A US restaurant has been left with a pleasant surprise after a customer who ordered $37.93 worth of food and drinks left a mouth-watering tip in return.
The male patron, who was not identified, tacked the generous $US16,000 ($A21,000) tip to his order at the Stumble Inn Bar and Grill in Londonderry, New Hampshire, earlier in June.
The unassuming patron ordered a couple of hot dogs, some cocktails and fried pickles.
“Actually, he saw the pickle chips going by and said, ‘Hey, I want some of those,’” bartender Michelle McCudden told news station NBC Boston.
But when it was time to pay, things took a turn nobody ever expected.
The tab was just less than $38. The tip – $16,000.
Restaurant owner Mike Zarella said he initially thought he misread the receipt.
“I thought it was a mistake,” he said.
But according to staff members, the friendly customer assured them it was no joke.
“I’ve been doing this a very long time and I never thought anything like this would happen to me,” said McCudden.
“He’s kind of a mystery man.”
Zarella said he couldn’t believe it.
“It was on the credit card statement, they put it down next to the register, and he said three times, ‘Don’t spend it all in one place’,” he recounted to WMUR 9.
“That’s what made (the waitress) flip it over and look.
He added the server yelled, “Oh my god, are you serious?” before the kind-hearted benefactor replied: “I want you to have it, you guys work hard.”
Staff members at the restaurant split the night’s tips evenly, but the eight servers working that evening wanted to extend the gift of generosity to the cooks, too.
McCudden said everybody was incredibly grateful for the customer’s kindness, particularly after the pandemic forced more than 110,000 US restaurants and bars to shut their doors in the past year.
“We went up and we thanked him,” McCudden said.
“It’s just been a really rough year for all of us. For someone to do something like that really restored my faith in humanity.”
‘For someone to do something like that really restored my faith in humanity.’
As for the mystery man’s identity?
“Everybody thought it might be a celebrity that was here, but it wasn’t. It was just an ‘average Joe,’” Zarella explained to Fox News.
“He gave the money and doesn’t want any PR out of it … He doesn’t want anything.
“I even tried to comp his meal last Saturday night and he said, ‘No.’”