Coronavirus: Customer leaves $1,300 tip to support servers after Texas restaurant reopens

AUSTIN, Texas — A restaurant patron in Texas said “welcome back” in a big way Friday.

A customer at The Frog & The Bull in Austin asked his server to double his bill, then left a $300 tip to the stunned waiter along with $1,000 for the rest of the staff, KVUE reported.

>> Coronavirus checklist: 100-plus disinfectants that may kill coronavirus on surfaces

Most of the restaurant’s servers had been out of work after the coronavirus forced restaurants to close their doors. Now, with stay-at-home restrictions relaxed in Texas beginning Friday, the customer wanted to show his appreciation., the television station reported.

Joshua Pikoff, 18, a senior at Vandegrift High School who received the big tip that night, said he could not believe it. The customer and his family had ordered filet mignon, scallops, grilled steak and other items, CNN reported. The check came to $337, but the patron asked Pikoff to double it, which sent the amount to $729.58,

Then, the customer added a $300 tip for Pikoff and $1,000 “for the house," bringing the total bill to $2,029, including taxes.

>> Coronavirus symptoms: What you need to know

“I didn’t believe it at first. I had to bring it to my owner and say, 'Tell me I’m reading this right,’ because I just didn’t understand," Pikoff told KVUE. “He ended up doubling, tipping, doubling off that, almost quadrupling. Yes, it was incredibly generous.”

“I didn’t really know what to say,” restaurant owner David Fernandez told CNN. “It was extremely generous and I was just so wowed by it.”

The restaurant had only been open five months when it was forced to close March 17 because of the pandemic. Hernandez employed a skeleton staff for deliveries and carryout orders, and he told CNN the restaurant was “scraping for survival, literally from payroll to payroll.”

>> Coronavirus: Know the facts directly from the CDC

“We literally overnight reinvented ourselves from an upscale casual dining establishment into what I told my executive chef had to be a badass food truck without wheels,” Fernandez said.

Fernandez said he did not know much more about the customer, but added he would be well taken care of on his next visit.

>> Coronavirus: Can the government make you stay home if you are sick?