Restaurant staff ‘bowled over’ after customer tips them $1,000 each

Restaurant staff ‘bowled over’ after customer tips them $1,000 each

Waiting staff are constantly forced to deal with unruly or unpleasant customers, but sometimes one comes along to restore their faith in humanity.

This is what happened at a restaurant in Florida, when a generous stranger thanked workers by leaving them a jaw-dropping tip.

The team at the Wahoo Seafood Grill were left “blown away” by the man’s stunning act of kindness, which saw him dish out $1,000 (around £730), to each of the ten employees working that night.

Posting a photo of the receipt on Facebook, the restaurant showed that the man’s meal cost $144 (around £105), and yet he chose to add a gratuity of $10,000 (£740).

In a caption to the post they wrote: “On Tuesday night, a customer asked our entire restaurant staff to come to the dining area. He thanked them for showing up and working hard.

“Then something incredible happened. He told them he was giving them $1,000 each.

“Our staff couldn’t believe it.”

Members of staff at the Florida restaurant Wahoo Seafood Grill

The caption went on to quote the restaurant’s owner, Shawn Shepherd, who said: “I’m not usually an emotional guy, but this really got me. I’m blown away. We’re ALL blown away by his generosity.

“The last year and a half hasn’t been easy on this industry. We’re hurting and we’re exhausted, but this incredible act of kindness has restored our faith in humanity.”

Ending the statement, Wahoo added: “Our whole staff would like to thank this generous customer from the bottom of our hearts. We are all going to pay it forward in our own ways. Even the smallest acts of kindness can have a giant ripple effect.

“We’re just a local, veteran-owned seafood restaurant doing our best to weather this storm — and this is truly the last thing we expected to happen on a regular Tuesday night.

“By sharing this, we hope you feel inspired to do something nice for someone today. Be the reason someone believes in the goodness of people.”

In an interview with Newsweek, Shepherd said the customer, who has chosen to remain anonymous, wanted to give each of the ten employees working that evening a token of his admiration for “all they’ve been through”.

The restaurateur explained that the gesture had meant a lot to each of the workers, but particularly to one who has a child in hospital with multiple sclerosis and “needs a lot of attention”.

He told the news site: "The server had to take more time off than usual, but by the grace of God, the man showed up."

He also revealed that another staff member had been living in a shelter and so said the cash boost would really help him get back on his feet and “move forward”.

Shepherd also stressed that other employees who weren’t working that night felt no jealousy or animosity towards their colleagues for receiving the four-figure gift.

It comes after a New Hampshire bar suffered a spate of bad reviews after a generous tip from one of its diners propelled it into the spotlight.

The Stumble Inn hit headlines after one customer left $16,000 (around £11,456) to his waitress following a $37 meal of chilli dogs and fries.

The owner of the New Hampshire bar told local media that he and his staff were overwhelmed by the anonymous man’s generosity, and that the money would be split among workers.

However, scores of social media users were left outraged by the decision, insisting the woman who served the man should have received the full amount.

One furious Twitter user wrote in response: “So lemme get this straight, the same owner that’s ok with paying their servers $2.13 an hour ‘since they get tips’ is gonna turn around and decide what this employee has to do with that tip? I think the f***k not.”

Meanwhile, the Stumble Inn was plagued with scores of negative comments on Google and other review sites.

One wrote: “It’s not right for the owner to decide to split a $16,000 tip between 12 servers when it was left to ONE server.

“That server so clearly went above and beyond for that customer to feel comfortable leaving a grand tip like that. Shame on you for taking that from them and ‘splitting it’.”

The restaurant’s owner Mike Zarella, clearly fed up with the relentless trolling, replied by telling critics to “get [their] facts right,” insisting it was customary for staff to split tips daily.

The eight servers who were working that night split the tip between them and divided up among the kitchen staff too, Zarella said.

According to local news anchor Amaka Ubaka, the boss didn’t receive a cent of the five-figure sum.

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