Donnie Wahlberg’s $2,000 tip for an $82 bill at a Waffle House in North Carolina — trending on social media — is nothing compared to the promotional value.

The mostly Southern chain of restaurants has for years been fighting back from the bad PR of racial discrimination suits and accusations by ex-employees.

Long before Facebook Live, which Wahlberg used amid his Charlotte visit to the iconic greasy spoon, a video showed a would-be black customer being turned away from a Waffle House northwest of Chattanooga in 2001.

“On the videotape, Waffle House employees could be seen closing the restaurant’s front door as [Steve] Berry and others approach and taping a sign to the glass that read, ‘Closed due to Maintenance,’” said a report in 2002.

A $275 million racial discrimination lawsuit was settled out of court in that case.

It turns out that actor Wahlberg — who made his name with New Kids on the Block — has a history of generosity with Waffle House wait staff, leaving a $500 tip in June.

“My mom waited tables, and my dad tended bars– for years! So, when I walk into a #WaffleHouse, and the staff treats me like a king, you better believe I treat them like queens!” he wrote in a Facebook post with smiling black faces in the background. “Thanks to the team at @wafflehouseofficial Charlotte, NC!”

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