A server at a Texas Applebee's received a massive tip after diners saw him perform an act of kindness.
On August 15, 2016, 32-year-old Kasey Simmons got a huge surprise while working a dinner shift at Applebee's in Little Elm, according to ABC News. Earlier that day, Simmons had helped a stranger by paying for a woman's $17 grocery bill at a Kroger supermarket.
"I noticed there was a lady standing in front of me," recalled Simmons. "It looked like she had been crying because once in a while she'd glance over to me. I go up to her and say, 'It's not raining inside. There's no reason to look so down. I'm sure you have a beautiful smile because you are a beautiful lady.'"
“It looked like she had a bad day," said Simmons. "She kind of shut me down a little bit. I wanted to make her at least grin a little bit and it wasn't happening."
Simmons then convinced the woman to let him pay her $17 grocery bill, succeeding in making her smile. He gave the stranger his Applebee's business card and left for work.
"I insisted," Simmons told WFAA. "It was only $17, but it's not about the money. It's about showing someone you care."
"It's selfish really," Simmons added. "When people smile, I feel better. It lightens my world."
During his shift that night, Simmons said, he was swamped with work.
"Every time I get to work, I say, 'It's a great day. I'm going to make some friends and make some money,'" recalled the server. "This day happened to be the worst day of my Applebee's career. I was having such a bad night that I was about to walk out of [that] place and this lady comes in and I said, 'Hey, my name's Kasey. I'm just letting you know that I am so far behind and I'm in the weeds right now.'"
When Simmons told the woman and her family that there would be a 45-minute wait before he could serve them, he offered to buy their drinks, which was all the family had ordered.
The woman then requested that he give her a bill for flavored water, the cheapest item on the menu, so she could leave a tip for him, recalled Simmons.
"By this point I said, 'This lady's crazy,'" the server joked. "I brought her the check and she asked me to split the 65 cents between two credit cards and I said, ‘Are you serious?' I think she wanted to see if I was a real nice guy, or a fake nice guy. The real nice guy splits it, and brings the lady her check."
When Simmons split the check and put 37 cents on one of the receipts, the woman left a tip of $500, along with a heartfelt note written on a napkin thanking him for his kindness toward the stranger earlier at Kroger.
"On behalf of the Sullivan family, I want to thank you for being the person you are," read the note. "On one of the most depressing days of the year, (the death of my father's 3 year anniversary) you made my mother's day wonderful. She has been smiling since you did what you did."
Simmons was touched by the note, and said he'd like to thank the family in person.
"I had no idea that was going on, but I knew something was making her sad," he said, WFAA reports.
"Even with what I did at the grocery store, I would want someone to do for my daughter, mom or grandmother,” added the server, according to ABC News. "If they looked the way that woman did at Kroger, I would pray you would do the same."