A restaurant owner and his staff were left completely stupefied when a mysterious customer ordered a simple meal then left a whopping five-figure tip.
In a video interview, Mike Zarella who owns Stumble Inn Bar and Grill in Londonderry, New Hampshire, told WMUR 9 he “thought it was a mistake”.
The customer left an eye-watering tip of $16,000 (£11,000) after having a few hot dogs and some non-alcoholic drinks, with the bill coming to less than $40 (£29).
Recalling the moment he and his staff found the tip, Mike says: “It was on the credit card statement, 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 [the waitress] flip it over and look,” he added.
He said the server yelled, “Oh my god, are you serious?” and the kind-hearted benefactor replied: “I want you to have it, you guys work hard.”
Mike and his bar staff got in touch with the customer in case he meant for it to be a $160 (£115) tip with some “extra zeroes” and the man insisted the eye-watering five-figure value was correct.
The mystery philanthropist wants to remain anonymous and was not a regular at the restaurant, according to local news reports.
“He just said they deserve it, they work very hard,” Mike tells the news channel.
Barmaid Michelle McCudden said the extremely generous tip “really restored my faith in humanity” and helped financially after the struggle through the pandemic when the bar could only do takeaways.
She said: “He’s kind of a mystery man. I’ve been doing this a very long time and I never thought anything like this would happen to me.
“We went up and we thanked him. It’s just been a really rough year for all of us.”