Customer leaves £8,000 tip in Texas restaurant to help pay staff during coronavirus pandemic

‘Pay your guys over the next few weeks,’ says generous diner

Helen Coffey
Thursday 19 March 2020 13:41 GMT
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One Houston restaurant received an unexpected surprise
One Houston restaurant received an unexpected surprise

A generous customer with deep pockets left a $9,400 (£8,160) tip at his local restaurant in Texas to help it out during the coronavirus pandemic.

The unnamed man wrote on the receipt: “Pay your guys over the next few weeks.”

According to Louis Galvan, owner of Irma’s Southwest in Houston, the unexpected windfall was left by one of the restaurant’s regulars who has been eating there for 15 years.

“He came in and had a modest dinner of shrimp tacos and then left a $9,400 gratuity,” Galvan told Fox News.

The customer went into the restaurant while a TV news station was broadcasting a live feed about how the city’s restaurants and bars are being forced to close during the outbreak.

“I think he came here just to [give the tip],” Galvan said. “He came down here specifically to do that and wish us the best of luck.”

Galvan said that everyone was “amazed” and that the restaurant plans to use the money as instructed.

“Basically we are going to split that among the staff members, not management,” he said. “So, about 30 people will split the $9,400 evenly.”

He added that the act of kindness has given the restaurant hope during these trying times.

“It invigorated us as far as our commitment to the community and commitment to keep our business going,” said Galvan. “We’re going to grind this out.”

He added that he’s seen more cooperation and community-building than competitiveness from other restaurants so far in this challenging period.

It’s not the only example of people trying to spread cheer during the pandemic.

One flight attendant on a Southwest Airlines service brought a smile to passengers’ faces on a nearly empty plane by sliding snacks down the aisle during take-off.

A passenger shared a video of the stunt on social media, tweeting: “Today I flew @SouthwestAir – only 29 people on a plane for 175 people.

“Our flight attendant wanted to bring light to this trying time by sliding snacks down the isle [sic] during takeoff. It’s the little things.”

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