Story at a glance

  • A New Hampshire restaurant received a major boost when a customer left a $16,000 tip on a bill of less than $40.
  • Staff at the Stumble Inn Bar and Grill in Londonderry told WMUR that they initially believed the anonymous person’s gratuity on a bill for chilli dogs, fried pickle chips and drinks, was accidental.
  • Like other restaurants affected by the pandemic, the Stumble Inn Bar and Grill closed for several months and made necessary adjustments to stay afloat.

A New Hampshire restaurant received a major boost when a customer left a $16,000 tip on a bill of less than $40. 

Staff at the Stumble Inn Bar and Grill in Londonderry told WMUR that they believed the anonymous person’s gratuity on a bill for chili dogs, fried pickle chips and drinks, was accidental. 

"It was on the credit card statement, they put it down next to the register and he said three times, 'Don’t spend it all in one place.' That’s what made her flip it over and look, and she’s like, 'Oh my god, are you serious?' And he said, 'I want you to have it, you guys work hard,'" owner Mike Zarella told WMUR.

"I thought it was a mistake, it could have been maybe a $160 tip and he added extra zeros," Zarella continued. "The bar manager talked to the gentleman and he said, 'No, it’s $16,000.'"


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Like other restaurants affected by the pandemic, the Stumble Inn Bar and Grill closed for several months and made necessary adjustments to stay afloat, the outlet reported. Yet servers told WMUR that they are going to disburse the massive tip, the largest in the restaurant’s history, across the board to all employees who keep the doors open. 

"The back of the house works really hard, the kitchen, they’re giving them a big tip out of that, which is very generous of them to do," Zarella said.

As of March, slightly more than 10 percent of U.S. restaurants — 79,438 — closed their doors permanently due to the pandemic, according to data from industry research firm Datassential

"This last year has been one the toughest the restaurant industry has ever faced," Datassential's CEO Jack Li said in a news release. "But the good news is that the rate of closures is slowing, and the future is bright for those restaurants who have learned to adapt to the host of new challenges facing them in our new normal."


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Published on Jun 22, 2021