Waiter receives $1,000 tip, pays it forward

Waiter Receives $1K Tip, Pays It Forward
Waiter Receives $1K Tip, Pays It Forward

Most restaurant servers can expect around a 15 to 20 percent tip, which is roughly the national tipping average, so imagine one New York waiter's gratuitous surprise at his 878 percent gratuity.ABC reported, "One lucky waiter hitting the jackpot that's to a very generous patron. He left a $1000 tip."

Michael Shafts has worked at The Ginger Man in Albany for five years and on Friday, July 18 he was serving a wife and her husband who was celebrating his 47th birthday. Shafts' manager, Julie Byron, told All Over Albany the wife took Shafts aside and said, "Something insane is about to happen to you, just take it and do something good."

Shafts said, "I don't really know how it came about ... I mean, when I first saw the tip I was just in shock."

The restaurant posted a photo to its Twitter page along with hashtags such as #BestService and #ThankYou. Scrawled across the receipt are the words "Pay it forward! My birthday present to me!"

Byron, who works three part-time shifts a week at The Ginger Man in addition to working full time at a local bank and repairing iPhones on the side, had to make sure the tip was real.

WTEN quoted Shafts as saying "I made sure it was okay with him. I thanked him. I hugged him. I hugged him again before he left. I just couldn't believe it. I was in shock. My legs were shaking. I couldn't really focus on the rest of the work I had to do that evening."

After the anonymous couple left the restaurant in a limousine, Byron and Shafts discussed how he would "pay it forward." Shafts co-workers would find out a few days later.

ABC quotes Byron as saying, "When he returned to work on Saturday night, he had envelopes of money for all of the staff, both front-of-house and back-of-house that had been working with him on Wednesday night. When all was said and done, he divvied up more than half." The other half went to fixing Shafts' car engine.

Byron said that the grand gesture couldn't have happened to a better person. The couple who left the tip are remaining anonymous.