A waitress was recently terminated from her job at Oven & Tap, a restaurant in Arkansas, after she received an astounding $4,400 tip from a group of more than 40 business executives she had been serving.
The generous act was captured in a video that was shared on Instagram by one of the attendees, Rebecca Soto.
In the clip, the evening’s host, Grant Wise, handed the stack of cash to the waitress, Ryan Brandt, 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.”
After the video went viral, Ryan was informed by her employer that she would have to give her cash to her shift manager, who would then distribute it to the restaurant’s other employees, in accordance with the establishment’s policy.
Ryan claimed that she had been working at Oven & Tap for over three years and was never instructed to split her tips with coworkers before.
To her dismay, Ryan was then fired from her job for violating company policy.
She told the local news station that the experience was “devastating” and that she had taken out a significant amount of student loans that would become due in the near future.
However, the restaurant has issued a statement saying that they honored the guests’ request to give their gratuity to two specific servers and refused to discuss the details of an employee’s termination.
Despite this setback, Ryan’s fortunes changed when Wise and his colleagues launched a GoFundMe campaign on her behalf, which raised over $8,700 in just a few days.
Ryan expressed her gratitude to everyone who supported her and said that the overwhelming response had restored her faith in humanity.
The incident has sparked a heated debate about tipping etiquette, with many people questioning whether it was fair for the restaurant to fire Ryan for accepting a tip that was given to her voluntarily.
Some people argue that tips should be the sole property of the server who provided the service, while others believe that it is reasonable for restaurants to have policies that govern how tips are distributed among their employees.
One thing that most people seem to agree on is that the generosity of the diners who gave Ryan the $4,400 tip was truly inspiring.
As Soto said in her Instagram post, “I’m humbled to have been part of something so beautiful and generous. To bless someone else without previously knowing them… I pray it may be multiplied and impact their life for the better.”
What are your thoughts on tipping?