Arnprior server gets $1000 tip on breakfast meal

Labor Day Monday is all about appreciating employees and recognizing their hard work.

For one young server in an Arnprior restaurant, that appreciation came in the form of a very large tip that she plans to put towards university.  The bill for a simple omelette with toast was $12.  But the tip was nearly a hundred times that. 

The 21-year-old server decided not to pocket it all; instead, she paid it forward.

Daniejela Memetaj has only worked at the East Side Mario's in Arnprior for 5 months, counting on tips to help her pay for law school.  She’s in 4th year at Ottawa’s Carleton University.

“The biggest tip I’ve ever gotten here,” she says, “is $50 and that's insane already.”

But insane doesn't come close to the tip she got yesterday when a man came in on a busy Sunday morning for breakfast.

“He ordered an omelette with sweet onions, cheese and double toast,” says Memetaj.

The bill, plus tax, came to about $12.  He added $1000 tip, just because.

“I saw it at first,” she says, “and he was walking out so I said, is this serious, is this actual and he said, “Yeah, have a good day,” and he left.”

The man who she'd never seen before - also told her to use some of the tip to pay the tab of a nearby table and give some to the bartender. Daniella decided to also add in the cook, giving them each $100.

“That's crazy, I still don't believe it,” she says.

So what's the math on this?  If you consider 20% is a normal tip, on $12 that works out to $2.40.  A thousand dollar tip works out to 8300%.

Janet Forsyth is the general manager of the restaurant, “It was very exciting,” she says, “It's nice to see because these girls work hard. They do their best every day and to have something like that happen in this small town, it was pretty exceptional.”

That kind of tip clearly isn't the norm here -- but it got customers talking.

“A thousand dollar tip, well good for him,” says one man.

“Well, we're going to leave one of our children here as a tip,” jokes customer Mark Janoska, “We have 4 so we thought we'd leave the little one here as the tip for the waitress.”

Danijela may not be ready for that kind of tip.  Her focus right now is paying for tuition and textbooks and now she's got the cash to help with that.

“It's insane,” she says, “I’ve seen these stories on-line. I read them and I think good for them.  Never do you think it would happen to you.”

So who is this mystery man?  He's not a regular at the restaurant but was staying at the hotel next door.  He told Daniela that money isn't everything, though at 21, it probably feels that way.