Questions over what a former Denny’s waitress claimed was a nearly $4,500 tip from a sole diner finally have been put to rest.
Shikira Edwards, who had worked part-time on weekends at the diner-style eatery in Memphis, Tennessee, for the last three years, threatened legal action after she alleged managers refused to release a $4,451.61 tip left for her by a customer in early March.
However, the company confirmed Friday that the tip was a mistake.
“Denny’s has conducted a thorough investigation into this matter and has discovered the tip in question was made in error,” Denny’s spokeswoman Natalie Goodwin told Atlanta Black Star. “This investigation involved the franchise, its manager and staff, the guest and his bank. It was ultimately determined the guest, who is elderly and unfamiliar with the debit system used at this location, entered a tip amount of $4,451.61 when he intended to leave a $4 tip on his bill.”
Edwards was over the moon when she walked away thinking a customer had left her such a big tip, telling FOX13 Memphis she planned to use the extra cash to pay her student loans and to donate to mentoring programs. Nearly three weeks went by, however, and Edwards still didn’t have the money.
She claimed management tasked her with finding the diner who tipped her to verify that the tip was legit. FOX13 reports that the owner of the Denny’s denied this, saying the restaurant was instructed to void the transaction because there was no way to confirm whether the tip was left in error.
“Denny’s would like to make it clear that we would never withhold tips or wages from any of our employees,” Goodwin said. “However, Denny’s also has an obligation to ensure that our guests are charged the proper amount for their meals. In this case, Denny’s was obliged to investigate and verify the guest did in fact intend to leave such a large tip.”
The restaurant said it has since met with Edwards to inform her of the outcome of the investigation, adding it “understands the disappointment our server must feel in receiving this news.”
Edwards, who no longer works for Denny’s, issued a response to the findings Denny’s has reported — telling ABS that corporate has yet to provide her with proof that the tip was a mistake or that they actually tracked down the customer who left it.
After finally meeting with Denny’s corporate, Edwards provided the following statement:
“I thank God for all that he’s done and continues to do in my life. This situation has taught me to never give up on what I believe in. Error or not, I am blessed. I thank everyone for any and all support that was given.”