Bertha and Ericka Gonzalez, a mother and daughter who ate at Applebee’s last week in Fresno, California, accidentally left behind a whopping $32,000 in cash in their booth — presumably quite a lot more than the tip they meant to leave.
When they realized what they had done, the Gonzalezes went to the Fresno Police Department in an attempt to track down the money, but were extremely doubtful that they'd see its return. In fact, though, the cash was discovered by their Applebee’s server, who brought it to the attention of his managers. It took a counting machine to add it all up.
The money, described as the savings from multiple family businesses including rental properties and a Bay Area restaurant, was meant to allow the family to take a vacation to Mexico. “I didn’t know how to tell my dad,” daughter Ericka Gonzalez told ABC.
Erica and her mother had intended to leave the money in a safe deposit box at the bank before stopping at Applebee’s, but the bank was out of boxes.
Luckily for the family, Applebee’s contacted local authorities and got in touch with police detective Sammy Ashworth, who was able to reunite the Gonzalezes with their savings. The family has said that they would like to be able to give their server some of the money as a reward, an area director for Applebee’s told ABC, “I don’t know that he would accept it, honestly. He’s just not that guy. He made it very clear that he did it because it was the right thing to do, not that he wanted anything in return.”