Photo: Louis Galvan

Customer Leaves $9,400 Tip to Help Houston Restaurant Through the Coronavirus Closure

by Eben Diskin Mar 19, 2020

As bars and restaurants will likely struggle during the coronavirus shutdown, customers are stepping up to help their favorite local businesses. In Texas, one generous customer left a $9,400 tip at Irma’s Southwest in Houston, writing this note on the receipt: “Pay your guys over the next few weeks.” The tip was left by one of the restaurant’s regulars, who, according to the owner, had been dining there for 15 years.

“He came in and had a modest dinner of shrimp tacos,” said owner Louis Galvan to Fox News, “and then left a $9,400 gratuity. I think he came here just to [give the tip]. He came down here specifically to do that and wish us the best of luck.”

He also noted that the restaurant plans to use the money as the customer intended.

“Basically we are going to split that among the staff members, not management. So, about 30 people will split the $9,400 evenly.”

According to Galvan, the restaurant staff were amazed by the show of generosity, and the act of kindness gave them a glimmer of hope. It’s also an encouraging example of the community-building Galvan has seen since the outbreak of the pandemic.

“It invigorated us as far as our commitment to the community and commitment to keep our business going. We’re going to grind this out.”

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