The Food Service Industry
Working in the foodservice industry isn’t always easy. During a rush, the job can be very stressful. You often have multiple people wanting a drink refill, wanting to place an order, or waiting for their checks all at once. Also, not every customer is nice. You have to deal with all customers will a smile, even the difficult ones. What makes this job so difficult is that the hourly wage for a server or bartender is often very low. This means that they rely mostly on tips to make a living. If a customer isn’t a good tipper, it can really affect their income. Despite all of these issues. Millions of people like working in the foodservice industry.
Ashley Latella works as a bartender at the Seagrape Cafe in Fairfield, Connecticut. It is her job to serve customers drinks, but she had to do much more than that. She also has to provide service with a smile, along with some friendly conversation. She also has to watch all of her customers to make sure that nobody is drinking too much. While it can be a lot at times, Ashley loves her job.
In December 2013, Ashley was working her regular shift. The bar was very crowded that night because the college students were home for the holidays, enjoying their Christmas break. Because the bar was so crowded that night, Ashley’s manager, Carlos Carmo, was pitching in to try to keep up with the thirsty crowd. That night, Carlos says that it was much busier than usual. He says that having a conversation was impossible because the DJ was blasting the music and the college kids trying to scream over the music. He says that it was impossible to have a conversation with the customers.
Three Ordinary Guys
There were three guys in the bar that night that really didn’t fit in with the college student clientele. According to Carlos, they were just three ordinary guys in their mid ’40, in good shape, and good looking. He said that there was nothing remarkable about them. They ordered some drinks, kept to themselves, and didn’t get rowdy like the other college kids in the bar were. It wasn’t until the bill came that Carlos and Ashley discovered that there was something remarkable about these men.
An Unusual Request
When the men were ready to leave, Ashley brought them their bill. It was then that they made an unusual request. They asked Ashley if they could pay her the money for their bill in private. At first, Ashley didn’t know what to think. Why did these men want to pay their bill in private? With reason, she was worried. Going off with three strange men who had been drinking could have been dangerous for the young woman. She knew how people could be when they have been drinking, and she didn’t want to go off in private alone with them. She was also worried that they were going to complain about the service, the bill, or their drinks. She decided to ask Carlos to go with her to speak to the men. If there were an issue with the service or their time at the bar, he would be the one to straighten things out. Also, having someone else with her made her feel more comfortable. She asked Carlos for herself, and they took the three men into the kitchen to find out what was going on.
A Pleasant Surprise
When the men joined Ashley and Carlos in the kitchen, Carlos immediately asked if there was a problem. The men told him that their service was excellent, and the reason that they asked to pay in private had nothing to do with poor service or any other negative issues. They told Carlos and Ashley that they wanted to pay their bill and tip all four of the bartender who was on duty that night. Carlos thought that this was a very generous gesture. They weren’t responsible for tipping anyone but their bartender, so he thought that it was great that they wanted to tip everyone. It wasn’t until they saw the receipt that they were really surprised.
When the men handed Carlos the receipt, he was pretty shocked. The total cost of the bill was $112, and Carlos looked and saw that they left a $500 tip. Just as he and Ashley were talking about how great the men were, Carlos looked at the receipt again. When he looked again, he realized that the tip them men left was $5,000, not $500. Carlos was thrilled, and Ashley burst into tears. She was so happy and thankful for the generosity. In her three years as a bartender, this was by far the biggest tip she ever received. She gave the three men a big hug for their kind gesture. Both Ashley and Carols wanted to know who these men were. Tips this large weren’t common, especially in their little town in Connecticut. Both Carlos and Ashley decided that they had to know, so they asked the men who they were.
Tips For Jesus
Three man ask waitress to settle bill in private. Then bartender sees check and realizes why. It turned out that this wasn’t the first time that the men left a massive tip for their servers. It was something that they did often. They belonged to a group called Tips for Jesus. According to their Instagram page, it is their mission to do the Lord’s work, one tip at a time. It turned out that the employees at the Seagrape Cafe weren’t the only people to receive generous tips that month. That month, they tipped $11,500 to three separate restaurants around Manhattan. They were more on a mission during this month, because it was the holiday season. They knew that something like this could brighten up a person’s holidays.
