Acts of Kindness
Customer makes the kitchen staff cry when its time to pay the bill
There were a lot of tears shed inside the restaurant by staff because of the guest.
Sasha Alonzo
11.04.21

The holidays bring out the best in people. And since Christmas is the season of giving more people feel inclined to share with others and also appreciate what they have.

Restaurants and their employees have been hit especially this hard with being shut down and/or having a limited amount of space to do business and a reduction in customers too frightened to eat out.

The National Restaurant Association reports that about 100,000 restaurants have closed down during the pandemic.

And that about 60 percent of businesses that closed during the pandemic will never open again.

Thankfully, Souk Mediterranean Kitech in Toldeo, Ohio was spared from closure.

Restaurants everywhere take a hit

Still, they weren’t immune to the financial downturn.

“The restaurant was a tribute to my mother and everything was going great until March when we were forced to shut down,” Souk’s owner and chef Moussa Salloukh told CNN. “Financially there was a huge impact, but we did just about everything to survive.”

While they were thankful to survive, the holiday season is usually when the staff thrives. This is because of all the customers coming in and leaving generous tips which would help servers and staff be able to afford Christmas gifts for their families.

But because of COVID restrictions that limited customers, that wasn’t going to happen.

That’s why the staff and ownership of Souk Mediterranean Kitchen were so touched by the overwhelmingly kind gesture of one of their diners.

National Restaurant Association
Source:
National Restaurant Association

An unforgettable tip

A customer, who was identified only as Billy, left a $5,600 tip. They asked that it would be divided among the restaurant’s 28 employees which left everyone with a $200 Christmas gift.

It was a nice surprise because while many of the serves will get generous tips, the kitchen staff doesn’t. Salloukh said some of the kitchen staff were in tears knowing they’d get to buy their children nice gifts this year.

Souk Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar
Source:
Souk Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar

“There was a lot of tears, I’m tearing up now talking about it,” Salloukh said. “Your restaurant staff becomes your family and everyone cares about each other. I’ve been staying out of the kitchen to give employees hours to get through and put gifts under the tree for their kids, so this was so huge for us.”

Souk Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar
Source:
Souk Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar

Stepping up to help

While the country’s elected leaders abandoned them leaving them without funding while also forcing them to close or restrict their businesses during stimulus negotiations, fellow-citizens, like Billy, have been stepping in to help out their neighbors.
Cleveland.com reports that a regular customer at Nighttown left a $3,000 tip after buying a $7 beer the night before a restaurant had to temporarily close and that a customer at M Italian in Chagrin Falls left a $1,000 to be split amongst the staff. Salloukh posted a heartfelt thank you on the restaurant’s Facebook page which was liked more than 1,300 times.
Pixabay
Source:
Pixabay
“Be the reason someone believes in the goodness of people,” Salloukh said in his post. “The words ‘Thank You’ seem inadequate for this gift but thank you Billy, for your generous spirit and for making a difference in the lives of people I care a lot about this holiday season.”
Souk Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar
Source:
Souk Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar

Fans of the restaurant’s Facebook page were delighted to hear about this great act of kindness.

“Thank you for making the holidays possible for so many people who work so hard and have taken such a hit this year!” one fan commented.
Souk Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar
Source:
Souk Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar
“Billy” is one generous person! In a world of so much darkness and negativity, its people like this that bring back the light,” said another.

“My son works there and he was on cloud nine when he came home! This means the world to the staff. Heroes do exist!”

The restaurant staff were beyond grateful to the generous man taking care of the staff during such a difficult time. Learn more about this story in the video below.

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By Sasha Alonzo
hi@sbly.com
Sasha Alonzo is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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