Staff Left in 'Absolute Disbelief' at Patron's Tip

Customer left $10K gratuity on a $32 tab at Michigan restaurant in honor of friend who'd died
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2024 10:20 AM CST
Updated Feb 17, 2024 6:00 AM CST
Staff Left in 'Absolute Disbelief' at Patron's Tip
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/junce)

A 20% tip on a $32 restaurant tab would come out to about $6.40; a more generous tip of 25% would be closer to $8. One server in a Michigan eatery, however, received a tip that went right off the charts: $10,000, or about 30,835% of the original bill. WOOD reports that the ginormous gratuity went down at the Mason Jar Cafe in Benton Harbor, where manager Tim Sweeney says the staff was left in "absolute disbelief" at one customer's generosity after a Feb. 5 meal.

Sweeney says customers typically leave between 15% and 25%, and sometimes even the occasional $100 surprise, but "not ever anything of this gratitude or magnitude." He notes that he talked personally with the customer to make sure he hadn't made a mistake, noting that Paige Mulick, the waitress who served the customer, was "shocked." "He wanted to proceed," Sweeney says of the customer. Mulick notes that the unnamed patron left the tip in memory of a friend who'd recently died. "He was in town for the funeral," Mulick notes.

The server decided to pay it forward even further, splitting the tip with eight other staff members, meaning they each got about $1,100, per Business Insider. "I'M CRYING, YOU'RE CRYING, WE'RE ALL CRYING," read the restaurant's Facebook post the day after the tip was received. "Things can feel real heavy sometimes, but this was such an amazing act to have seen first hand in our restaurant." (More uplifting news stories.)

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