“Joyful moment turned heartbreaking”: Waitress is fired for accepting a $4,400 tip

The kind customer decided to help

In a heartwarming twist of fate, a waitress in Arkansas experienced an incredibly uplifting day when she was surprised with an extraordinary $4,400 tip from the renowned “100 Dollar Dinner Club.” Ryan Brandt, who had been dreaming of utilizing the money to alleviate her college loan burden, faced an unexpected setback when the restaurant management conveyed that she could only retain 20% of the generous tip, with the remainder being distributed among her fellow staff members. Regrettably, she was compelled to relinquish the majority of the cash, leaving her feeling disheartened and distressed.

Fortunately, Grant Wise, a local real estate firm owner, stepped in and turned the situation around for Ryan Brandt, the Arkansas waitress. In a wonderful display of kindness, Wise organized an exclusive gathering of the “100 Dollar Dinner Club” at Bentonville’s Oven and Tap restaurant. Each participant generously left a $100 tip, and Wise went the extra mile by personally contacting the restaurant ahead of time to ensure that the waitstaff would not have to share the tips. When the manager handed Brandt a check for the astounding amount of $4,400, she was overcome with an overwhelming mix of joy and tears, realizing that she could now keep the entire sum.

Unfortunately, the restaurant management later realized the significant sum Brandt had received and insisted that she share a portion of it with her colleagues. This was a request she had never encountered in her three and a half years of working at the restaurant.

Brandt expressed her frustration, stating that she was informed she had to hand over a percentage of the money to her shift manager and could only take home 20%. This was a stark departure from the tipping rules she had previously experienced during her tenure at the restaurant.

Regrettably, due to her decision to inform Wise about the restaurant’s tip policy, Brandt was ultimately dismissed from her job for violating their guidelines. The realization of having to part with a substantial sum of money left her distraught, as she had initially planned to use it to pay off her student debt.

Grant Wise, deeply empathetic to the challenges faced by restaurant servers amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, conceived the brilliant concept of the “100 Dollar Dinner Club.” Recognizing the need for support, he took the initiative to organize a real estate conference in Arkansas, selecting the Oven and Tap restaurant as the perfect venue. Prior to the event, Wise ensured that the restaurant management confirmed the absence of any tip-sharing policies. His thoughtful actions aimed to alleviate the financial burdens faced by hardworking servers, providing them with the opportunity to keep the entirety of the generous tips they would receive.

Upon learning about the restaurant’s decision to make Brandt divide her tip, the joyful moment turned heartbreaking for Wise. Despite his attempts to contact the restaurant owner, he was unable to speak with them and resorted to texting instead.

When Wise returned to the Oven and Tap restaurant to retrieve his money and personally deliver it to Brandt, he discovered that she had been fired. Deeply moved by the situation, he took to social media on December 7 to share the incident.

Wise initiated a GoFundMe campaign to support Brandt, expressing his desire to help her navigate this distressing experience with minimal stress and anxiety and move forward towards her next opportunity. Fortunately, Brandt found a new job at another restaurant and started working there on December 8.

After successfully raising $8,700 through the GoFundMe campaign, Grant Wise decided to conclude the fundraiser.

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