Vic’s Daily Cafe waitress surprised with $2,100 tip

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Monday started off just like any other at Vic’s Daily Cafe in northeast Albuquerque, until Mike Carter requested a table for 24.

"I was on Facebook, and I saw a post where someone in Texas had gotten together a bunch of friends,” Carter said. “They all put $100 into the pot, and they gave all that to the waitress at Christmastime."

Carter liked the idea so much, he decided to make his own post inviting his friends to Vic’s on the morning of Dec. 13.

"Twenty-four people showed up, each with a hundred dollar bill,” he said. “We had a great breakfast, we didn’t tell the waitress anything."

When she dropped off the bill, Carter and his friends gave her a $2,100 tip.

"She went to tell the other servers, they all rushed in the room, they started hugging us, and then Vic, the owner of the restaurant, came in to shake our hands with tears in his eyes," he said.

"Next thing I know, I have my girls screaming and yelling because of their generosity," said owner Victor Pandazis.

This act is even more meaningful, considering what servers have been through during the pandemic.

"We’ve all been stretched so thin,” said server Eden Nicholson. “Everyone in the restaurant industry, even before the pandemic has been stretched thin."

"We’re so thankful that they came here and picked us to share their love with," server Jami Ehret added.

Carter says he plans to make this a tradition, and if he has learned anything from this experience, it is that kindness is contagious.

"It spread like wildfire,” Carter said. “I had a friend in El Paso, Texas do it. I have a friend in San Diego who loved it so much, he’s done it three times this week, and I think it’s really neat. Hopefully it will go viral and we’ll spread this coast to coast."

"It’s amazing how if each person around you does one little thing to impact someone else’s life, it can make a big difference," Pandazis said.