Employees at a Utah steakhouse were pleasantly surprised when a group of customers left a $5,000 tip.
The group identified as Tips For Jesus visited Timbermine Steakhouse in Ogden on July 30, KSL reported. The group of nine was hoping to spread some goodwill.
“Some of them were outrageously dressed and just kind of eccentric and flamboyant,” bartender Stefanie Jensen told KSL. “They were rowdy, and a lot of fun in the bar, and then once they were seated, you could just tell it was going to be a party.”
Jensen said they were an interesting bunch and “right away, I wanted to know, like, what’s the story? What is this group of crazy people doing in Ogden tonight?”
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After a few rounds, the group decided to sneak into a banquet hall and crash a high school reunion.
“We didn’t know whether to take them serious, or as a joke, but we were all in the back laughing about it,” server Natalie Henrie recalled.
“They went to the other party on the other side, and they put on name tags, and they were proud of it,” Whitney Tanner, another server, said.
Jensen said the group kept hinting that the employees’ night was going to get better.
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“[They] asked me if I had ever heard about tips for Jesus, and I said, ‘No,’” server Rebecca Allred said. “And he said that they would just like to pay it forward, and asked me if I wanted to be on TV, because he said I would probably be on TV after I saw the tip, and then I looked at the tip, and I don’t know, I didn’t know what to say, I was in shock. I was crazy.”
The group left a $5,000 tip on a $311.76 tab, an approximate 1,600 percent tip. The bill had hashtag #tipsforjesus written on it.
“Nobody could believe it,” Tanner said. “We came up and showed the cashier the ticket, and everybody was wanting to take pictures of it. It was crazy the whole restaurant was excited.”
“They were telling us how they kind of started in a place in their own life where they all were at a low spot, and as they paid it forward, in return, people did stuff for them, and so now they want to pay it forward as they continue their lives,” Tanner added.
For one employee, the tip was especially touching.
“There’s so much goodness in the world, and people like them are willing to come out and do what they do and not knowing what some people are going through in their lives,” said Hernie, who recently lost a close family member.
The tip was divided among 10 employees. The group also took the employees water skiing in Pineview Reservoir the following day.
Tips For Jesus began documenting their stories in 2012 via Instagram, according to Eater. However, the people behind the initiative say they've been doing it for at least a decade.