A server at a restaurant in San Antonio received an early Christmas present at work, only to be told by her manager that she couldn’t keep it all.
The server, Emily Bauer, told KENS 5, a local ABC affiliate, that the incident occurred during a particularly busy Sunday at Red Hook Seafood and Bar. She said that one couple was especially sympathetic to how overworked she seemed, adding that they never complained about the service.
While working all the tables, she kept apologizing to a man seated in her section for ‘being slow.’
‘He was just like, ‘I understand.’ He also mentioned he owned restaurants, so he knew how hard it was to be a server,’ Bauer told the media outlet.
Adding, ‘He was like, ‘Just cancel everything. Cancel everything and give me the ticket.’ So, I said okay. I gave him the ticket.’
The 21-year-old waitress was working hard to give her two kids a great Christmas. After her boyfriend lost his job, she thought the festive season would be difficult and financially taxing.
However, a kind patron decided to make her day by tipping her a whopping $2,000. Sadly things did not proceed as she expected. What started as a generous gesture soon turned into a massive fight.
When Bauer asked for the money, her employer allegedly stated that the restaurant could not process tips over $500. The waitress was upset and detailed the encounter online. However, shortly after that, her employer responded.
John Cheng, who owns the establishment, revealed that the card used to make the payment declined. He said there was no way to get the funds and added that they did not have the patron’s personal details.
When other servers suggested a workaround, like giving Bauer four payments of $500, the restaurant allegedly refused.
“I don’t think it’s our responsibility as a server to say, ‘Oh, you can’t tip me that much, I’m sorry. Oh no, there’s a limit, I’m sorry.’ If that’s the case, there should be signs posted on the restaurants or the receipt to say there’s a limit of $500. Everybody I’ve talked to has been like, ‘I’ve never heard of that before.’ If it’s left to you and signed by that person, then you should be able to get it,” Bauer said.
According to Bauer, the manager told her that the customer who had left the tip had called the establishment to express his displeasure that the restaurant was not going to give her the money. Bauer asked to speak to the customer directly, but the manager stated that he had not taken the customer’s contact information.
The viral story garnered a lot of hate for the restaurant. People have condemned the owner, but now Bauer has clarified the situation. She said: “So turns out the guy who left me the tip, his credit card was a fraud. I have seen proof of this.”
Bauer then posted the ticket on Facebook, hoping that the customer would see it and know that she appreciated the generosity.
“Even though I can’t receive it, thank you. Thank you for having such a big heart. This world is filled with messed up people. It’s like, how did he know I needed that?” she wrote.
The tip would ensure she could spoil her kids over the Christmas period. After a tough year, it was a welcome surprise. Bauer also urged people to stop harassing the restaurant. Many netizens still condemned the owner and questioned his actions.
One user said: “The manager only gave her the tip after this blew up on the news. He knows it’s bad for business.” However, Bauer simply wanted to put the encounter behind her. She expressed that she loved her job and was lucky to have such a kind-hearted boss.
Watch the video report here: KENS5/Youtube
Sources: OpposingViews, Complex, KENS 5