‘That Was Unnecessary!’: Black Woman Says She Was Asked to Provide Her Phone Number So Applebee’s Manager Could Validate the $150 Tip She Left for a Server In Mississippi

An incident involving a large Black party and their generous tip for an Applebee’s server went viral and drew backlash after the restaurant’s manager raised questions about their tip.

Dawn Montgomery posted about the experience on her X account over the weekend.

She wrote that she was part of a party of 14 people who went to an Applebee’s in Laurel, Mississippi, for dinner.

Dawn Montgomery raised concerns with Applebee’s after a restaurant manager in Laurel, Mississippi, questioned a $150 tip she left for her server. (Photos: X/@_dawnmontgomery)

She was told that her server, Melissa, was new and a bit anxious to serve large parties. Despite Melissa’s initial worries, Montgomery said she did a great job waiting her table.

After Montgomery left a $150 tip, the manager appeared and told her that the restaurant would need to call corporate to ensure they could accept such a high tip amount, which was unusual to Montgomery.

The matter became even more troubling when the manager “made a scene” and acted like the tip wasn’t going to go through, according to Montgomery.

Before leaving the restaurant, she had to leave two signatures on the receipt and her phone number with management.

Montgomery took to X to recount her story, which drew millions of views, and tagged Applebee’s for answers.

Some people purported that this was a clear instance of racism in which Montgomery was questioned over whether she could afford the tip amount, given the bigoted preconceptions that Black people don’t tip at restaurants.

Others, including former Applebee’s employees, insisted that the manager followed a protocol standard for many restaurant chains to run a fraud check with a bank if a customer leaves a big tip by card instead of cash. Several folks strongly encouraged tipping with cash when leaving generous tips to avoid this process.

Montgomery clarified that she wasn’t accusing the manager or Applebee’s of racism over the tipping experience but wanted to confirm whether the protocol was real since the manager’s actions gave her pause.

She also said she spoke with other waiters and waitresses at the restaurant, who told her the manager was only supposed to verify the tip amount and not make a public fuss about it.

In the end, the manager called Montgomery to apologize and an Applebee’s corporate team member confirmed that the chain is addressing this incident with more training for managers.

“The manager did call me to APOLOGIZE. He realized that we were former HS classmates (South Jones) & stated, “had he recognized me then he would’ve known it was cool”. Me to him: “it didn’t matter who I was because when you came out causing a scene that was unnecessary!” she wrote.

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