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Waitress Fired For Refusing To Share $4,400 Tip

Waitress Fired For Refusing To Share $4,400 Tip

In a story that unfolds with both generosity and workplace policy conflicts, an Arkansas waitress finds herself in the midst of an unexpected controversy. Ryan Brandt, a hardworking server, had her life take an unexpected turn when a group of good Samaritans left her an astounding $4,400 tip at the Oven and Tap in Bentonville, Arkansas.

However, what should have been a joyous moment quickly turned sour when the restaurant manager intervened, demanding that Brandt split the tip with the entire staff.

This clash between acts of kindness and company regulations ultimately led to Brandt’s dismissal. Join us as we delve into the details of this unfortunate story and explore the implications of generosity and workplace policies in today’s society.

The Story Unfolds

Grant Wise’s “$100 Dinner Club” And Their Visit To Oven And Tap

Grant Wise's "$100 Dinner Club" And Their Visit To Oven And Tap

The owner of a well-known local real estate firm, Grant Wise, inspired action by founding the famous “$100 Dinner Club.” This club’s mission was to help servers that had been severely impacted by the COVID-related shutdowns.

Wise and his group chose the Oven and Tap, a well-known restaurant in Bentonville, Arkansas, as their destination because they wanted to give back to the community while having a wonderful meal.

The Waitress, Ryan Brandt, Receives A $4,400 Tip From The Group

The Waitress, Ryan Brandt, Receives A $4,400 Tip From The Group

A devoted waitress named Ryan Brandt found herself in the heart of a remarkable act of generosity as the evening progressed.

The “$100 Dinner Club” members gave Brandt an astounding $4,400 tip with the intention that she split it with another waitress who had to leave early due to illness. Brandt was moved by their generosity when she got this unexpected gift and was brought to tears.

Restaurant Managers Demand The Tip Be Shared With All Staff, Contrary To Their Previous Policy

Unfortunately, Brandt’s initial joy soon gave way to disappointment and confusion. The policy had not been implemented in her three and a half years of work, but restaurant managers approached her and told her that she would be expected to split the large tip with the entire crew.

Brandt was heartbroken by the sudden change in tip distribution because she had already planned to use the cash to pay off her student loan debt.

Brandt’s Disappointment And Plans To Use The Money To Pay Off Student Loans

Ryan Brandt, a University of Arkansas student who had studied Spanish, had envisioned using the large tip to help her out financially. She saw this unexpected windfall as a great chance to advance in her payback path because a load of her college loans had been a huge burden.

She was greatly disappointed and dealt a huge blow to her aspirations when she learned she would have to give up the majority of the tip.

Following this puzzling turn of events, Brandt was forced to choose between going along with the restaurant’s decision and standing up for what she thought was right.

The conflict between Brandt’s personal goals and the company’s tip-sharing policy served as the catalyst for a string of occasions that would influence her career trajectory and spark a debate about workplace policies and how hardworking people are treated.

The Fallout

Brandt’s Termination For “Violating” The Restaurant’s Rules By Discussing The Tipping Policy With Wise

The implications for Ryan Brandt were severe as soon as higher levels of management learned about the tip-sharing issue. She was abruptly fired from her job for allegedly “violating” the guidelines by discussing the tipping policy with Grant Wise, the “$100 Dinner Club”‘s organizer.

Brandt felt unfairly punished for only seeking clarification and understanding, and the termination added further instability to an already sensitive situation.

Wise’s Attempts To Intervene And Connect With The Restaurant Owner

Grant Wise, who was extremely upset by Brandt’s firing, made brave attempts to step in and make things right. He contacted the owner of the restaurant to get a guarantee that Brandt would be handled honestly and that the decision to fire her would be reviewed.

Wise attempted to connect with the owner but found it difficult to do so; he received only a few erratic text messages before the conversation abruptly ended.

Wise’s Decision To Retrieve The Money And Establish A Gofundme Campaign For Brandt

Wise's Decision To Retrieve The Money And Establish A Gofundme Campaign For Brandt

Grant Wise intervened after becoming impatient with the lack of success in resolving the problem through direct conversation. In order to help Ryan Brandt, he personally took the $4,400 tip from the restaurant and decided to start a GoFundMe campaign. Wise’s actions showed his dedication to standing up for what he thought was right, with the goal of relieving

Brandt’s financial burden from her unexpected unemployment and giving her a fresh start.

The fallout from this incident resonated not only with Brandt and Wise but also with a large audience of supporters who were discouraged by the treatment of a hardworking waitress caught in the middle of opposing regulations.

