Group of friends leaves $10,000 tip at downtown Salt Lake Mexican restaurant

Sep 19, 2023, 9:37 AM | Updated: 10:50 am

SALT LAKE CITY — A local restaurant got the surprise of a lifetime after a group of customers left something unexpected on the table.

Alfonso Brito, owner of downtown Salt Lake Mexican restaurant Monarca, said Friday night he had a regular customer come in with about 20 friends.

“They were about to leave and they said, ‘Alfonso, can you come? We want to thank you because we had a great time.’ I said, ‘of course,'” Brito said.

Brito rounded up his staff and gathered by the large group’s table. Many of the customers had their phones out, recording the big surprise.

“He just pulled out of his pocket $10,000 in 100s,” Brito said. “I didn’t know what to say — I was in shock.”

Steven Harward was among the group giving out the cash tip. He said he and his friends have been giving out $1,000 tips to deserving restaurants.

“We have done it a little over 20 times, I think is the number now,” Harward said. “It’s just such a cool experience to give back a little bit.”

One request the group gave Brito was that their server got $2,000 of the tip. The rest was split up and given to staff who worked that day.

Another customer in the group, Nikisha Timms, said it was a life-changing experience.

“To see the tears coming down the waiter’s face and how he was just full of gratitude, it was just so cool,” Timms said.

It was an opportunity for Brito to recognize his staff, one he will always be grateful for.

“We have an amazing team. We have great cooks. We have great service so every person on our team is important,” he said. “It makes this world really a good place, you know, because we have these amazing people around who recognize my staff.”

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Group of friends leaves $10,000 tip at downtown Salt Lake Mexican restaurant