'Tips For Jesus' Leaves $3,500, Hints That Generosity Should Be Paid Forward

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — A Manhattan waiter may want to do a little investing with the tip that he recently received. It was for $3,500.

The spirit of the season spilled across Lincoln Square and into the dining room at The Smith on Thursday night, where a jolly diner committed a spontaneous act of generosity, CBS 2’s Lou Young reported Friday.

“He was a really cool guy from the start,” waiter Andrew Thomas said. “He bought dinner for the table next to him and he sent a bottle of champagne elsewhere.”

The man was apparently a member of a growing movement that has been spreading across the country.

“He asked me if I had heard of ‘Tips for Jesus.’ I hadn’t heard and he said ‘I’m going to tip you extravagantly,'” Thomas explained.

That’s the drill. Big tips with a simple message.

Waiting tables can be frustrating work but there was no preaching associated with the gratuity, just a 1,000-percent tip. It made quite an impression.

“A lot of people with a lot of money come in here and they’re not as nice as they could be and they certainly don’t tip as much as they should, so it’s really cool,” Thomas said.

The message appears to be catching.

“I bought a bunch of strangers drinks last night and hopefully there will be some nice Christmas presents,” Thomas said.

That’s all part of the plan, Young reported, to accept the gift, pay it forward, and think about why you are doing it.

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