“COVID Sucks!”—Big Tipper Leaves $1,400 Along With Message On Receipt


After a big breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, and biscuits with gravy, a generous customer left employees at the Notchtop Bakery & Cafe a $1,400 tip with a message that we can all relate to: “COVID Sucks!”

The cafe’s owner, Nailya Khametvalieva, says the patron—whom she identified as “David—asked her how many people were working that day when it was time to pay his $20.04 bill. When Khametvalieva told him, he left the generous tip with instructions to give each of the seven employees $200.

Screenshot via CNN

David, who had only been to the restaurant once before but lives in the Estes Park area, made all of the staff’s day with the tip.

“That brought truly tears to all the servers [and] cooks—you know, nobody ever thinks of cooks — the cooks were just so surprised and shocked. We were all shocked,” Khametvalieva said. “We did thank him, but I felt like we didn’t do it enough.”

Server Gloria Fuentes waited on David both times he came in. She told CNN affiliate KMGH that she was shocked to see the amount of money David had left the staff: “I was like ‘Oh my God, am I dreaming or what’s going on?'”

Another server, Jayme Johnson, said the money would help her family: “It’s $200 to me, but it’s also $200 for my husband. It’s also $200 for my daughters, for things that we needed to make it.”

Like many businesses, the 10-year-old cafe has stayed open during the COVID-19 pandemic, but Khametvalieva says business has been tough. She added that she gets a lot of business in the summer from tourists to the Denver area, and she was able to get a PPP loan and provide her workers with hours.

Screenshot via CNN

“I wanted to thank everybody who actually feel for small businesses and people have been so grateful and kind and nice. They have a big heart, especially David,” she said.

Lead image: via CNN

Patricia Grisafi

Written by Patricia Grisafi