Ryan Brandt, a restaurant waiter in Arkansas, has been promptly fired from her job after accepting a whopping USD $4400 tip (AUD $6140) from a group of diners.
The ‘$100 Dinner Club’ was an event orchestrated by real estate company owner Grant Wise. Every attendee is required to tip one hundred dollarydoos to their waiter at the end of the meal.
Wise told 5 News that the inspiration behind the $100 Dinner Club was knowing “servers were really hit hard through COVID”.
Speaking to KNWA, he also mentioned that he made sure to call the restaurant beforehand to ask if their waiter would be able to accept the tip without having to split it with fellow waitstaff. He was assured by the restaurant that this would be the case.
Prior to the firing, the scenes at the restaurant were very wholesome indeed.
In a video shared to his personal Insta, Brandt is seen breaking town in tears as Wise announces that she will receive over four thousand bucks for her day’s work.
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After the speech however, management informed Brandt that she would need to split the money and was only permitted to keep 20% for herself. She later opened up about the traumatising experience to local news outlet KNWA:
“It was devastating, I borrowed a significant amount for student loans. Most of them were turned off because of the pandemic but they’re turning back on in January and that’s a harsh reality.”
She also claimed that never in the three and a half years she had worked at the restaurant was she ever asked to split her tips. Hmm.
Wise has since set up a GoFundMe page to support the waitress which has already racked up over USD $8700 (AUD $12,130) at the time of writing.
While it’s super lovely that Brandt will now receive a healthy chunk of cash, this whole ordeal raises big questions around work insecurity in America. It also makes us question why the minimum wage in many US states including Arkansas still sits at a measly USD $11 an hour – just over $15 Aussie dollars.
For comparison, Australia’s minimum wage is $20.33 an hour.
We wish this waiter the best of luck in paying off her student loans and hope she finds a far better job with a much less dickheady boss.