Servers Share The Most Incredible Tips They Actually Received From A Customer.

You should always be nice to people because it's the right thing to do. But if you need a cynical reason... you should always be nice because what goes around comes around. These people paid it forward and got it back.


This piece is based on an AskReddit thread. Link on the last page.

1. I was 21 years old and working at Fridays.

One night this woman comes in with three small children. As a waiter, I could usually tell who is going to tip well and who is going tip not at all. I definitely got the latter vibe from her.

She asked about the price of everything on the menu, she ordered only water to drink. She wasnt interested in appetizers. At one point her daughter asked her (very politely) if she could have milk. The woman pulled out her coin purse and counted up her change before saying "yes."

Now I am convinced Im not getting a tip, but they were very nice and pleasant to serve so I dont even think twice about it.

At the end of the meal she paid entirely in quarters.

When I went back to bus the table, to my surprise, there was a stack of quarters left for me. It amounted to $8, or about 25% of the meal.

Here was a woman who had to count her money before ordering her daughter a chocolate milk because she wanted to make sure she still had enough to tip me generously.

Was it the largest tip I ever got? No, but its the only one I remember all these years later.


Corey Herbert

2. I used to be a bartender, and one night, a gentleman came in alone and sat in a booth off to the side. One of the servers went to take his order, and he ordered a bottle of beer.

The service staff was very friendly, and they all ended up chatting with him. He ended up getting to know everyone in the bar by the end of the evening, except me. I never got out from behind the bar (it was a busy Friday night).

When he left, the server brought me a fifty dollar bill. She said it was from him. I asked her why, since I had only opened his beer and had never said a word to him. (continued...)

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She said that it was the same tip he gave everyone, except her. She got $100.

Evidently, he was visiting from Texas, and he didn't know anyone. The staff was so friendly that it was the best night he had experienced in his stay. He visited the bar every night until his business in town was finished. Every night, he tipped the same amounts.

When he was asked why he was so generous (people tried to turn down the huge tips, but he insisted), he answered that people usually treated him badly until they found out he had money (he said he thought it was because his large size made them uncomfortable), and then they were overly friendly.


He appreciated that we treated him well without any knowledge of who he was.

Elizabeth Knight

3. It did not happen to me, but to a co-worker at Baskin Robbins with whom I worked for several years. The happy recipient of this tip was a young lady named Janice.

At the time, Janice was a struggling college student, much like many of us were, hoping to get through her education and be able to pay the bills.

Most days, Janice and I shared a shift from early afternoon until early evening. An elderly man who lived nearby often stopped by and Janice was always kind and nice to him.

Actually we all were, but I think Janice really enjoyed hearing his stories, learning about his grandchildren, looking at photos, all of that. They had a special bond.

Well, one day the regular customer stopped by for his scoop of ice cream. He drove up in a brand spanking new Ford Mustang. A really sweet ride.


Janice dashed out of the store and was hopping up and down, so happy that the man had bought himself something nice. After eating his ice cream he told Janice something incredible. (continued...)

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He confided in her that he had decided to move to Florida. Janice told him to enjoy the drive in his great new car. The man shook his head, and pushed a set of keys and a pink slip across the counter. "This is for you", he said.

After the normal number of protestations and incredulity, Janice was the proud owner of an absolutely brand new Mustang convertible.

That was the greatest tip I've ever seen, and it could not have happened to a nicer person.

Craig Humphreys

4. I was working at a sports bar and four brothers came in and sat in my section. From the moment they sat down you could just tell that this was their rough day and they needed someone to talk to just as much as they needed shots. So I struck up a conversation and found out that they had just come from their mother's funeral.

They all lived out of state and hadn't seen their mother in a while so they didn't get to say goodbye. I basically spent the night trying to cheer them up and they spent several hours there showing me family photos and telling stories from their childhood.

I wasn't thinking about trying to be nice to get a larger tip, I just wanted them to have a friendly face to talk to.When I went and grabbed their check after they had left I saw that they had written a note saying, "Thank you for making this day bearable and letting us share our favorite memories of our mother with you." And they included a $100 tip.

I have gotten really good tips before, but that was the most a table ever gave me. But the best part was the note they gave me and it made me very happy to know I helped.

Emily Carver

5. I used to tend bar in a relatively upscale restaurant.

Many years prior, my father taught me his secret recipe for making an extra-dry martini (and no, I wont share it). While tending bar one night, a waiter ordered an extra-dry martini for a table he was serving. I made it the way my father taught me and sent it off. Five minutes later, the waiter was back for another. The patron had told him that it was the best martini he had in years! He drank another four or five of them during his dinner.