The firing aroused uproar and sparked a discussion about the value of treating people fairly, openly disclosing company policies, and the importance of unexpected acts of compassion. As the story developed, it became increasingly clear that this was not just a money dispute but also a serious investigation into how people are valued and protected at work.

Support and Outrage

Wise’s Social Media Posts Expressing Sadness And Commitment To Helping Brandt

Grant Wise expressed his regret and displeasure about Ryan Brandt’s termination on social media. He expressed his desire to help her and make sure she wouldn’t be left to deal with the effects of the incident alone through touching posts.

Widespread attention and sympathy for Brandt’s situation were drawn by Wise’s posts, which connected with a sizable online audience.

Oven And Tap Officials Declined To Comment On The Specific Termination

Oven and Tap representatives decided not to comment on the specifics of Ryan Brandt’s termination in light of the growing public interest. As a result of their silence, many people began to wonder whether the restaurant’s actions were justified and what exactly led to Brandt’s termination.

The Online Fundraiser’s Success And Wise’s Update On Brandt Finding A New Job

Grant Wise’s GoFundMe campaign received a tremendous amount of support, demonstrating the strength of the internet community. As the fundraising quickly exceeded its initial goal and raised significant sums to support Brandt during her transitioning phase, the generosity of strangers was far beyond expectations.

In a follow-up, Wise revealed the good news that Brandt had been given a new job opportunity at another restaurant, enabling her to proceed and put the upsetting incident behind her.

The outpouring of support for Ryan Brandt showed the kindness and empathy found in both online and real communities. People from all backgrounds came together to express their displeasure over the misuse of a genuinely noble act and to denounce the unfair treatment she received.

The incident sparked a wider discussion about the value of openness, fairness in treatment, and how important it is for employers to put employee welfare first.

Grant Wise and the online community’s combined efforts not only helped Brandt financially but also served as a potent reminder that acts of kindness have the power to move people and have an enduring effect.

This terrible situation gave rise to sympathy and outrage, which gave rise to an opportunity for reflection and a call for improvement in the workplace and employee treatment.


The story of Ryan Brandt, an Arkansas server who lost her job for refusing to split a $4,400 tip, is a potent example of the complexities of workplace regulations and the importance of unexpected acts of kindness.

This terrible incident sparked considerable outrage and support, igniting discussions about fair treatment, open communication, and the value of empathy in the workplace.

The outcome of this incident showed Ryan Brandt’s strength and tenacity as she gracefully handled an unfair departure. As people from various walks of life banded together to offer support, both emotionally and financially, it also proved the strength of group action.

The incident additionally highlighted the need for fair treatment and equal compensation and forced a review of current company practices. Employers were reminded of the value of clear communication and open policies in order to guarantee that workers are treated fairly and with respect.

The moral of the story was that acts of kindness and empathy have an effect that lasts a lifetime. The kindness shown by the “$100 Dinner Club” and the help they received from the internet community has made a lasting impression, encouraging others to keep promoting generosity and understanding.

Let us keep in mind the lessons learnt as we consider this unfortunate story: the value of treating others fairly, the effectiveness of group efforts, and the long-lasting effects of acts of compassion.

May it serve as a reminder to always work toward workplaces that place a priority on the rights and well-being of workers, fostering an atmosphere where compassion, justice, and generosity flourish.

In the end, Ryan Brandt’s story serves as a poignant reminder that determination and optimism are still possible, even in the face of hardship.

We can create a society where people are respected, and deeds of kindness are praised by working together to make it more compassionate and encouraging.

As we conclude this article on the unfortunate tale of Ryan Brandt, the Arkansas waitress who was fired for refusing to share a $4,400 tip, we invite you, our readers, to join the conversation. Have you ever encountered a situation where workplace policies clashed with acts of generosity? How did you navigate such challenges?

We encourage you to share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below. Your insights and perspectives contribute to the ongoing dialogue surrounding fair treatment, workplace policies, and acts of kindness.

If you found this article thought-provoking and believe it could resonate with others, we kindly ask you to share it with your family and friends. Together, we can spread awareness, inspire change, and foster empathy in our communities.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article, and we look forward to engaging with you in the comment section.


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    1. Frankly, I wouldn’t want to work somewhere that I have to share my hard earned tips with others. However, I believe she agreed to pay the other waitress who went home sick and I assume Ryan took her place? Maybe next time the $100 Diner club will have a cashier’s check and fill it before she leaves the dinner and give it as a “prize for best service rendered that month.

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    3. It was never made clear if Ryan did share any of the tip money with the waitress that left early due to illness.

