It’s Christmas time, and at the 5 & Diner, the season is on full display. There are Santas in the window, tree decorations on the counter, and lights around the restaurant.
But it was an anonymous customer who really brought in the Christmas spirit, thanks to an incredible surprise for the staff.
This past Saturday morning, the diner staff was dealing with their usual breakfast rush, getting the meals out on time and the coffee hot.
One of the many customers was a man who stayed for about an hour, ordering a simple meal of bacon and eggs.
After finishing his meal, the wait staff gave him his bill. It reportedly came out to about $17.
He paid what he owed, wrote down the tip, and went on his way.
But when an employee picked up the bill, she noticed something unusual about it—and thought there must be some mistake.
He left a $2,000 tip!
Not only that, he instructed to split the tip with the entire staff.
No one knew who this customer was—he left without saying a word, presumably preferring to leave the anonymous gift as a “Secret Santa.” The staff has respected his privacy by omitting his name from the check.
The staff was blown away by the sudden random act of kindness—no one had ever seen anything like it.
“We immediately brought it up to the manager that was on duty and she couldn’t believe it,” server Delia Meeks told KPNX.
“We were all excited. It made the day of everyone who was working.”
As per the donor’s request, the staff split up the $2,000 among themselves, each walking away with over $200. At this time of year, that kind of money makes a big difference.
“It takes a lot of weight off their shoulders; $200 makes a big difference on bus boy pay or cooks’ pay or hostess,” Meeks explained to KNXV.
“So, $200, it makes your week.”
Meeks said she plans to pay it forward and spread more Christmas cheer by spending her cut on more presents for her loved ones.
While the staff respects the stranger’s wish to remain anonymous, they hope they can one day thank him in person—or at least, they hope he knows what the gift meant to the staff.
“If he hears this, come back so we can thank [you] in person,” Meeks said.