Customer leaves $5600 tip at Ohio restaurant: 'Amazing gesture of kindness'

An Ohio restaurant is thanking a customer for his “heartfelt generosity” after he left a $5,600 tip.

A diner at Souk Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar in Toledo left the huge tip on Sunday night, asking that it be divided among all the staff whether they were working or not, according to a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page. The restaurant didn’t identify the big tipper, just calling him “Billy” and sharing a photo of the receipt.

“What an amazing gesture of kindness to my employees,” chef Moussa Salloukh wrote.


That meant all 28 of the restaurant’s workers each got $200, a big boost in what Salloukh wrote has been a much slower December than usual because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is not an ordinary December,” Salloukh wrote. “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 this year.”

Ohio is requiring masks and social distancing inside restaurants and bars. The state also instituted a 10 p.m. end-time for indoor dining last month as it looks to the slow the spread of COVID-19.

More than 7,000 Ohio residents have died from COVID-19, and the virus has infected another 520,000 in the state alone. Gov. Mike DeWine said on Twitter Tuesday that a record number of Ohioans had been hospitalized with COVID-19.

The outbreak is so severe in Ohio that the state added itself to its list of states with a travel advisory earlier this month. Health officials are recommending that residents stay home whenever possible.

For restaurants like Souk, that means a lot less business than usual. And that means its customer’s generosity helps even more than usual.

“So this heartfelt generosity was deeply needed and very appreciated,” Salloukh wrote.

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