The restaurant industry has taken a huge hit during the coronavirus pandemic, and no one has felt that pain more than waitstaff and cooks. Operating at reduced capacity, waiters are barely making minimum wage now that business and tips are scarce.
One Colorado resident decided to provide some relief to seven employees of a local restaurant by leaving behind a generous tip. After breakfast, a man identified by the staff as David tipped $1,400 alongside the message “COVID Sucks!”
Notchtop Bakery & Cafe owner Nailya Khametvalieva told CNN that David asked how many people were working that day, before paying for his $20 meal. He left instructions on the receipt to distribute $200 to each employee.
"That brought truly tears to all the servers [and] cooks -- you know, nobody ever thinks of cooks -- the cooks were just so surprised and shocked. We were all shocked," Khametvalieva told CNN. "We did thank him, but I felt like we didn't do it enough."
Server Gloria Fuentes, who waited on David the two times he’d been to the restaurant, told KMGH she was in disbelief.
"I was like 'Oh my God, am I dreaming or what's going on?'" Fuentes said.
Khametvalieva’s business has stayed open during the pandemic, and thanks to a PPP loan she received through the CARES Act she’s been able to keep her employees and continue to give them hours.
"It's $200 to me, but it's also $200 for my husband. It's also $200 for my daughters, for things that we needed to make it," another employee named Jayme Johnson said.
This is just another example of how people are paying it forward during the pandemic to support others who are struggling through this economic crisis.