A customer left a tip worth R230,000 on a R500 meal in a US restaurant
- A customer at a New Hampshire bar and grill tipped $16,000 – the equivalent of some R230,000 – on a $37 bill, CNN reported Saturday.
- Eight bartenders and four kitchen staff members who were working during the shift split the tip.
- Many employees said they will spend their portion on a vacation they couldn't otherwise afford.
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An anonymous customer left a $16,000 tip – the equivalent of some R230,000 – for staff at Stumble Inn Bar & Grill in Londonderry, New Hampshire, on June 12, the restaurant owner told Alaa Elassar in a CNN story published Saturday.
The customer ordered two hot dogs, pickle chips, and a few drinks, and the bill was $37, according to CNN. That's around R500.
After the tip cleared, the restaurant posted a picture of the receipt on Facebook on June 21 with a message thanking the customer.
"Stumble Inn had a very generous customer," the restaurant's post read. "We thank you for your generosity."
Stumble Inn bartenders pool their tips, Mike Zarella, owner of the restaurant, told CNN. This means all the bartenders split the tips at the end of their shift rather than being tipped based on who they served.
"It doesn't matter how big the tip is; they still share it with everyone working that shift," Zarella told CNN.
The eight bartenders working during the shift decided to split the $16,000 tip with four employees who were working in the kitchen, according to Zarella.
Many of the bartenders are single moms who plan to use their share of the tip to take a vacation they couldn't otherwise afford, Zarella told CNN.
Zarella told CNN that about a week after the big tip, the customer started coming into the restaurant regularly.
"I went over and sat with him, and I thanked him and told him, 'Are you sure? Because we're uncomfortable with this amount of money,'" Zarella said. "If he had made a mistake and asked for it back, we would have given it back, but he said, 'No, I want them to have that money.'"
Michelle McCudden, a bartender at the restaurant, described the customer as "kind of a mystery man" in an interview with NBC Boston's Michael Rosenfield.
"Actually, he saw the pickle chips going by and said, 'Hey, I want some of those,'" McCudden said.
She said she wasn't expecting the big tip.
"I've been doing this a very long time and I never thought anything like this would happen to me," McCudden told NBC Boston.
McCudden added that the customer's tip made an impact after a year that's taken a toll on workers in local restaurants and bars.
"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," she told NBC Boston. "He just said that we work really hard and he wanted to do something nice and he just really wanted us to have it."
Representatives for Stumble Inn Bar & Grill didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.