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Florida Man Leaves $10,000 Tip At Restaurant So Everyone Gets $500

by : Emily Brown on :
Florida Man Leaves $10,000 Tip At Restaurant So Everyone Gets $500CNN

A kind-hearted man from Florida left a $10,000 tip at a restaurant so each member of staff was able to take home an extra $500. 

The generous donation was left at the Naples-based Skillets restaurant, on Vanderbilt Beach Road last week, when the customer, who is known to be a regular at the establishment, handed a stack of cash to the manager at the store.

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Though staff at the restaurant knew the man by appearance, they don’t know his name and are now trying to track him down. They know he likes to eat on the patio with his laptop on weekdays when the weather is nice, and on weekends he brings his family for brunch.

According to Naples Daily News, Ross Edlund, owner of Skillets, explained:

We don’t know who he was yet. I’m trying to figure it out.

It’s funny because we have regulars who have been coming in forever, and they’re our friends but we don’t always know their names. We know their faces, their orders, their favorite tables, but we don’t know exactly who they are.

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Unfortunately, staff won’t be able to wait and see if the man returns to dine with them again any time soon, because just one day after he handed over the tip, Gov. Ron DeSantis forced restaurants across the state to close in a bid to tackle the spread of coronavirus.

The tip, therefore came at exactly the right time for the restaurant’s employees. The wad of cash totalled $10,000, and when handing it over the generous stranger said: ‘I want each person in this restaurant to get $500’.

Edlund explained the manager distributed the money between the 20 employees, making sure to fulfil the customer’s wishes.

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Edlund expressed his gratefulness to the mystery tipper, as per CBS News, saying:

Thank you very, very much. You are a really decent person, and you have touched our staff deeply. Thank you.

The Naples establishment was one of nine Skillets, from Naples to Fort Myers and Venice, that was forced to close to dine-in customers. Edlund estimates he’s had to lay off 90% of his 200 employees.

He closed his five-month-old Venice store due to lack of business, though kept the other eight restaurants operating as takeout services with a skeleton crew of two-to-three employees per location.

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Speaking of how the chain has had to adjust, Edlund said:

To-go was only about 5% of our sales before all this.

I look at the McDonald’s next door and cars are lined up around the block, because that’s what they do. That’s what they’re built for. Breakfast here is an experience. It’s about getting out of the house and letting someone else take care of you. We can’t offer that now, but we’re trying to do the best we can.

Incredibly, members of the public have rallied around those working at the chain and the $10,000 tip isn’t the only sign of generosity Edlund has experienced in recent days.

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Another regular handed Edlund an envelope last week, on which read: ‘Do not open unless you close’. Following the governor’s announcement, the owner opened it and found $150 cash, which he distributed to his employees.

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Edlund is keeping an eye on the coronavirus bailout bill, which is currently moving through Congress, and is happy to see the bill allocating more money to workers, rather than just big businesses.

He commented:

We’re taking it day by day. We’re making sure no one loses their health benefits. We’re counselling our staff on how to apply for unemployment.

These people deserve [the bailout]. It shouldn’t all go to the top. It should go to people who make life happen on a day-to-day basis. They are the hardest hit. They need this money the most.

The incredible acts of kindness from those leaving generous tips are perfect examples of how those who are able can help in these uncertain times. While not everyone might be able to leave $10,000 at a restaurant, a small gesture can go a long way.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Life, Coronavirus, Florida, restaurant

Credits

Naples Daily News and 1 other
  1. Naples Daily News

    Naples restaurant searching for mystery diner who left $10,000 tip

  2. CBS12

    Anonymous diner in Southwest Florida leaves $10K tip for entire restaurant staff