      I believe the word TIP was abbreviated from “ To Insure Prompt Service” so why should Ryan have to share any of the money with entire staff? Maybe a little something for the bus boy for clearing the tables.

      • And does she deliver a delicious meal prepared perfectly & quickly out of thin air or do the line cooks have an effect, does the dishwàsher determine how you feel about your meal depending on the cleanliness of your glass/silverware, etc? I can actually see this from both sides…yes, a waitress’ job can be tough, it can also be very rewarding & all employees at a restaurant affect the customer experience & all employees at the restaurant were financially affected by covid. Whatever policy was in place should apply and be posted for all employees to see continually.

    4. I don’t believe a tip should be shared among other workers who didn’t help in providing their services. This is like you putting in the work for the benefit of others. If there were others assisting, then that would justify sharing.

      • I agree with Yolanda Freeman’s comment. Tips should not be shared. Example is this waitress giving the superb service to this group of diners, worked for her tip. As per the gentleman diner expressed she did so with pleasure. The other servers get tipped for nothing? No – that is a problem in today’s world: reward should be for those that earned it, not just for just showing up. This waitress was motivated on her own, thus highly satisfied customers. What motivates the free riders? Which employee would you want working for you. Poor management team

      • At the Tahitian terrace in Disneyland back in the 60s, the waitresses had to put their tips in a locked box. At the end of the evening, it was split with all waitresses. When I had worked at the coffee house, we kept our own tips. I don’t know which is correct but I do believe it is, keep your own tips!

      • This is what is happening in Marks & Spencer’s UK store the restaurant had a policy which had all servers tips to be shared with back of house employees & the restaurant manageress was counting & sharing the money out in her private office alone & then telling the young employees to sign for the sealed envelopes with the tips in !!!!!!! A lot of the tips went missing ???? End of story.

    5. Tips are tips. Given by generous clients for a satisfactory service received. There are policies, rules and regulations in most companies particularly in the service and hospitality industry. There is a centralized tip policy in some. In this particular case, the tip policy should be reviewed for fairness and benefit of both the recipient and the colleagues

        • Funny…that sick waitress was never mentioned again. In all the shuffle, she was forgotten. She got sort of greedy and forgot her in it all. But, I do believe in a waiter or waitress keeping their own tips for doing a great job. Tip sharing and dividing it up at the end of the night is a socialist thing.

          • This was an abysmally constructed “article.” You have no idea what transpired with the other waittress because the author of the piece never addressed it further, and simply went prattling on about “clear communication,” and “understanding” and “empathy.” This was twaddle — EXTREMELY annoying twaddle. The only good thing about it was that we got to see the actions of Grant Wise in response to the restaurant’s perfidy. HE is a stand-up guy.

    6. That would be a crazy policy for any server to agree to. Forced socialism at its finest. If I’d been one of the tippers I’d have been furious, as that would not have been my intention for the tip at all! The management went way over and beyond. I hope the local people have shown their displeasure by boycotting the restaurant, and kudos to the $100 Dinner Club for their generosity and Mr Wise for intervening. Sadly so many these days just don’t want to “get involved” when they should!

      • Socialism ? We had a restaurant in the ’80s and the staff all agreed to share tips. This was in Canada where we aren’t allowed to pay servers less than minimum wage. In Florida at the time the wage for servers was $1.35 an hour. In our Province it was $8.00.

      • Did you just have the gall to actually say kudos to the $100 Diners Club? They had no generosity you moron!!!! They’re the ones who tried to force her to share with EVERYONE not just the other waitress. Mr. Wise and his company were the ones who gave her the money. He took the money back from the restaurant since they wouldn’t give it to her and then he started her a GoFundMe page and made her a lot more money because she lost her job as well for refusing to share with the whole staff!!!!!

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      • My understanding is that the policy of the company was to share tips.
        In the past have employees of the establishment shared their tips with her?
        Doesn’t make any difference if it’s a $10.00 tip or a $4,000 tip.
        If I get very good service from a server. I confidentiality give them a cash tip and explain to them that it was given to them for their exceptional service.

    9. My husband and I went to a restaurant after my doctor appointment and the waitress was amazing, I had a problem with my order and had to send it back, well they brought me back the exact same plate with the same food so I said this is the same stuff can you please give me something else he said yes so I ordered something else and when it came I said now you did compensate me right, and mind you this is the manager that took over for my wonderful waitress, he proceeded to give me a mimosas twice our waitress came back and apologized but I said do u get tips she said no so I slipped her a 20.00

    10. I believe if you have a job like this where you are judged by how you treat the people you are serving. You are being watched and graded on what your personality is like. Were you friendly did you do your best to see that they were satisfied with their meal. all of this comes into play. It shows that the group was very satisfied so they gave a large tip that covered the whole group. There for I se no reason that the tip should be shared.

