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A customer left her entire $1,200 stimulus check as a giant tip for a family-owned restaurant

The employees at the Colonial Steakhouse in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, were left stunned when a regular customer made the generous donation.

A customer left her entire $1,200 stimulus check as a giant tip for a family-owned restaurant
Image Source: FG Trade / Getty Images

Over the past couple of months, small businesses have been forced to shut down on run on risky but barebones services in order to stay afloat. Many mom-and-pop restaurant owners do not have the funds to keep paying their employees and rent. During these challenging times, kindhearted citizens are coming forward to support their neighborhood business owners. If the government won't do it, someone definitely has to. Like many others in stable financial positions who have chosen to donate their stimulus checks, one of the regular customers at an Arkansas steakhouse has decided to pay it forward too. She donated their entire $1,200 stimulus check as a rather generous tip.


The Colonial Steakhouse restaurant in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, has been operating through a team of four employees. On three days of the week, the restaurant offers customers curbside pickup for their orders. This both helps the business stay open while helping those who may have full-time jobs and families to feed or those who cannot cook for themselves. Last week, a customer decided to leave a generous tip after picking up their takeout order - the entire $1,200 amount of their stimulus payment. The customer was one of the steakhouse's regular guests who simply wanted to make sure they weren't struggling during this difficult time. Needless to say, the staffers over at the Colonial Steakhouse were left stunned and speechless.


However, the restaurant was in dire need of the additional funds, as general manager Allison Hall explained in an interview with KARK News. "Things have been barely getting by but we are making it. though," she stated. "We just started crying and thanking God because it came at a time that most of our staff really needed it." Through the large tip, the restaurant was able to hand out $100 to all its employees, even the ones who are not working at this time. Hall added, "It was nice to be able to [tell our employees] some good news." Dana Gateley, the owner of the Colonial Steakhouse restaurant, recalled the moment the customer handed over the tip. She said, "She was just sobbing and saying it was their whole stimulus."


Though things have been difficult and the restaurant is barely scraping by, the employees are not ready to give up just yet. The business is five decades old and its employees are determined to not let the looming recession get them down. "We’ve been open for a very long time, nearly 50 years, so we’re stubborn and we aren’t giving up," Hall affirmed. "We are not giving up." The Colonial Steakhouse is one of many restaurants in Arkansas that are waiting to open back up once the state's stay-at-home orders are lifted. In the meantime, they are immensely excited to be on the receiving end of such a generous donation.


This customer isn't the only one, however, who decided to pay their stimulus check forward. Hundreds of other Americans across the country have banded together in order to donate their stimulus payments through a genius initiative called Pledge My Check. Citizens who are in stable financial conditions have opted to pledge their funds from the federal government to organizations helping the poorest and most vulnerable during the ongoing public health crisis. If you would like to do the same, you can visit the official Pledge My Check website.



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