- Want to be a hero this holiday season? Be like this guy and tip generously for your takeout.
- The anonymous man tipped $3K on a $7 beer the day before the restaurant shuttered for coronavirus.
If you’ve been following the ongoing devastation from the pandemic, restaurants are heading into a long, cold, dark winter. Usually, corporate holiday parties, family get-togethers, and drunken revelers fill their dining rooms this time of year. With the increasing danger from COVID, states are making the tough decision to halt indoor dining hoping to tamp down the ever-increasing daily record for total cases.
Restaurants are Suffering
Alongside the restaurant owners devastated by the pandemic are the restaurant workers. Servers and bartenders depend on tips for their survival, and with takeout only, they’re struggling to make ends meet. For one restaurant in Cleveland, the struggle became insurmountable.
Nighttown opted for a voluntary shut down to protect its employees and guests in the face of rising infection rates in Ohio. Their last service, for the time being, was brunch on Sunday.
An unnamed gentleman stopped by for a single beer, which came to $7.02. He filled out the receipt, told the server to split the tip with the rest of the waitstaff, and carried on with his day. Brendan Ring, Nighttown’s owner, ran after him when he saw the amount. The guest left a whopping $3,000 tip on his seven-dollar beer.
Ring chased down the man to make sure he didn’t mean $3, $30, or even $300. The anonymous hero said it was no mistake when Ring caught up with him and that he’d be back when Nighttown reopened.
You, Too, Can Be A Hero
For a country struggling to pay its mortgage or put groceries on the table, $3,000 is make-or-break money. According to the Associated Press, four servers worked the brunch service, but $750 might be their rent for the month.
The landscape of the restaurant industry is dramatically changing. If you only eat at Olive Garden and PF Chang’s, you may not notice. But 100,000 restaurants closed between March and August of this year, and the number’s just going to keep growing. It’s not the big chains feeling the pinch of the recession either, it’s all the awesome neighborhood spots with the best dumplings, wings, or tacos.
Even for long-established neighborhood spots, increasing rent, razor-thin margins, and having to shutter or limit service for months at a time without sustained relief from the government has just been too much.
Takeout will be the only way we can enjoy our favorite spots this winter, so show your neighborhood restaurants some love.
And if this guy can leave $3000 to help a restaurant in his community, then we can all leave at least 25 percent when we pick up our takeout.