2K tip but waitress can't have it

The restaurant is Red Hook Seafood and Bar in San Antonio.

Update with a happy ending.


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Why would one do something like this, especially in these times? I hope the police pay him a visit soon.


That was a plot twist I did not see coming. Bad guy becomes good guy and vice versa.


I disagree - now there are two bad guys, that’s all. It’s discouraging.

(Two bad guys because without the public shaming the owner would still have cheated the server.)

This is what happened, according to the article. What do you think the restaurant owner did that was so terrible?

"But when she tried to run the card Saturday night, it was declined. Managers tried to run the card. The owner even called the bank. When the story went viral on Tuesday, the details were sketchy and it left a lot of readers with the impression that the restaurant was being stingy. Not so, the restaurant said. Restaurant managers were forced to explain that the card ended up being fraudulent. They posted details of the ordeal in a lengthy Instagram post. ‘We tried multiple times, Emily tried, managers tried and the [restaurant] owner called Visa to ask what we can do,’ Red Hook said in the post. ‘Visa could not force a $2,000 tip on his card. It was invalid, then later declined. We can not charge a card $500 four times. It’s impossible and it’s fraud.’ "

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It was already made clear to the server before fraud was discovered, that the manager was not going to give her any of the money. The owner and manager got lucky when the card turned out fraudulent - it gave them a handy cover-up after having already refused, and an opportunity to make themselves look like the hero of the story. They certainly aren’t.

I have not seen any evidence that this is the case, but feel free to provide some.

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The original article contains the evidence - the manager was already refusing to honor the tip before investigating the situation.

I always tip in cash

If by “original article” you mean the NYP one, all parties now say it was incorrect. And if you’re at all familiar with the NYP, this news will not shock you.


I usually tip delivery people in cash, but I almost never have more then $50 on me, and usually less. Certainly not $2K.

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That makes sense, but the main effect on me is now I don’t trust the details of the final version of the story either.

So you read a story, then you read a corrected version, and now you don’t believe either. This makes no sense to me, but I tend to wait for the dust to settle and then figure out what seems most credible. Which in this case is the Star-Telegram story. I have a much easier time believing someone paid with an invalid card than that a restaurant would spitefully refuse to give a server her tip. The only detail that’s common to both stories and that I can’t figure out is that the customer called to follow up.

I do the same as you, but this time to me “whichever is most credible” turned into “I think we’re not getting the whole story here” - partly because of that odd detail you mentioned.

Let’s wait for the third article!

Must be our addition is faulty, or things don’t add up. The news reports are that the incident took place on Saturday evening. The amazing receipt’s time stamp is Sunday morning. The card would have been declined on Saturday night and the unsigned check returned to the diners for another form of payment before they left, no?

That’s very odd, you’re right. Is it possible that the time stamp on the credit card reader is wrong? And that the restaurant ran the card without the tip amount in order to present the check before the customer signed and filled in the tip line, and there was enough to cover the meal but not the tip?

And here’s another thing - the NYP story has a video which is either new or I didn’t notice it before. The video ends with a slide stating that the restaurant’s Facebook page says it “tried everything it could to process the tip, but the mystery man’s card was declined.” That’s not in NYP article, as far as I can tell.

According to this article the tipper did call the restaurant and said he would return to rectify the situation. Miss Bauer has received the 2k tip from the owner in any case.

Yay! Third article. And the fact that a $2K tip triggered a fraud alert sounds pretty legit to me.