Several Gatlinburg restaurant employees grateful for an anonymous $1,000 tip

Local News

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) — Sevier County has seen a ton of business in the past couple of weeks with visitors in town for spring break and the spring rod run just wrapping up this weekend.

Restaurants and other business employees have been working around the clock to keep up with the demand.

However, employees at the Burg Steakhouse on the Parkway in Gatlinburg are grateful for one particular customer who left a lasting impression.

“It’s always busy,” explained Ashley Rackstraw a head server at the restaurant. “There’s never any downtime.”

Saturday was no exception, Rackstraw said.

“It started pretty much like any other Saturday would. You know, we filled up as soon as we opened the doors, and we were busy until we closed the doors.”

It was the generosity of one particular customer that stopped these employees in their tracks.

“He wanted to have a good time in Gatlinburg,” Burg Steakhouse co-owner Michele Stanga said. “[He] brought his daughter, he came for lunch and returned for dinner, and he surprised the staff with leaving a $1,000 tip.”

That’s not all, the man who wished to remain anonymous not only paid for his own meal but picked up the tab for two other tables.

“I was like, ‘wow,'” said Rackshaw. “It was a humbling moment.”

The man told the staff that he was terminally ill and wanted to spend his money on others before he died.

All he asked is that people pay it forward.

“There’s surprises everywhere,” said co-owner Byron Stanga.

It was a surprise Rakstraw was grateful for.

“I’m just wanting to thank him. Like, all I’m wanting to do is go up to him and give him a hug and tell him ‘thank you.’ That was like really generous of him.”

The restaurant is hiring. Byron Stanga said you might get a job at one of his restaurants and something like this could happen to you.

The tip was split among the entire staff that night which ended up being around $40 each.

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