Restaurant Diner Asks Staff To Gather, Gives Them $10,000

August 24, 2021

A customer at a Gainesville restaurant left the staff a $10,000 tip to share.

diner leaves 10k tip
Wahoo Seafood Grill Gainesville

Last Tuesday night, a customer at Wahoo Seafood Grill asked the entire restaurant staff to come to the dining area.

He thanked all 10 of them for showing up and working hard. Then something incredible happened.

He told them he was giving them $1,000 each.

"I'm not usually an emotional guy, but this really got me. I'm blown away. We're ALL blown away by his generosity," owner Shawn Shepherd said.

Shepherd said when he got the call from his employees that night about the big tip, his first thought was to be suspicious. He advised them to double-check the man's ID and the name on the back of his credit card.

But the restaurant's point-of-sale system approved the transaction. Shepherd said he checked back the next day to make sure the money was still there.

"Watching these guys get their check was almost as good as Christmas morning," Shepherd told the Sun.

He said he's very thankful to the customer because his staff has been loyal to the restaurant through the difficult times.

"The last year and a half hasn't been easy on this industry. We're hurting and we're exhausted, but this incredible act of kindness has restored our faith in humanity," he said.

"Our whole staff would like to thank this generous customer from the bottom of our hearts. We are all going to pay it forward in our own ways. Even the smallest acts of kindness can have a giant ripple effect.

We're just a local, veteran-owned seafood restaurant doing our best to weather this storm — and this is truly the last thing we expected to happen on a regular Tuesday night."

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