.

Ryan Brandt

"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," Brandt explained, noting that this arrangement was unprecedented.

When Wise found out Brandt was forced to share her tip with other servers who had nothing to do with the large party, he demanded the money back. And once he got it back, he turned over $2,200 directly to Brandt.

But this did not end well for Brandt -- she was fired the next day.

Here's what happened.

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Brandt described what happened as "heartbreaking" and said she was let go over the phone.

"They fired me from Oven and Tap over the phone and I’ve been there for 3 1/2 years and that was really heartbreaking. Especially because I didn’t think I did anything wrong," the waitress explained.

"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," she added.

Restaurant Denies Allegations

[5NEWS][YouTube]

In a statement supplied to local news outlets, Oven and Tap denied these allegations.

"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 statement said.

"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," it continued.

In response to what happened, Wise started a GoFundMe page for Brandt.

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