Alesha Palmer, a college-bound East Texas waitress, thought a customer was complaining about her service, but she was in for a shock when she found out the customer instead left her a big tip — $1,000 to go towards her college expenses. The kind act took place on Saturday.
The man who gave Palmer the big tip had been eating alone at Vetoni’s Italian restaurant in Gun Barrel City, a small city located about 50 miles southeast of Dallas. It’s likely he overheard her talking about her college plans while serving a couple she knew. She told the couple her parents would be helping her out with paying for her education.
“They were asking about my college plans and told them my parents were helping,” Palmer said.
Palmer told Tyler television station KLTV that she then noticed the customer talking to the owner of the restaurant when he went to pay his bill. For those working in customer service, that usually isn’t a good sign. However, in this particular case, little did she know she was about to receive kindness from the man she had waited on.
“I went up to the owner, Mike, and asked if I had done something wrong,” Palmer said. “He turned over the receipt and I kind of just stood there wide eyed and I just started crying and I’m in the middle of the restaurant.”
The man’s bill was under $10, so the $1,000 tip was definitely a big surprise for Palmer, and the generous tip left her emotional. She couldn’t contain her tears of gratitude.
“I would like to thank him deeply and utterly. It’s not every day that you come across someone that’s as sweet and generous,” Palmer said.
Alesha Palmer, 18-years-old, is a senior at Kemp High School. With a little over a month before graduation, she works about 30 hours a week to save money for college, according to dbtechno.com. She’s been working at Vetoni’s Italian restaurant for almost a month now.
She still hasn’t gotten over the shock of her customer’s generosity in giving her the big tip.
“I mean, this can’t be happening, this has to be a dream, not in little Cedar Creek area,” Palmer said.
“Alesha Palmer, is a waitress at my restaurant and this past Saturday night, was surprised to discover that she was given a $1000.00 Tip!!! A gentleman over heard her speaking to other customers about her college education expenses. I have to say that there are still wonderful people out there in this difficult world. Thanks goes to this man for being so generous and caring! God Bless you kind Sir! The gentleman wanted to stay anonymous. Lets all not forget to PAY IT FORWARD! Congrats Alesha!”
Jennifer Brown, manager of the restaurant, says the biggest tip a waiter has received up until now was $100.
“We had a lawyer that would come in here and would leave $100 tips because he worked his way through law school,” Brown said.
Concerning this latest big tip, Brown added, “It restores your faith; there is just so much bad going on and you always hear of all the bad. You don’t hear the good.”
Palmer plans to think about the big tip she just received when times get tough. After graduating high school, she will attend TJC and get a degree in business. She then wants to go on to get a degree in culinary arts and one day open up her own pastry shop.
The man who left Alesha Palmer the big tip of $1,000 wishes to remain anonymous.
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]