All Steven and Makenzie Schultz wanted was a pleasant night out for their sixth anniversary in January of 2016. What they got was something quite different, but the Iowa couple refused to let the unexpected twists and turns in their evening get them down.
After taking their seats at the Cedar Rapids restaurant Kazoku Sushi, the couple waited 20 minutes just to get glasses of water. A full hour had passed before they received their entrees, and this was an indication of how slow the service was for everyone in the restaurant for the rest of the night. Unsurprisingly, they overheard many complaints and jeers from fellow patrons who were disgusted with the service that they had received.
The Schultzes had a different reaction, however. They had both waited tables themselves, and it was obvious to them that the restaurant was severely understaffed. Their own waiter was responsible for a dozen tables and also had to check in on the bar, so they didn’t see how faster service would have been possible under the circumstances.
They knew that because of the chaos in the restaurant, many patrons would tip poorly despite apologies from the server, so they decided to err in the opposite direction.
Before they left, they wrote an encouraging note on their receipt and left a hundred-dollar tip on a meal that cost under $70. They left before the waiter saw the tip, but they took a picture of the receipt first so they could post about it on social media. They hoped that by posting about their experience, they might inspire others to empathize with overworked servers instead of being angry with them.
Their act of kindness seems to have struck a nerve, as their Facebook post has been shared a quarter of a million times. So popular was their post that it won them an interview with Today, which allowed them to take their compassionate message even further.
While not everyone has the resources to leave a hundred dollars as a tip, there are countless ways to make the world just a little kinder for others, especially those who are having a bad day. Kudos to Steven and Makenzie for showing the world the joy of paying it forward!