Around the Country
Tips For Jesus didn’t just help people in the New York area. They actually traveled the country, giving huge tips to servers. They tipped one bartender $1,000 on an $85 bill. At a larger establishment, they left a $10,000 tip. They travel all around the country, giving gifts to bartenders who work so hard. They believe that these people work such a hard day after day, serving others, trying to make them happy, that they deserve to get something back.
Carlos, Ashley, and the other two bartenders who were working that night decided that they would use some of the money to give back. They wanted to pay it forward, so the next morning, they went to a local toy store. During the day, Ashley worked at a real estate office, and she had been trying to collect toys for a charity called Al’s Angels. They collect toys during the holidays and donate them to children in need. Since Ashley had been trying to collect toys at her office, they all decided that they would use some of the money to buy toys to donate. Carlos says that the men’s generosity was amazing, and he believes that his good Karma is what brought them to the bar in the first place. He says that when he and his girlfriend eat out, he makes sure to leave an overly generous tip. He thinks that this was Karma’s way of paying him back, so he would pay Karma back by donating the toys. The four employees didn’t use all of the money to buy the toys, but they were able to donate plenty. Ashley says that she was able to give her family and friends great holiday gifts that year.
Ashley, Carlos, and the rest of the staff were lucky that these men and most of their customers were nice. There are some servers, like Melina Salazar, who are forced to deal with demanding customers who are regulars at the establishments where they work. Melina worked as a server at Luby’s in Texas. She had been working at Luby’s for years, and every day for seven years, a man named Walter “Buck” Swords ate there. He was an 89-year-old World War II veteran, and he had a reputation at Luby’s.
A Difficult Man
Buck was known at Luby’s as being short-tempered, cranky, demanding, and very impatient. He often treated the hospital staff poorly, but Melina didn’t let that get to him. Despite the way that he treated the staff a the restaurant, Melina always took his order with a smile. Even if he was mean to her, she took his order every day for seven years and made sure to serve it the way he liked it, piping hot.
Going the Extra Mile
While it was Melina’s job to take the man’s order, she always wanted to go the extra mile. She made sure to smile when she took his order, and always asked him how he was doing. He was the grumpiest customer, and her fellow co-workers wondered how she had so much patience for a mean, old man. Melina says that she just wanted to make him happy and feel welcome, so she was sure to be kind to him every day.
A No Show
Melina was shocked one day when Buck didn’t show up at the usual time. For days, he wasn’t coming in, and Melina started to worry. She knew that he was old, so she worried that he had gotten sick or worse. To see if something terrible happened to him, Melina flipped through the newspaper while she waited for her shift to begin. When she was his obituary, it broke her heart. Sure, he wasn’t the nicest man in the world, but she really cared about him. She was sad that he would never visit the restaurant again.
Melina was sad about Buck’s passing, and she figured he never thought much of her when he left the restaurant. A few weeks after Buck died, Melina received word that completely changed her life. She found out that Buck’s lawyers had been trying to reach her because he had left her something in his will. Melina couldn’t believe it. Buck was never nice to her, but he must have noticed that she was kind to her. When she found out what he left to her, she couldn’t believe it.
Melina met with the lawyers, and they told her that Buck had left her his car. She couldn’t believe it. She thought it was the kindest gesture. She was shocked when the lawyers told her that it wasn’t just his car that Buck left Melina. He also left her $50,000.
Melina was thrilled that Buck had left her his car and some money. She was even happier that this grumpy, angry old man had noticed her caring nature. She never thought that he noticed that she was kind, and she never knew that she made such a significant impact on his life. She didn’t believe that he even knew her name. Her kindness toward him paid off in more ways than one.
Generous things like this don’t happen every day. Most servers and bartenders don’t expect to go to work and get an outrageously large tip, but it happens from time to time. Some people think that this wave of generous tipping is a new trend, but it really isn’t. People have been trying to make their bartender’s or server’s day for years. It wasn’t’ until the invention of social media and viral photos that we actually hear about these kind and generous gestures. Even if you can’t afford to tip your server triple the amount of the bill, you should try to give them an extra dollar or two. It won’t break the bank, but it might just make your server’s day. Being appreciated is a great feeling, and a dollar or two more can go a long way.