Customer Leaves a $600 Tip for His Waitress at Waffle House

11/02/2015 at 01:46 PM ET

Waffle House
Raymond Boyd/Getty

There’s nothing pleasant about working the graveyard shift … except when someone leaves you a 2,500 percent tip.

Lauren Ball, a single mother and waitress at a Waffle House in Kingsport, Tennessee, was just trying to get through her 4 a.m. shift when a customer walked in.

“I was ready to go home, I didn’t even want to wait on him but I was the only waitress working,” Ball told WFMY.

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Eventually, Ball and the customer got to talking about plans to take her son, Colton, on a beach trip, though money was tight.

“I told him that we were getting ready to go to the beach the next day and I just spent all my money on Colton’s birthday party,” Ball said.

After finishing his meal, the customer paid his $24.29 check — and casually left a $600 tip. Seeing the check, the cook ran out after the customer to make sure he hadn’t left a 2500 percent tip accidentally, to which the generous customer responded: “I just like to do things for nice people.”

RELATED: Amy Schumer Leaves a 1,000 Percent Tip at Long Island Restaurant

Ball, of course, was shocked by what had just happened.

“I couldn’t believe it, I kind of wanted to give it back to him because it was such a large amount,” Ball said.

The mysterious tipper joins the ranks of Amy Schumer and a rising number of do-gooders who’ve been leaving massive tips for small bills (a trend we can definitely get behind.)

—Maria Yagoda, @mariayagoda

FILED UNDER: Breakfast , Food , Food News , Restaurants

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Showing 18 comments

susan on

Man, she blew all her money on a party and the guy felt sorry for her because she couldn’t then take her kid to the beach, too? We’ve really reconfigured the bar on necessities, haven’t we? His money, his business I suppose. Damn, buddy, I blew all my money on my bills but really want to go on vacation…how about it?

guest on

“I kind of wanted to give it back.” Who talks about how you are struggling with money unless you are trying to get some sympathy and a big tip. Pretty girl, doesn’t look poor to me. Work it girl!!

maryhelenc on

@susan; maybe he did it because she stayed late to serve him, even thought she was exhausted & her shift was over?

I love these stories. Retail & service are the hardest jobs because those that are served treat the workers like dirt. It’s nice to see people appreciate these people a little more.

Anonymous on

Very generous of the man to do that! I can imagine how excited the mother is to take her child to the beach, with no worries
about 💰! Good for them 😎

Julia on

I’m glad I watched the video. She’s a hot 21-year-old blonde with a kid. Shocked, just shocked that the guy wanted to help her for something so frivolous. She is working in the oldest profession after all, and I don’t mean waitressing.

im on

This is not news. This stuff happens every day. Celebs often leave huge tips, as do others. LAME

simon bar sinister on

it doesn’t hurt that she is pretty either.

Deb on

Wow, what is with all the jealousy and cynicism people. If you were in her shoes you would feel much different about it wouldn’t you? Well that is never going to happen, too much negativity in your lives. I love stories like this. It is refreshing to know that there are kind and generous people out there that embrace those that are less fortunate.

Debbie Malley on

Deb, I agree with you…I was a server for over 34years…the last 5 yrs, I worked in severe PAIN. PEOPLE of this generation…the IT’S ABOUT ME
generation…really made me HATE a job I once LOVED. Everyone assumes servers make alot of money…but after the recession…the restaurants are the ones making it BIG. SO happy to be out of that business!!! 🙂

Lori on

I wish I could read more about stories like this instead of those trashy Kardashians.

bec215 on

I hate the internet for encouraging people to think negatively about everything and everyone. It feels good to be angry… It gets your adrenaline going. But it’s not healthy.

You want to know what science has found?
Gratitude creates happiness. There is a direct correlation between how grateful you are in everyday life, and how happy you feel.

Envy and jealousy are ugly, and they make you ugly. Try being grateful that you don’t work am eight hour shift, on your feet, for tips at an inexpensive restaurant instead of hating this young woman for being pretty. Justin Beiber flipping chairs is something to shake your head at, not a nice patron leaving a big tip.

And btw, o left a $25 top on a $50 bill last night for a woman who was the only bartender-waitress in a restaurant, and she never lost her cool or was rude, and she was lovely, and we wanted to make her day a little better. If the waitress in this story were 58 and taking her grandson to the beach, i doubt you all would be pulling on the snark. Just a thought.

Sarah on

@maryhelenc, I have been both a server and worked retail. I can assure you neither are the hardest jobs. Was I treated like dirt? Yup. Did I have to stand on my feet for my entire shift which then hurt immensely when I was done? Absolutely. I can name numerous jobs that are so much harder. How about a nurse? Teacher?

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