In yet another beacon in the darkness for lucky restaurant employees, a patron at Souk Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar in Toledo, Ohio, left a $5,600 tip that they requested be divided amongst all staff members, whether they were working or not.
“This is not an ordinary December,” wrote chef Moussa Salloukh on Facebook. “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.”
I can attest to winter being the busy season that financially supports restaurants to make up for their slow seasons. In any other year, people would be going out quite a bit to celebrate the holidays. Or they’d have cabin fever, or they’d just be sick of cooking their own comfort food. Obviously, right now things are painfully different.
When our restaurant was temporarily shuttered for shelter-in-place here in Chicago, I was able to hobble by with donations from customers to a staff fund that was divided among us equally earlier this year. I will always be grateful to customers for those acts of generosity, and any words I use couldn’t do the sentiment any justice. Fortunately, in today’s feel-good story, it sounds like there wasn’t a card or possible fraud issue, like this tipping story we covered earlier in December.
An acquaintance of mine also recently shared a receipt showing a $500 tip on a $78 tab at their service job. It’s a lot of money all at once, but when it comes down to it, that isn’t enough to cover months of financial loss due to the pandemic for service industry workers across the country. This is a rough situation for all, and even if this can’t happen at every restaurant, news like this helps perk us up.