We dropped this tip on the way to the Council of State Restaurant Associations conference reception and dinner in Scottsdale. We wrote the names of several open businesses that were close to the reception and drew Buca di Beppo! The recipient was working so hard! She was making drinks for the entire restaurant, taking orders/running out food to a section, training a new hire, and dealing with inventory and other projects simultaneously. Her reaction brought tears to our eyes. BIG FAT THANKS to our sponsor of this tip, Mark Dorsey, and our volunteers of the day, Jenn Norman and Heather Singleton!
Check out the reaction this college student had when we surprised him with $1,000 tip on one slice of Key Lime Pie! Big Fat Thanks to Anne Nevel and the ladies of The Sleepover, who made this tip possible. Special thanks to our volunteer of the day, Carla Howard!
After we placed our order at this American Indian Eatery, we discovered the credit card machine would not accept a $1,000 tip! It took a while to figure out a way around it. This tech issue often arises. The programmers never thought a guest would tip more than three figures—super-special shout-out to Christy, who may have hacked this tech issue for us in the future.
It was all smiles from the employees who got to split the money.
Big Fat Thanks to our anonymous donor who paid for this tip. Special thanks to our volunteers of the day: Melissa Mack, Christy Gandy, and Karim Cheikh. Heartfelt thanks to C. Dallas Golden, DES, for some of the shots used in this video
Our server saw the tip amount before we could prompt her to "check the math for us." She told us she had been praying for help with a family situation, and we had just given her hope. That just so happens to be our mission: to Deliver Hope and Create Positive, Memorable Moments for People Working in the U.S. Service Industry. Mission accomplished. (And tears all around.) Big Fat Thanks to our volunteer of the day, Liz De Leon, and our anonymous donor, who covered the total cost of this tip.
We wanted to shake things up by going to an establishment that worked for tips but was not in the food service industry. We went to an extraordinary old barbershop. Alas, they only took cash. Since we are an official nonprofit, we only deal with recorded transactions and must use a credit card to track where the funds are going. So, after a great haircut, we wandered around the corner and walked into this old diner. After watching the video, you may decide it was meant to be!
Big Fat Tip #44 happened in Atlanta at The Landmark Diner on August 8, 2023, during the ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership Annual Meeting. Watch the video to see his reaction and how we found him. Big Fat Thanks to our donors and volunteer of the day, Timothy Woods.
We flipped a coin to determine where to drop #43, which led us to an interesting biz that offers tattoos and brews. These recipients visited the business that was on the tail end of the coin toss and made their day with a big tip - keeping the reason a sweet secret. Shout out to our volunteer of the day: Chris Robinson!
We received this follow-up email from Jarrod: “As a business owner, I felt an instant state of confusion and a feeling of guilt for excepting such a generous random tip from a stranger. Then I remembered that it has been a long road to get here. Quitting my job to invest everything we had into a small business that we have yet to pay ourselves out of yet. Not to mention the added credit cards purchases lol. Beyond all of that, I think this experience has validated and reinforced my passion for ‘being of service’ and hope that everyone that walks in our shop knows that they’re valued and appreciated.There’s a lot people out there that still care and value our line of work, and you never know who is going to come through your doors with a Big Fat Tip…Cheers!”
This was our first drop on the first day of 2023! When we entered the Waffle House, we were told they were short-staffed, and to expect delayed service. We only intended to purchase something small, like one plain waffle and a drink, so we did not care about quick service. The six of us sat at the counter, watching all of the action in the kitchen. We overheard our server and the cook talking about how this was her last day on the job. Intrigued, we asked why. Normally, we don't get the backstory before we surprise them with the money. We have already decided before entering the building that we are handing over a $1,000 tip before we meet the person who will receive it. So, it was especially thrilling to hear that today was her last day at work. She confessed that she "just wasn't a very good server" and needed another job because she was currently attending the University of South Florida. She told us she was studying Accounting and Chinese and hoped to go to China one day soon. She enthusiastically showed off her language skills, too. Her reaction when she saw the tip was priceless!
Her genuine reaction warmed our hearts! We were all crying! She said she would remember this day forever. Special thanks to Nicole Araujo for pulling in most of the money for this drop through her birthday fundraiser on Facebook!
Our volunteer of the day, Madison Leigh, was attending the Healthcare Distribution Alliance meeting at the JW Marriott one block away from the Alfred coffee bar. She enthusiastically volunteered to assist with this drop, and we think she did a fantastic job. Our favorite part was the reactions from the baristas. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE!