A Texas waitress who profusely apologized to a customer for slow service because she was swamped serving tables got two surprises: the customer left her a $2,000 tip and the restaurant where she worked told her they couldn’t process the tip.
Emily Bauer, who has two sons, 2 years old and 5 months old, said she had worked at Red Hook Seafood and Bar for roughly two weeks before the incident. She told KENS5 that she was serving a couple in her section, and the man expressed his understanding that she was swamped.
“I kept apologizing, ‘I’m sorry. I’m being slow,’” Bauer stated. “He was just like, ‘I understand.’ He also mentioned he owned restaurants. So he knew how hard it was to be a server. He actually didn’t want the rest of his order. He was like, ‘Just cancel everything. Cancel everything and give me the ticket.’ So, I said okay. I gave him the ticket.”
Bauer said she later noticed that the man had left her a $2,000 tip with a note that read, “Merry Christmas! Keep working hard!” She continued, “I was like, wait. I just opened it and started crying. I was like, ‘Oh my God! My kids! I’m going to spend it all on my kids.’ I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ I’ve never had a Christmas where I’ve been able to like splurge on them.”
KENS5 reported, “She said the system at the restaurant wouldn’t allow her to process the money. She said her manager told her the limit of a tip is $500. The other servers suggested the restaurant give Bauer four payments of $500 but she said they 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,’” Bauer said. “’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 posted the ticket on her Facebook site. She said, “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?”
Red Hook responded to the Kens5 story with this message on Facebook:
Unfortunately kens5 did not tell the entire story, nor did Emily. The tip was tried multiple times by management, by Emily, by the owner, and would not post. It was INVALID. The gentleman called and was told the tip would not take we asked him to come back to the restaurant to pay Emily in cash or check he said “ok” and hung up but he did mention he had a lot of money & owned 3 restaurants in San Antonio. Unfortunately he has not come by the restaurant.
We told Emily to contact the news but she left out details. We encouraged her to drawn (sic) out the man who tipped her to come & pay her. By now the gentleman has seen his bank statement from red hook without a $2000 tip applied. So where is this Gentleman? And no, kens5 never questioned us instead the (sic) ran a FALSE news report about our business. Please stop harassing us. We don’t have the $2000 tip nor was it ever posted because it was INVALID!
Bauer then answered Red Hook with a Facebook post of her own:
I wasn’t going to address this because I did not contact the news to harass my place of work, I contacted the news because you told me to. I did not lie about anything, and I did not leave out anything. I told the truth and the whole story they only chose to add what the (sic) wanted and edited out some of it, that’s what the news does. Our interview was 15-20 minutes long, I told them everything from start to end. I did exactly what I said I was going to do, I’m trying attention to the man that left it, am I not?
In the video I DID say “it said invalid, invalid, invalid.” And the reporter I was in contact with said she notified the other manager that she was going to be running the story and he said he wasn’t comfortable talking to her so instead he gave her your number and you never reached out. I did exactly what you told me to do because it is my fight to try like you said, I am not leaving nothing out and everything I have said is 100% THE TRUTH.
The owner of Red Hook Seafood and Bar reportedly wrote Bauer a check for $2,069.01, which is the total of the tip and the customer’s bill, according to news station KENS.
Owner John Cheng stated, “It’s Christmas time, and everybody is struggling. I’m ready to give it to her as a Christmas gift.”
Bauer said, “The fact that the owner of my job is willing to give it to me, even though it wasn’t his mess-up, I can’t thank him enough for that.”
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