December is usually a time for giving, and restaurant staff can usually look forward to bigger tips from their customers during the holiday season.

This year, though, things have been hard for the hospitality industry. COVID-19 has shuttered many restaurants, some temporarily, some permanently. Many restaurants that have been able to remain open have been frequented by customers who may have taken pay cuts or lost their own jobs, so big tips have decreased as well.

One restaurant in Toledo, Ohio, however, got a lovely surprise from a very generous customer who made the effort to put money back into their own community and into the hands of the people working hard to serve food during this difficult year.

Souk Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar shared a post this week revealing that one of their customers had left a whopping $5,600 tip to be split among the restaurant staff. It’s basically the feel-good story we all needed at the end of this nightmare of a year.

““Be the reason someone believes in the goodness of people.”This really happened. Last night one of our guests left a $5,600 tip to be given to all of our staff, whether they were working that shift or not. It meant each of our 28 staff members received a $200 tip. What an amazing gesture of kindness to my employees.This is not an ordinary December. Normally this is a month when our employees work extra and guests tip generously. December is a month for them to earn money to buy family gifts, put a bit into savings and take care of bills or repairs that have been lingering. With Covid restrictions and guidelines, that was not going to happen for them this year. So this heartfelt generosity was deeply needed and very appreciated.The words “Thank You” seem inadequate for this gift… but Thank You Billy, for your generous spirit and for making a difference in the lives of people I care a lot about this holiday season. With appreciation, Chef Moussa Salloukh

We hope to one day be wealthy enough to be able to leave such a generous gift for the staff of our favorite restaurants!

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