“He just said, ‘Oh, I might have something that makes your day a little better,’” she said.
That’s when he slid over his receipt, which included the nearly $5,100 tip on top of his $10.43 bill.
“I thought he was kidding, but he was serious,” she said. “I’m still processing.”
That customer, retired car dealership owner Greg Howe, said he was inspired by car dealership owner Ernie Boch Jr., who left a $5,000 tip for a server at the Seaglass Restaurant in Salisbury last Saturday. Boch Jr.’s tip followed a new #2020tipchallenge, sparked by actor Donnie Wahlberg and his wife, actress Jenny McCarthy, who left a $2,020 tip for an IHOP server in St. Charles, Illinois on New Year’s Day.
It was simply the right thing to do, Howe said.
“This is not about the guy who tipped the (money),” He said. “It’s about the great underpaid folks who are awesome.”
Howe has been a regular at the Stoneforge Grill for the last 15 years, said Gouvalaris, who said she’s worked there for the past five years.
“He came here because he loves Stoneforge,” she said. “This is where he wanted to extend his generosity.”
She had heard of the tipping challenge, Gouvalaris said, but it hadn’t crossed her mind again until she became a part of it.
“It’s not something you think is ever going to happen to you, that’s for sure.” she said. “I’ve never won even on a scratch ticket.”
And as the sole bartender on when she received the tip, Gouvalaris gets to bring the entire lump sum home, counting herself as “the lucky one” to be working at the time.
“I’m still in shock,” she said. “That’s very generous. He’s a very nice man.”