A regular customer at the Brief Encounter restaurant in Bellevue, Washington, stunned employees this weekend after he left a $3,000 tip on a $39 check.
The staff initially thought it was a mistake until they read the note on the back of the receipt.
The note reads:
“You guys do a great job! When I was 7, I washed dishes and my mom cooked in a diner like this. We were dirt poor and didn’t have money for Christmas. Hopefully, this will help all of you have a better Christmas.”
Brief Encounter owner Melanie Bard identified the customer as Dwayne Clark, founder of an assisted living community, who comes in to eat regularly on the weekends with his wife.
“He’s a great customer when he comes in,” Bard said, adding that he has been coming in for the past eight years.
The 12-person staff will split the tip evenly, $250 each, as Clark requested.
Clark stressed that this is isn’t about the amount of money he gave, but instead about the sentiment behind it.
“You don’t have to give money. You can write appreciative notes and say thank you,” he said of wanting to inspire a tipping movement this holiday season. “It would go a long way to nourish all of us.”