Waffle House is one of the few fast-food chains that has, more or less, remained in the public’s good graces. (“The kind of place you could come alone and still end up talking to a dozen people.”) But yesterday, the company came under fire after it forced Raleigh waitress Shaina Brown to return a $1,000 tip. Apparently, a policy mandated that tips that large could only come via cash or check, and that it’s a “regular procedure” to refund sizable credit-card tips. (Who besides Jelly Roll carries that much in cash?)
Waffle House has now backpedaled, of course: It released a statement yesterday afternoon that its “intentions were for the associate to get her tip all along” and that this incident has caused execs to “review our procedures so we can get tips to our associates quicker in these unusual situations.” But Brown ended up receiving the tip not from Waffle House, but from the customer directly: She told a local radio station that he called her and then wrote her a direct check.