A viral TikTok video from earlier this month claimed to show a Waffle House employee carrying a baby while working behind a grill, with the woman claiming the baby was her dead brother's and she was suspended by the restaurant. The story turned out to be fake though, Waffle House told TMZ Friday. The company said the backstory behind the video was crafted by a scammer.
Last weekend, TikTok user [kizzle360] shared a video of a Waffle House employee holding a baby while preparing food, with the caption, "Ain't know why she got her baby in here smh." The video racked up over 4 million views. Another TikTok user, @tiffanyclark843, claimed she was the woman in the video and was forced to bring her niece to work at 2:30 a.m. This only drew more attention to the video, as many called out Waffle House for not helping their employees.
Then, TMZ caught up with the woman, who identified herself as Tiffany Clark. She claimed the baby was named Octavia and was the daughter of her recently deceased brother. She claimed she was only setting up plates at the time the video was taken, and she was later suspended for a week. Clark also posted a CashApp ID so people could send her donations.
It later turned out this was all a scam. This elaborate backstory was not true and it was all a scam, Waffle House Public Relations VP Njeri Boss told TMZ Friday. The company investigated the video and they "have determined that the media portrayals and social media posts are not accurate."
"While an employee of ours was recorded holding a baby at work, she is not related to that baby in any manner, never identified herself as the person in the TikTok video, never provided a CashApp account to receive any donations, never gave an interview to any media outlet, and never was suspended from her job," Boss explained. The company said the woman in the video is a real employee who held a baby. She was trying to settle the child, who belonged to a co-worker.
The employee was coached and re-trained on proper safety measures, Waffle House told TMZ. "We caution against further dissemination of that false story and the damages that might result, not to mention the help that might give to support an apparent fraud on the public," the company said. TikTok hasn't commented on the scam, and the account behind the scam is now private.