Our timelines are filled with tales of random acts of kindness amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and one that particularly stands out today is the story of a generous couple who left a $9400 (£8160) tip at a restaurant in Texas.

Coffee shop customer places cash in a tip jar
A generous couple with deep pockets left a $9400 tip for staff in a Texas restaurant to help them through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The couple were dining at Irma's Southwest in Houston on Monday while a live news report was being broadcast in the restaurant, advising people that restaurants in the county would have to close and limit their service to take-out and delivery. According to restaurant owner Louis Galvan, the couple, who are regulars but wish to remain anonymous, left $1900 in cash and another $7500 tip on a credit card after watching the report. The bill for their meal was worth $90.12. On the receipt, they wrote: "pay your guys over the next few weeks."

"They left a gratuity for the entire kitchen and service staff, which is unexpected," Galvan told CNN. "I think he came here just to [give the tip]. He came down here specifically to do that and wish us the best of luck."

Read more: The ultimate guide to tipping around the world

Galvan told the news site that the tip would be divided evenly among 30 staff members, "not management" and said that the local restaurant community has been coming together to support each other during the pandemic.

There are more reports of goodwill within the hospitality industry in Ireland, where a GoFundMe account called FeedTheHeroes was set up on Sunday to "send food regularly to our hard-working healthcare staff using local businesses". The goal set was €250 ($269) but after a flood of donations this week, the money raised totals €235,885 ($253,622) and counting. Speaking to the Irish Independent, organiser Cian O'Flaherty said "it's been a struggle to spend the money. A lot of companies and individuals just won't take payment."

You might also like:

A couple made this hilarious video after their cruise was cancelled

Coronavirus closed this Chicago aquarium, so the penguins went on a field trip

France offers a moving tribute to COVID-19 frontline heroes

Explore related stories



10 of the world’s best foodie destinations (and what to eat when you get there)

Mar 1, 2024 • 12 min read