MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – A regular customer at a North Miami Beach juice bar and restaurant left a $2,021 when she paid her tab on Friday morning.
Along with the tip, she added a note that said: “Happy New Year!!! Always love coming here.”
“That is the biggest tip we’ve ever gotten by far,” Kelly Amar, whose parents have owned and operated Miami Squeeze for about 35 years, told the Miami Herald. “This blows out anything we’ve ever gotten.”
The customer’s generosity provided $100 for each of the 22 workers at the family-owned Miami Squeeze restaurant.
The customer came in around 10 a.m. Friday and order her usual breakfast, along with some to-to orders of avocado toast with eggs and smoothies. The total came to $71.84, Amar told the newspaper.
It took the staff a few moments to realize the added tip wasn’t $20.21. It was $2,021.
Amar said the woman frequents the restaurant once or twice a week. She said it was fine for the staff to spread the news of her tip, adding that it was for the entire staff. But she didn’t want to share her name publicly, Amar said.
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“We were not expecting this at all,” Amar, 23, said. “We said, ‘Are you sure?’ She said ‘Yes, thank you. I love this place, I’m so happy to do this for you.’ It was a really special moment.”
Amar works along with her parents and two brothers at Miami Squeeze, handling the restaurant’s marketing.
During the COVID-19 shutdown, the restaurant was forced to lay off a few workers as revenue was sliced nearly in half. Amar and her family worked the kitchen, juice room and the phones taking pick-up and delivery orders from customers.
Business has since picked up, and they’ve hired the workers back she said. They still, however, are operating 30% to 40% under what they would normally make.
“The pandemic was obviously very hard on everyone, not just us but every business around,” Amar said. “We’ve been able to pick back up, but I don’t think we’ll ever be back to where we were at one point.”
As for the New Year’s tip, Amar said the customer just want to say thank you.
“This was her way of giving back and this really helps us because this has been a really hard year for all of us,” Amar said. “It’s a great thank you for all of us.”
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)