Anonymous Customer Leaves $2,500 Tip To Bar Forced To Close Over Coronavirus

Service industry employees unable to work are taking financial hits as people remain isolated and indoors in an effort to avoid infection.

People are discouraged from congregating in groups of 10 or more per the U.S. government’s recommendation, and the downturn in patronage has forced some bars and restaurants to make the difficult decision to close. Some entities have imposed a shut down on dine-in service altogether, causing restaurant establishments to resort to take-out and delivery options only.

Coaches Bar and Grill in Columbus, Ohio is one of the many businesses to close its doors until further notice. In a gesture of support during uncertain times, a customer left a $2,500 tip on a bill for $29.75 a few hours before the restaurant was set to close at 9:00PM on Sunday.

The Coaches regular who wishes to remain anonymous requested the tip be distributed to the staff equally.

Coaches owner, Benny Leonard described the emotional moment.

“It brought some of them to tears, they are going to split it, 13 ways and it’s going to help them, and we are a family and we will get through it together.”

“[There were] tears, tears of joy. An unbelievable act of kindness on a pretty weird day.”

“We’ve got unprecedented times going on, we’ve got people fighting over toilet paper and so on and so forth, and to have a guy show up and care enough about people that give him a beer and a hamburger once in a while, that means a lot. It’s humanity at its best.”

The tip came an hour after Ohio governor Mike DeWine ordered a statewide closure of bars and restaurants in order to control the spread of coronavirus. Ohio establishments are still able to offer take out and delivery options.

“Sunday was one of the wildest days since I’ve been open,” said Leonard, who opened the business more than 25 years ago. “I’ve been through a lot, but nothing like this.”

In Houston, other generous regulars did their part to help service workers get by during the coronavirus shutdown. The anonymous couple left a $9,400 tip on a bill for $90.12 at Irma’s Southwest on Monday.

Irma’s owner, Louis Galvan, said they plan to split the tip among his 30 employees.

Susan LaMarca

Written by Susan LaMarca