We’ve all experienced the frustration that comes with exceedingly slow service at a restaurant, and perhaps even the temptation to leave a very small tip when your food finally arrives (usually cold). But one Cedar Rapids, Iowa couple decided to leave a $100 tip (a 150-percent on a $66 tab), after waiting more than an hour to get their food. Why? Because Mackenzie and Steve Schultz, who now own a barbecue restaurant together, noticed that the restaurant was understaffed, and that their waiter had to cover 12 tables by himself, plus the bar, and they remembered the days before their own success. They left the tip with the note, “we’ve been in your shoes. Paying it forward.”
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After posting the photo of the receipt to Facebook, along with a note explaining the situation, the story went viral.
“Steven and I agreed it would feel good to make this guy’s night when he would probably be getting minimal to no tips due to slow service. We walked out before he saw this and I’m not posting this for a pat on the back. I’m just sharing this as a friendly reminder to think of the entire situation, before you judge,” she wrote in the Facebook post.
BuzzFeed reached out to the restaurant, and the manager confirmed that their waiter, Kyle, had indeed received the tip, and was very surprised at the gesture. The manager added that normally Kyle was a very competent, hard worker, but that it was an especially hectic day.
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi