- Staff members at Massimo's restaurant were left speechless when a customer left them a R20 000 tip.
- General manager Chris Brown said their jaws "dropped to the floor" when he broke the news after the payment cleared.
- Since the pandemic, the restaurant has been running a soup kitchen for those in need.
Staff members at the popular Massimo's restaurant in Hout Bay were speechless when a generous customer left them a R20 000 tip to share.
Massimo and his team have a reputation for being charitable and on 15 July, a patron decided it was time to give back.
The restaurant industry has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic due to trade restrictions. President Cyril Ramaphosa recently moved the country to an adjusted Level 3 lockdown, which meant restaurants could finally start trading again.
But, speaking to News24, general manager Chris Brown said the staff did not anticipate that they would be on the receiving end of such kindness from a patron.
"It was a normal day at the restaurant when a regular customer called in to say she will be coming to collect some frozen items from the store. Before she hung up, she asked how many staff members the restaurant had, which I didn't think anything about at the time," he said.
When she arrived at the restaurant, Brown rang up her purchase and have her a total of R370, which she paid.
She asked him again to tell her how many staff members there were because she was aware that they did not get any tips while the restaurant was closed.
"I advised her we are 20 staff in total. After she paid for her goodies, she pulled out another card and said since there are 20 staff members she'll leave a tip of R20 000," he said.
"I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I even asked the customer on more than one occasion if she was 100% sure she wants to leave a R20 000 tip, and she said yes every time I asked," he added.
Brown said that once the payment cleared, the customer asked him not to make a "big fuss" about it and simply left the store.
The staff were elated and many were relieved.
"Some needed the money more than others, and this money come at the right time," Brown said.
He added that there were two members in managerial positions who opted not to take the money and to give their share to the rest of the staff.
The restaurant said 18 staff members received R1 111.11 each and were more than happy with the kind gesture.
Since the hardcore lockdown last year, Massimo's has been running a soup kitchen, handing out food to those in need in the Hout Bay area.
The restaurant now has its own soup kitchen that operates on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, when they hand out soup, pasta, garlic bread and focaccia to those in need.
"The pandemic has hit many businesses in the worst way possible and to show our gratitude to the many customers that still support the restaurant, we've decided to continue to give back to the community in these times," Brown added.
If people want to donate any ingredients towards their soup kitchen, they can drop off donations at the Hout Bay store or donate to their backabuddy account
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