A Texas waitress says she was thrilled to receive a $2000 ($A2700) tip on a bill – only to find out from the restaurant that she won’t take home a single cent.
Emily Bauer had only been a server for about two weeks when she was scheduled for a busy Sunday shift at Red Hook Seafood and Bar in San Antonio, news station KVUE reported.
While working all the tables, she kept apologising 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,” Ms Bauer said.
“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 didn’t notice until he left that he had given her a $2000 tip and wrote a note that said, “Merry Christmas! Keep working hard!”
“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,’” said Bauer, who has two sons, a two-year-old and a five-month-old.
“I was like, ‘Oh my God. I’ve never had a Christmas where I’ve been able to like splurge on them.’”
But she said her excitement was quickly dashed when the restaurant told her it can’t process a tip larger than $500.
Other servers suggested that the restaurant give her four separate tips of $500, but the seafood joint refused, KVUE reported.
It is unclear why the restaurant couldn’t process $500 of the $2000 tip to give to Ms Bauer, in line with its limits.
“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,’” Ms Bauer said.
“If that’s the case, there should be signs posted on the restaurants or the receipt to say there’s a limit of $500.”
Ms Bauer said the customer received word that she won’t get the tip and called the restaurant to express his disappointment, KVUE reported.
When she asked to call him to express her gratitude, her manager said his information hadn’t been taken down, the outlet reported.
Instead, she’s shared the message to Facebook in hopes that it reaches the customer.
“Even though I can’t receive it, thank you. Thank you for having such a big heart,” Ms Bauer said.
The restaurant didn’t respond to a request for comment, KVUE reported.
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and has been republished with permission