    11. Actually I think that it depends on the concrete situation, but generally tips should be shared unless a person did something extraordinary for the customer and that’s what was rewarded. In a restaurant (and even more so in a hotel) there’s a whole team working on behalf of the customer. But only those with direct contact to the client receive tips. The kitchen never does even though their work often has a greater influence on customer satisfaction than has the service. Someone who loved the food is much more likely to tip generously than someone who didn’t.

      • A server’s wage is usually something less than minimum wage plus tips. When that is the case, sharing their tips is actually giving up a part of their wage. If the establishment pays full wages to servers like kitchen staff receives, I am not opposed to tip sharing. But in my experience as a waitress and a cook, full wages for servers is an exception. If I didn’t make enough tips to bring my wage up to the per hour federal minimum, I could be fired. So tip sharing was something I did at my own discretion based on a table by table basis depending on how much help I received from co-workers.

    12. My tips are determined by my server’s service to me and/or my group. I’ve found establishments that share tips go against my intent. If a business shares tips, I place my tip in my server’s apron, unknown by the business.
      Server’s are working for their welfare not necessarily the group. There are poor server’s, or worse…..

    13. It worked out better than expected. Shame on the restaurant.They will pay the price for not putting the concern of an employee over the communist view of let everyone get a piece of the pie. This is America. If the tip was intended for her; it was hers.

    14. This was an inspiring story. I want to know if Ryan or the “ 100 dollar dinner club” remembered about the other waitress that Ryan was asked to split the tip with
      (the one that had to leave early due to illness) ? I agree that the restaurant was unfair in trying to implement an outdated policy. I would like to know if the other waitress was helped out as well.

    15. I worked as a waitress/bartender for a small business owner. Robert Deniro ate there between shifts and I waited on him. He left $50 under his plate as a tip. My coworker found it but before he could give it to me the owner demanded to have it. My friend was fired. Then the owner told me he had picked up the check and needed to cover his food costs so he would let me have $20 not the$50. True story.

    16. People get real greedy when large amounts come into play over 100 will do it everywhere there is controversy of who receives the tip as if they are more deserving it rather then the come up of a poor unfortunate soul being there where others would take them for granted by force and vulnerability of a lucky person and their time of happiness

      • Not everywhere I got 400 and my cop workers were only happy for me we all have our day and if it has not happened to you PRACTICE being nicer or actually goes farther than you know

    17. I favor a system where management pays their employees a decent wage & forbids tipping. Places that do, have happier employees, The customers are less stressed about figuring and knowing how much to tip. There are other ways to help people without causing jealousy among a team of workers that all work together to give a customer their food. You won’t be served quickly if the chef doesn’t get your food cooked quickly. You won’t have a place to sit without someone quickly cleaning, sterilizing, and drying your table. If you want to help the waitress, find out her name. Pay their electric bill

    18. I think that whatever the company policy is should be followed. But I’d it’s not consistently followed, that sends a mixed message. If the company doesn’t normally adhere to the tip sharing policy it shouldn’t do so now. But if that is the standard, then the tip should be shared.

    19. I’m a server !! I recently received a 400$ tip from “The BENJI CLUB” another great group of guys….. I was very grateful and it’s a huge blessing when normally tips never go above 20 and that’s very rare where I work ,, it’s just a small mom n pops cafe in Mesa Arizona I was not asked to help anyone nor did my co workers get upset or demand any of it they were happy for me!

    20. my TIPS are soley intended for the waitress or waiter that served me and for no other person. There are rare occasions where the tips should be shared and that is when all of the staff have filled in to help wait on the same table.

    21. My GOD, what a bunch of cloying pontification about “workplace policies” and “clear communication” all for the purpose of excusing the author of this piece from taking a straightforward moral stand on what happened here. The little weasel of a “manager” was totally overstepping his bounds, and was essentially committing an act of theft under color of authority. This hamhanded attempt at some sort of journalistic “balance” in telling this story was beyond annoying — it was contemptible. Bottom line: the manager, and following that the owner, CLEARLY made the wrong choice. Just sa

    22. The tipper should have the right to tip whomever he/she chooses. It is not a fair and equitable policy to split tips among staff. This nurtures resentment and could reward complacency with unearned and undeserved compensation. The tip was to be shared with the earlier waitress that had handed off the group to Ryan…not with tiers of staff/employees, as dictated by the manager.SY

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