BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — A New Jersey couple has come forward to dispute a story that made national headlines this month when a gay server claimed she was left a note criticizing her “lifestyle” instead of a tip.
Dayna Morales, an ex-Marine and server at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, N.J., said that on Nov. 13, she received an offensive note scrawled on the customer’s check in lieu of a tip. The message said: “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I don’t agree with your lifestyle and how you live your life.”
But now, a New Jersey couple tells WNBC-TV that Morales’ story is a scam.
The couple, who asked to remain anonymous, contacted the WNBC after the story went viral and produced their receipt that was printed at the same time, on the same date, for the same amount, except with an $18 tip. They also produced a copy of a credit card bill supporting their claim they were charged for the meal plus the tip, a total of $111.55.
Article continues belowThe couple said they believe their receipt was used for a hoax.
“The restaurant profits from this, obviously Dayna’s profiting from this,” said the husband. “It’s fraud. It’s a scam.”
A manager and the restaurant owner insisted they had the original ticket for the $93.55 charge, but would not produce the receipt for WNBC, and could not explain why the family’s credit card was charged for more.
The restaurant later said in a statement it was aware of the allegations and had no comment pending an internal investigation.
Morales announced last week she would donate thousands of dollars in gratuities from supporters to the Wounded Warrior Project.
The couple said they came forward because the receipt story seemed to be growing.
“I just felt like people have a right to know that — it’s fine of people want to donate to her or to the Wounded Warriors, but they’re doing it under a false pretense,” the wife said.