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Waiter receives $1,000 tip and pays it forward as tipper requested

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Michael Shafts - a waiter at The Ginger Man Restaurant in Albany, New York - got a $1,000 tip on a $113.89 bill on Wednesday night. According to a news report, that tip equates to an 878 percent tip. A standard 15 percent gratuity would have been $17.80.

Shafts told The Times-Union publication that the incident was surreal. He said he was shaking. He said he simply couldn’t feel his legs. The customer who remains anonymous wrote a note on the receipt. The note tells Shafts to “pay it forward.” The hefty tipper wrote that the huge tip was his birthday present to himself, according to an ABC News report.

As the story goes, the customer was a man who was celebrating his 47 birthday was with his wife. They brought a 47-year-old bottle of amarone – which is an Italian wine – to the restaurant. Prior to the couple’s paying the bill and leaving the restaurant, the wife told the waiter that something insane is about to happen to him. She told Shafts to just take it and do something good with it.

Shafts works at the restaurant part time. He is also employed at a credit union. With his huge tip, he has already spent some of the money. According to The Daily Mail, the waiter paid for some of his car repairs. Then, just as the note requested with the tip, he paid a huge chunk of the tip forward. Shafts’ co-workers at The Ginger Man Restaurant received more than half of the tip. Shafts split his money with other servers and the kitchen staff.

Paying it forward has become popular in the United States. The term was popularized by the 2000 movie titled “Pay It Forward” starring Kevin Spacey. Paying it forward describes how one repays a favor to others rather than the original benefactor being the sole beneficiary of a windfall.