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Family Says Server’s No-tip Claim Is a Hoax

Customer copy of receipt (L) and copy with message posted by Dana Morales
Customer copy of receipt (L) and copy with message posted by Dana Morales (Townsquare Media NJ)

The Bridgewater restaurant where server Dayna Morales claimed a customer left a message scolding her gay lifestyle instead of a tip says they have opened an “internal investigation” prompted by the customer’s accusation that the claim was a hoax.

Customer copy of the receipt
Customer copy of the receipt (Townsquare Media NJ)

Morales’ story, which received wide attention and sympathy, was directly challenged Monday in an interview with the customer and family members, aired by NBC4 New York. The faces of the family members were not shown and their names have not been released. They showed NBC4 documentation which they say proves the receipt was doctored to support Morales’ story.

Dina Abello, a manager at the Gallop, confirmed to New Jersey 101.5 Tuesday that the restaurant is conducting an investigation into the matter and is working with their attorney on it. Abello said Morales is still employed by the restaurant but declined to comment on  the NBC 4 New York report or repeat previous statements of support for the server.

Morales, a server at the Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, claimed that the family crossed the tip line out and explained, “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle.” The former Marine posted the receipt and message on a LGBT group’s Facebook page and it went viral overnight attracting media attention from around the world and donations that Morales said she was giving to the Wounded Warrior Foundation.

Multiple media outlets, including New Jersey 101.5, were sent an email Friday that  included a copy of a customer receipt and credit card statement showing an $18 tip and alleging a hoax by Morales. Attempts to authenticate the email were stymied, however, because the senders failed to respond to an email requesting that they identify themselves. No names were shown on the receipt or credit card statement.

Morales told NBC 4 New York Monday that the handwriting on the receipt was not hers and is certain no tip was left for her. “I don’t know, all I know is what I’ve been saying,” she said, in response to questions about the family’s accusation and documentation.

Misunderstanding Over Their Server

The father of the family of four, whose identity was protected in the on-air interview by NBC 4 New York, denied leaving the message. “Never would a message like that come from us,” the father explained, saying he did not vote for Chris Christie in the last gubernatorial election because of his opposition to gay marriage.

The wife told NBC 4 that they were initially told at the restaurant their server’s name was “Dan.” When Dayna came to the table the woman said her comment was, ‘Whoa, you’re not Dan.’” The woman characterized her comment as a misunderstanding. Morales had cited it as evidence of hostility to her lifestyle.

Citing Morales’ statements that donations of support were being shared with the Wounded Warrior project, the wife told NBC 4:  “I just felt like people have a right to know that — it’s fine if people want to donate to her or to the Wounded Warriors, but they’re doing it under a false pretense,” the wife told NBC 4 New York.

MORE COVERAGE:

Credit card statement showing final charge which, the customer says, includes the tip
Credit card statement showing final charge which, the customer says, includes the tip (Townsquare Media NJ)

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