Later on, this patron came up to the bar to talk to me.

Him: Are you the man who made those martinis? (continued...)

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Me: Yes, sir. My father taught me how to make them that way. Im glad you enjoyed them!

Him: How much do you make on a good night here?

Me (cautiously): I can take a couple hundred home on a good night.

Him (while peeling five $100 bills off his wad): Well this was a good night for both of us!


I told him thank you, to come back any time he wanted a good martini, etc

The waiter who served him made about the same on the table. The dinner party was apparently a business deal that went well, as I saw the guys photo in the paper later along with the news story of him selling his start-up to Sony for a few hundred million dollars.

A good night, indeed!

Christopher Hawk

6. Received a $1200 tip on credit card, from a group of eight drunk Canadian golfers. They ordered everything I suggested: cocktails, appetizers, including Louis XVI Cognac and a few cases of wine.

How did I know they were high rollers? I saw few of them have keys to a Bentley, Audi and Porsche. I told them a couple of Canadian jokes and instantly established rapport. Bringing a little joy into someones night can go a long way.

Zachary Abelardo

7. While I was living homeless and crossing the country by foot, as I was on my way back from the west coast, I entered the hot, but beautiful state of Texas.

In a small Town called Rio Rio, I was asked by a guy if I could help him move some stuff from a house to a storage locker. I helped him load an old battered pick up truck.

We loaded it forty two times over five days. When it was all done he said, "How much?"

"Fifty bucks will do me."

"Fifty bucks? For Five days work? That doesn't seem right." (continued...)

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I just need enough for food for a week, I said.

He pulls out his wallet, and gives me a fist full of bills, and a set of car keys. Take it. Shes old, but shell get you wherever youre going.

He got into the truck and left. Confused I looked at the keys and saw they had another storage locker key attached. I opened the storage locker that matched the number and saw Betty. Betty was a 1972 Pontiac Grand Am, with a 450 straight six engine and five on the floor. She was loud (the exhaust had rusted away) and she only got 10 miles to the gallon. But she ran.

The cash he gave me? I thought it was ones and fives, because of the way it was crumped. It was 100s and 50s. $3500 in all. Betty was, even in her condition (she needed some body work but her engine was MINT) was worth close to $5500 at the time.


I have never NEVER been given so much for so little.

Javan Huntley

8. When I was 11 years old, the minimum working age was at least 14 and the minimum wage was 40 cents per hour, but I had a job as a soda jerk for 30 cents per hour. I was supposed to make up the other ten cents with tips.

I worked that job for two years, but only once received a tip. I carried a womans heavy grocery bags three blocks and up the stairs to the third floor. She gave me a ten cent tip. It was the largest tip I ever receivedand the only tipbut I still remember it fondly, more than 70 years later.

Gerald Weinberg

9. Early in my life, I was a waiter at an upscale steakhouse in Texas where dress code is a rule but sometimes not enforced. This day was one of those days it was not enforced.

6 men came in to the restaurant wearing shorts, untucked button up shirts and sandals. They were allowed in because the night was not going to be busy.


Because it was going to be slow, everyone was asking to be cut early. All of the servers did not want to wait on these guys (being stereotypical, they thought they would not get tipped) so I said I would do it. (continued...)

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So I go over to the table and introduce myself.

It turned out that these 6 guys just closed the biggest deal of their companies history, over 7 figures. This is all they would divulge, financially but they merged with a Fortune 500 company.


This was one of the best tables I have ever waited on not just what they ordered, it was their conversation. All 6 men were down to earth, polite, and cracking jokes.

Between the 6 guys their bill was $2,000 (USD) and the tip was $400 (USD). Not only was this a fun table to take care of, but they walked in at 5pm and I was home by 8pm.

To make that much money I usually had to work until midnight and work 8 to 10 tables.

Lee Williams

10. I've been bartending now for over 12 years. I love my job, but it can be tough. especially around the holidays when it's mandatory to work while others are spending time with their loved ones.

On this occasion in December of 2014, I was working almost 60 hours every week and I remember this particular couple pointing out to me "how I wasn't my usual self." When they said goodbye, the man said, "hope you get some rest, we appreciate you working so hard, Merry Christmas."


$200.00 tip, half cash half credit card on a $76.00 tab.

It wasn't the biggest tip I've ever received in terms of raw numbers. But it meant a lot to know that people care. They don't just see me as someone who brings them drinks.

Nadia Bisio


Social thumb credit: Mike Orlov /

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