Header Ads

Customer leaves a $5,600 Christmas tip on his bill at an Ohio restaurant for each staff member to take home an extra $200 for the holidays

 A customer made staffers of an Ohio restaurant cry tears of joy after leaving behind a $5,600 tip right before the holidays.  

The chef and owner of Souk Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar in Toledo, Ohio, took to Facebook earlier this month to reveal the patron's generosity, which allowed the restaurant's 28-person staff to take home $200 each - including those that were off duty when the customer stopped by. 

'Be the reason someone believes in the goodness of people,' restaurant owner Moussa Salloukh wrote on Facebook on December 13. 

A restaurant customer at Ohio's Souk Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar left a $5,600 tip for staff

A restaurant customer at Ohio's Souk Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar left a $5,600 tip for staff

Restaurant owner Moussa Salloukh shared news of the kind gesture on Facebook December 13

Restaurant owner Moussa Salloukh shared news of the kind gesture on Facebook December 13


 '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,' Salloukh continued. '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,' Salloukh added. 

Accompanying the post was a photo of the receipt that 'Billy' left behind, showing a one penny food purchase and the handwritten $5,600 tip.

It's unclear if Billy is a regular customer or had just randomly stopped at the restaurant to do a good deed. 

The Souk Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar workers (pictured outside the restaurant) received a $5,600 tip from a generous patron, allowing them to each take home an extra $200

The Souk Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar workers (pictured outside the restaurant) received a $5,600 tip from a generous patron, allowing them to each take home an extra $200

Salloukh said that his restaurant (pictured) has seen fewer holiday reservations this year due to pandemic dining restrictions. Normally, workers take home good tips during the busy season

Salloukh said that his restaurant (pictured) has seen fewer holiday reservations this year due to pandemic dining restrictions. Normally, workers take home good tips during the busy season

Salloukh (pictured) opened the restaurant in October 2019 in honor of his mother
Salloukh (pictured) said the tip - shared with workers who weren't on duty that night, too - was 'huge for us'

Salloukh (pictured) opened the restaurant in October 2019 in honor of his mother. He said the tip - shared with workers who weren't on duty that night, too - was 'huge for us'

A server is seen taking orders outside Souk Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar during the pandemic

A server is seen taking orders outside Souk Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar during the pandemic 

Salloukh told 13ABC that the night when the customer left behind the tip, his general manager walked up to him with 'this look on her.'  

'I asked if everything was all right and she just kind of showed me the check and it was a $5,600.00 tip,' Salloukh said, noting that the customer's generosity came at the perfect time. 

With the pandemic leading to restrictions on indoor dining, restaurants around the country have seen dramatic downturns in earnings, especially during the traditionally busy holiday season. 

'Our Christmas parties have diminished. It’s just carry-out and as much walking and reservation as we can get,' Salloukh said.    

That's why the generosity of the customer - who had asked to be kept anonymous - meant so much. 

Salloukh told CNN that 'There was a lot of tears, I'm tearing up now talking about it.' 

'Your restaurant staff becomes your family and everyone cares about each other,' Salloukh noted, added that he'd been 'staying out of the kitchen' to allow his employees to rack up more paid hours, which would allow them to 'put gifts under the tree for their kids.' 

The customer's tip, Salloukh said, 'was so huge for us' and gave some of the workers the opportunity to buy Christmas trees and presents for their families while they struggled with lower than usual tip take-homes during the pandemic holiday season.  

'A lot of them felt like someone was looking and watching down on them,' Salloukh said of the staff. 'It gave us a lot of hope, it was just a beautiful thing to do for 28 strangers you don't even know.'

Salloukh said that Souk Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar, which opened in October 2019, struggled as it - and many others across the country - was shut down during the height of the coronavirus quarantine measures.      

Salloukh said the restaurant was created as a tribute to his mother and that 'everything was going great until March, when we were forced to shut down.' 

He noted that 'Financially there was a huge impact, but we did just about everything to survive.'

Now that quarantine restrictions have lifted and the restaurant is slowly getting back  Then all of a sudden this gentlemen comes in and gives us a $5,600 tip for all our employees. 'Thank you' isn't enough."

No comments