“Cop Tips Waitress $2M”

Published: June 25, 2021

By Jim Lichtman
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That’s what a New York tabloid headline read in the romantic comedy, “It Could Happen to You.” The Bridget Fonda, Nicolas Cage movie is about a cop who, short of cash for a tip in a restaurant, makes a deal with the waitress. “I’ll come back tomorrow with double the tip, or we’ll split the lottery ticket I’m holding.”

Of course, you can guess what happens… it’s a movie.

The employees of The Stumble Inn in Londonderry, New Hampshire, just south of Manchester, didn’t get $2 million but were happy, nonetheless, when an anonymous customer left a $16,000 tip for a $37.93 tab.

During the pandemic, the bar and grill faced the same COVID restrictions millions of businesses confronted. After closing for a few months, Stumble reopened only for take-out and outdoor dining. As things began to normalize, customers happily returned, but the employees were dancing because of the generosity of one patron.

“It was on the credit card statement,” a server said. “They put it down next to the register and he said three times, ‘Don’t spend it all in one place.’ That’s what made her flip it over and look, and she’s like, ‘Oh my god, are you serious?’

“The eight bartenders working contacted the owner. “I thought it was a mistake,’ owner Mike Zarella told WMUR-TV. ‘It could have been maybe a $160 tip and he added extra zeros.’ The bar manager talked to the gentleman, and he said, ‘No, it’s $16,000. I want you to have it, you guys work hard.”

“‘The back of the house works really hard, the kitchen, they’re giving them a big tip out of that, which is very generous of them to do,’ Zarella said.”

Most of us can’t give $16,000 to express our appreciation to others, but wouldn’t it be nice if we could tell others how much we do appreciate them?


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