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Customer gives $100 tip to every employee at Berwick restaurant

A man spent more than $700 at this restaurant in Columbia County, but it wasn't on food.

Leigh Hackenberg has waited on thousands upon thousands of tables throughout her 10 years here at May's Family Restaurant in Berwick.

But on Monday, she experienced a first.

"I had a table of four gentlemen come in. One of the gentlemen came up to the counter and asked how many employees were working here. He wanted to tip everybody out," said Hackenberg. 

Not just the waitresses, the cooks, the dishwasher, and the manager too.

"It made us feel good. We were all surprised, I mean, there were seven of us here, and he gave each one of us $100. That just doesn't happen at a small business. It's a family restaurant, you know, we're not a big chain, we're a family restaurant," said Hackenberg. 

"I was back there cooking up burgers doing my thing, and then out of nowhere I get a hundred bucks from a guy who, I don't know if he liked the food per se, he probably liked the food, but I don't know, I don't think he liked the food enough to tip everyone an extra $700!" said cook Gage Bortz.

We don't doubt that Bortz cooks up a mean burger, but the waitresses here believe the customer had a much simpler reason for leaving such a generous tip.

Staff here say a tip that size would, of course, be appreciated any time, but after a rough year for the restaurant industry, it was even more special.

"It's been stressful on a lot of people. We didn't know if we'd shut down again, or we didn't know what was gonna happen. But we have wonderful customers. At Christmastime, the second shutdown, they rallied and gave us hundreds," said Hackenberg.

It's been almost a year since the governor ordered all restaurants to close their doors for sit-down service, and with that year came a lot of struggles. But staff at this small business say little things, or big gestures like this one, go a long way.

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