Dayna Morales, a gay waitress at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, NJ, made headlines earlier this month when she told news outlets that a family of four left no tip on a $93 bill but instead left a note disparaging her “lifestyle.” Since then, donations have flooded in from around the country for Morales. Babble’s Joslyn Gray noted in her earlier post on the story that Morales, a former Marine, “is paying it forward by donating money to the Wounded Warrior Project.” Managers at Gallop Asian Bistro said “the restaurant will match whatever Ms. Morales donates, and send a donation to an LGBT nonprofit.” So far it looks like Morales has collected $3,000 in donations, according to what she told NBC Channel 4 in New York when they questioned her recently about the accuracy of her story.
Morales’ story of the unfairly stiffed server is one we’ve seen several times over the last few years on social media and in the news, and as it turns out, hers may be completely fabricated. The family Morales accused of leaving the judgmental note says they have no problem with gay people, “would never leave a note like that” for anyone and they have proof that they left a 20 percent tip. Their copy of the check shows an $18 tip, and their credit card statement shows a total charge by the restaurant of $111.55.
The husband in question told NBC News that “he and his wife have both worked in restaurants and believe in the value of tipping, and noted that he didn’t vote for Gov. Chris Christie because the governor doesn’t support gay marriage.” For her part, Morales says she’s “certain she did not receive a tip, and insisted the handwriting on the receipt was not hers.” When pressed by NBC, the restaurant could not explain why the family’s credit card was charged for more than the original bill.
It’s quite obvious that Morales made up the story of the stiffed check to gain attention and make money, and it seems clear the restaurant may have been in on her ruse. Morales and Gallop Asian Bistro may have momentarily benefited from the attention, but now it looks like they’re about to be supremely embarrassed. Morales says she still plans to donate whatever money she’s received to the Wounded Warrior Project, but who’s to say that will actually happen? The wife in question says, “It’s fine if people want to donate to her or the Wounded Warriors, but they’re doing it under a false pretense.” She also added in an anonymous on-camera interview with NBC News, “I think there’s enough hate and intolerance in the world that to create it when it wasn’t there is shameful and dishonorable.” Agreed. Watch the interview to decide for yourself who’s telling the truth.