Just about every business has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The restaurant business has been hit, as well, and waitresses, who depend on tips, are often left with the short end of the stick.
Stories have surfaced across the nation about individual diners who leave larger than normal tips, knowing the waitress that just served them is probably not earning as much as they did prior to the pandemic.
One of those feel good stories surfaced the evening of Jan. 26 at Charlotte Plummer Seafare Restaurant.
Leticia Cathrow waited on two mean at a table, and everything seemed normal – until she saw the amount given as a tip.
The Good Samaritans left her a $900 tip.
Cathrow was one of three servers on shift that night, a night, which her husband said, started out as an “especially dull night.”
Ironically, Cathrow had talked to her coworkers about the stories on Fox News about servers in other states receiving huge tips.
About an hour before the two men were seated, she and her fellow waitresses wondered if something like that would ever happen to them.
The two men came in about 7 p.m. and ordered some popular fish plates. While waiting for their dinners, one of the men asked Cathrow about the effect of the pandemic on business and staff after noticing how unusually quiet things were.
Cathrow told the men business had been down, but the employees, and owner Craig Griffin were optimistic about the future with vaccines being administered.
After thanking Cathrow for her helpful service and dining recommendations, the two men left the restaurant, and started walking north on Fulton Beach Road.
Before leaving, they asked her if she was the only waitress working that night. She said no, and told them about her fellow servers Savena Montemayor and Billie Ann Morgan, who were working other sections of the restaurant.
Cathrow was overwhelmed when she saw the $900 tip.
Restaurant policy dictates that such out-of-the-ordinary tips are initialed before the cardholder’s account can be charged.
The hostess scurried outside and confirmed with the men, verbally and in writing, that the tip was not a mistake.
Upon final verification and approval by Griffin, Cathrow and the other two waitresses split the tip three ways.
“I was shocked and excited,” said Cathrow. “I didn’t even tell my husband until the next morning.
“It happened to us!”
Montemayor said she is thankful someone tipped Cathrow so generously.
“It’s been sort of hard (on us) during these times,” she said.