Waiter Returns $400,000 Check to Woman Who Didn’t Tip Him

May 13, 2019 Updated: May 13, 2019

A New York City waiter returned a $424,000 cashier’s check to a customer who reportedly didn’t tip.

Armando Markaj, a pre-med student, was waiting on Karen Vinacour’s table at Patsy’s Pizzeria in Manhattan to get a slice of pizza, reported the New York Daily News.

She had a white envelope with a cashier’s check she received from selling her apartment. The 79-year-old was planning to put down a payment on a new house.

Vinacour and her daughter attempted to explain why they didn’t leave a tip, saying that they pointed out that the owners of the pizza shop didn’t show many photos of women on the wall.

“Maybe women don’t eat a lot of pizza?” Vinacour claimed he told her.

Markaj told NBC2 that he wasn’t sure how to react and made a joke.

Her daughter then didn’t leave a tip for that reason, the Daily News reported. They also left a nasty note.

“We’d pulled out my papers to go through all the financials again,” Vinacour told the Daily News. “I had no idea we left it behind.”

Markaj said he spotted the envelope, saying, “I just pulled up the flap and I saw ‘Citibank’ and thought it was important, so I ran out to the street to look for her, but she was gone.”

He then called the store’s owner, Adem Brija.

“He called me immediately and hands me this check and I was like, ‘Oh my god.’ I didn’t want to put it in my pocket it was so much money,” Brija told Yahoo News.

Brija said they had trouble tracking her down.

“We decided we would hold on to the check for a couple days to see if she would drop by or if we could find her ourselves,” he said, Yahoo reported. They planned on going to a local police precinct with the check if the women didn’t show up by May 10.

Later, Vincour called Patsy’s to see if she left it there, but she called the wrong location.

“She said she had called Patsy’s and nobody knew anything about a check,” Vinacour’s real estate broker was quoted by the Daily News as saying. “I didn’t stop to think that maybe she called the wrong one.”

Brija then spoke with reporters at the Daily News, and reporters were able to track Vinacour down in a short while.

Then, Vinacour showed up and met Brija and Markaj, the waiter she didn’t tip, at the door.

“She was so happy and she was in tears,” Brija stated. “But, the second she saw Armando, you could see she got a little shy.”

Markaj said he declined her offer when she tried to tip him.

“I’m happy for her, really,” Markaj told the Daily News. “She offered to tip me, but it was… You know what, I did it for the sake of myself, so I’m not taking the tip now,” he added to NBC2.

Meanwhile, he took her around the pizza shop and showed her all the women she missed, including TV host Barbara Walters and former City Council Speakers Christine Quinn and Melissa Mark-Viverito, it was reported.

“We joked with her and said we’d add her picture up on the wall,” Brija told Yahoo. “Karen will hopefully be on our wall by Monday—and in our window,” he noted.

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