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$1,300 tip cheers Palmerton restaurant staff

It’s been a harsh 10 months for businesses, especially restaurant workers who have endured a roller-coaster ride with more twists and turns than an old country road.

Fortunately for one Palmerton eatery, a weekend courtesy left staff members at Joey B awe-struck.

Just as she would any time customers leave a table, waitress Erin McGinley went to collect the tip and clean the table.

Only this time, the amount of money left far surpassed that of any normal tip, so McGinley thought.

McGinley told co-owner Shari Solt that she believed the tips was $300.

McGinley said she couldn’t believe her eyes.

“I looked to see how much money; it was a huge stack of cash,” McGinley said. “I only thought it was $300.”

It turns out the tip was in the vicinity of $1,300, according to owner Chip Solt.

“The waitresses started crying,” he said. “There were a couple of girls that had tears in their eyes.”

Solt himself was in shock.

“I was dumbfounded,” he said. “They called me over and they were all talking about it at the cash register.”

Solt explained that the tip was shared among 18 staff members.

“Our tips get split across the entire staff, because I try and create a positive team,” he said. “For everybody that evening, it was a morale booster like you couldn’t believe.”

Solt said the customers who left the gigantic tip wanted to get a table this past Saturday and didn’t care what time, or what table, they got.

“We cannot begin to thank them; I personally did send them a message,” he said. “I thanked them; I told them it means the world to my staff.

“My staff has been working incredibly hard. We’re short-staffed right now and working harder than ever.

Solt said the tip came from four generous customers who simply had several appetizers and a few drinks.

“Acts of kindness are few and far between, and when they do come, it’s an absolute blessing,” he said. “A lot of people on Facebook said they can’t afford to leave tips like that; I think it’s a lot bigger than that ... be kind, hold a door open, random acts of kindness to me is a karma thing.”

Solt said he’s certain that particular case of goodwill will work wonders for his staff and customers.

“I believe that their gesture of that tip sparked quite a bit of enjoyment in not only my staff and customers; it’s a very welcome glimmer of hope for people being kind,” he said. “You don’t need to leave $1,000 tips; do (random acts of kindness), those are free and those are what we need.”

Joey B was the recipient of a $1,300 tip last weekend. From left are waitress Trese Merkel, waitress Laura Drumheller, Chip Solt, owner, waitress Alexis Barndt, and waitress Erin McGinley. TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS
Joey B waitresses Alexis Barndt, Erin McGinley, Laura Drumheller and Trese Merkel relive the $1,300 tip that was bestowed upon the restaurant last weekend. TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS