Tipping is a part of the restaurant experience. It is built into how they function. In fact, the history of tipping is a bit strange and complicated. Many people are against the tip based system because it often leads to restaurants paying waiters and waitresses much less than minimum wage.
We've all experienced a bad waiter who has ruined our night. Maybe it is their attitude, or maybe they just weren't cut out to be a waiter. Either way, it can make you regret leaving a big tip. Then gain, some waiters are so good at their job, you don't mind throwing a big bill down to reward them.
Restaurants and waiters have been hit hard since the coronavirus has forced restaurants to close for anything other than pickup and delivery. That's why it is always amazing to hear customers who go above and beyond, like this customer who gave a $1300 tip to a struggling restaurant.
There have been many businesses impacted by the coronavirus. Businesses that have been around for decades are suddenly left wondering if this is it for them. Then there are brand new businesses that had just opened right before the coronavirus hit. They didn't even have a chance to test their business and know if it would be successful otherwise. That's the position the Frog & The Bull restaurant in Austin, Texas faced. The restaurant is owned by David Fernandez and stepicalized in steak and seafood, as well as Tapas.
When the coronavirus hit, they had only been open for four and a half months. Then in mid-March, they closed their doors. Last Friday was the restaurant's first full day open since St. Patrick's Day when the city went into lockdown. Luckily, the opening went extremely well thanks to one man.
Last Friday when the restaurant opened, a man came in with his family of five. They ordered “higher-end items” as well as “a couple of decent bottles of wine.” The bill amounted to over $300 which isn't ludicrous for a family of five, especially after being locked up in their homes for the past month and a half. What was spectacular was what the man did when it came time to pay.
According to David Fernandez, he had seen the man in the restaurant a couple of times before. The man asked his server, a young man named Josh Pikoff, to double his bill. Being such a strange request, Pikoff spoke with Fernandez and asked him to come to he table.
The customer then wrote in a $300 tip for Pikoff and gave another $1,000 “for the house,” meaning the restaurant was not only going to get double their bill, but extra on top of that as well. The total bill came to over $2,000. Fernandez recalled his elation, "We were pretty stoked about that. It was crazy. I told him ... 'We'll take very good care of you when you're back in here, trust me. This is really nice of you.'"
For Fernandez, the gesture was huge. "When you're starting up, that's when you're at your most vulnerable. From March 17 up until now, we've been fighting for our survival, just barely scraping by ... I literally have been living payroll to payroll, just making enough money to pay (my employees) ... so something like this helps out huge because I can start chipping away at other bills."