Diner Leaves $10,000 Tip

A customer at a north Florida restaurant asked all of the 10 staff to gather so he could thank and appreciate them for their hard work before leaving them a $10,000 tip to share among themselves.

This incident took place last Tuesday as the man, his wife, and son finished eating their dinner at the Wahoo Seafood Grill. Shawn Shepherd, the owner of Wahoo, told the newspaper that he got a call from one of his employees that night, alerting him to the big tip. His first thought was to check his credentials as he was suspicious at first.

“Check his ID and the name on the back of his credit card,” Shawn Shepherd advised the employee who called. Wahoo’s point-of-sale system approved the transaction. The owner then said he checked the next day to ensure the money was still in the account.

“Watching these guys get their check was almost as good as Christmas morning,” said Shepherd. He was very thankful to the customer as his employees have been loyal to the restaurant through the entire pandemic.

Among those receiving the big tip was Ashley Green. She was called into work that day after recently enduring a tough time as her daughter was sick. “She’s had a hard month, she’s been not able to work. Kid has been in and out of the hospital. It’s been absolutely a really stressful time for her,” the owner said. When the pandemic began, Shepherd said he had temporarily closed the restaurant and lost around $30,000.

“I knew nothing about curbside, I knew nothing about delivery and takeout. We weren’t prepared for that. We didn’t even have the containers to do it,” said Shepherd. He also stated that the Alachua County Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Restaurant Lodging Association were a big help, as they were finding emergency funding to pay the employees.