The staff at Door 222 in Loveland, Colorado, were working their last shift before the restaurant closed for 30 days to prevent the spread of coronavirus when they got a particularly generous tip. A couple had drinks at the bar, and though their tab was only $11.74, they left a $750 tip, instructing the staff to share it.
“And nobody even really knew who they were,” Jim Edwards, the restaurant’s owner, told the Denver Post of the generous patrons. “But everybody who was at work that night got $50-$100 extra.”
You can see the restaurant’s inviting bar from this October 2019 Instagram post:
As restaurant staff members face uncertainty about the future of their jobs during this challenging time, we’re sure they were very grateful for the extra boost.
The restaurant took to Instagram to share the good news about the oversized tip:
“Our staff received this tip last night,” read the caption that accompanied the photo of the receipt. “It gives us hope.”
The caption also included a Fred Rogers quote: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'”
The restaurant is now open for carryout only. Customers can get food to go from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. nightly. They can call in their orders, and the restaurant will deliver it curbside or within three blocks of downtown. Restaurants across the country are instituting similar policies.
And more customers are stepping up, too. In Texas, another super-generous patron left a $9,400 tip intended to pay the restaurant’s employees during the shutdown. The nearly $10,000 tip was left for the employees at Irma’s Southwest in Houston.
Louis Galvan, the restaurant’s owner, said that it will be split among the restaurant’s 30 employees, so each will receive about $300.
“They were amazed that a client would care enough about them to leave that amount to help them get through this tough time,” Galvan told CNN.
This is a tough time for restaurants (and other businesses) around the country, many of whom are in survival mode after having been ordered to shut down to dine-in customers. Some have taken to GoFundMe to ask for help in financing their businesses through the pandemic.
Customers are helping there as well. Local community members have set up funds in places like Sacramento, Calif. and the Washington, D. C. or DMV (District/ Maryland/ Virginia) area to support restaurant workers.
In Milwaukee, one man held a birthday fundraiser on GoFundMe to “Save Our Spots.” C.J. Krawczyk has raised more than $21,000 so far to help the city’s best restaurants.
“These are difficult times for all of us, but together, we’ll get through it,” Krawczyk said on his GoFundMe page. “And when we do, let’s make sure we’ve preserved as much of our culinary (and cultural) identity as we possibly could have.”
If you have a favorite local restaurant, now’s the time to support it!