This story is about a waiter from the U.S. who got the tip of a lifetime one day in the summer of 2016. At first, he wasn’t sure why he deserved the $500 tip, but after reading a message the customer had left behind, he realized why he had been chosen.
The man in question is Kasey Simmons, a 33-year-old man from Dallas, Texas. In the summer of 2016 he was working as a waiter at his local Applebee’s restaurant, but then one day the most remarkable thing happened to him while he was serving.
His story went totally viral, and some local and even international newspapers reported on it. The whole thing started when Simmons was having a normal day at work. As far as we know nothing too spectacular happened, until an unfamiliar woman walked into the restaurant.
Simmons served her but she ordered only a flavored water. He hadn’t thought anything of it, until it was time for her to leave. He handed her the bill, which came to a whopping 37 cents, and she reached for her purse to pay it.
At this point, Simmons had no clue what was about to happen. He probably expected to get a handful of coins from the customer, but when he went back to her table, it was a different story. The woman was gone, but Simmons couldn’t believe what he found.
He picked up the bill and saw that she had left him a tip. But it was not an ordinary tip. In the U.S. it’s typical to see tips of 15% — 20%, but it is by no means usual to see a tip a large as the one Simmons got that day.
The woman only owed him 37 cents, but her bill showed a figure much larger. It was so generous that Simmons began to well up when he saw it. The woman, who was nowhere to be seen by this point, had left the waiter $500 – and 37 cents.
Simmons was stunned by the random act of kindness. But in actual fact, it wasn’t so random at all. Looking closer, he saw that the customer had left him a handwritten note on a napkin too. And once he had read what she had to say, the pieces of the puzzle fell into place.
It turned out that the woman wanted to pay Simmons back for something kind that he had done only the day before. He had gone to do some shopping at Kroger grocery store, when he noticed an elderly woman who looked as though she were having a bad day.
Instead of ignoring her, Simmons decided to take some time out of his day and go and talk to her. He ended up spending a while chatting with her, and then he offered to pay for her groceries. The woman obliged and Simmons picked up the bill.
Simmons had managed to make the upset-looking woman smile. Then, after he left the store that day, Simmons probably forgot about the whole thing – until he went to work at Applebee’s the following day and received the huge tip from a mystery woman.
The note left behind by the customer revealed that she was in fact the daughter of the elderly woman that Simmons had helped out the previous day. And she had decided to come and pay him back for his kind gesture in the grocery store.
Her handwritten message to Simmons explained the profound impact that he had had on her mother, who was indeed struggling that day, as the waiter had suspected. The note informed Simmons that the previous day was a very difficult anniversary for the elderly woman.
It was the third anniversary of her husband’s death but she had gone out grocery shopping anyway. Of course, she was feeling down that day, but Simmons had noticed her and had done his best to turn her day around in any way that he could.
The daughter’s note told Simmons that he had made her mom’s day by insisting to pay for her groceries. He had also told her mom that she was a “very beautiful woman,” and that had made her smile from ear to ear, according to the daughter.
“I have not seen this woman smile this much since dad died,” Simmons’ customer wrote on the napkin. And that was the reason why the seemingly random woman turned up to the waiter’s workplace and gave him such a massive tip, out of the blue.
Simmons, who has practically been hailed as a hero online, spoke to CNN about the story in August 2016. He said that the older woman’s grocery bill was only $17, but he insisted it wasn’t “about the money.” He said, “It’s about showing someone you care.” Which is exactly what he did.
People online have been showering the waiter with praise for his generous actions. “Fantastic to see that there are still good, generous, humble, sincere and caring people in our vicious world of today. Well done and thank you!” someone wrote on The Sun’s online article from August 2016.
Another reader described it as “a nice heartwarming story” and plenty of others agreed. Then, the same person came up with a great suggestion: “If everyone did one act of kindness a day the world would be a much better place.”
Simmons himself may not have viewed his offer to pay for the woman’s groceries as a big deal, but it clearly made a huge difference in her difficult day. It just goes to show that a kind gesture here and there, no matter how little, can do a lot of good to another person.