A Pennsylvania restaurant that gained notoriety for being mentioned in the hit comedy series “The Office” is now suing a customer who left their waitress a $3,000 tip but later changed his mind.
Mariana Lambert, a waitress at Alfredo’s Pizza Cafe in Scranton, was stunned when a customer left her a staggering tip for her fantastic customer service.
Lambert felt like she’d just won the lottery until the would-be generous donor, later identified as Eric Smith, decided he didn’t want to pay the tip after all. As a result, Mariana’s restaurant is now taking legal action.
Smith ordered a stromboli that only cost $13.25, which he charged on his credit card, and then added the generous tip with a note saying: Tips for Jesus.”
The male customer claimed that the staggering tip was connected to a social media movement called Tips for Jesus. He explained that he enjoyed surprising servers like Mariana with big gestures.
At first, the restaurant thought the generous tip was just too good to be true. However, the waitress told local news station WNEP that her restaurant “ran his card and everything went through properly.”
Mariana, who was “in shock,” said it was a very generous gesture that “really touched [her] heart” during a time when so many businesses were getting back on their feet after the pandemic.
“It really meant a lot to me because everyone’s going through stuff,” the waitress said.
But soon, Mariana’s smile was turned upside down after she learned her generous customer wasn’t so great.
Despite leaving the great tip and signing his name to the receipt, Smith would later dispute the charge with his credit card company, reports the Daily Mail. But the restaurant had already paid Mariana her $3,000.
When the restaurant reached out to Smith about the charge, he tried to dispute it. They hoped it was a misunderstanding and believed the situation could be resolved privately.
However, after many of their messages went unanswered, the restaurant contacted the magistrate’s office and filed charges against Smith.
“It’s just a little aggravating right now,” Zachary Jacobson, the manager of Alfredo’s Pizza Cafe, said about the ordeal to WNEP. “It’s been causing a lot of nonsense and drama.”
“Unfortunately, we had to file charges through the magistrate’s office because now we’re just out of this money, at this point,” Jacobson added, before alleging: “And [Smith] told us to sue him, so that’s what we’re going to end up doing, I guess.”
In the meantime, the restaurant manager described Mariana as “hardworking” and said she was worthy of the tip. He also said the incident was “a nice piece of PR for a small business.”
“I hope that he owns up to his actions and comes forth and does pay this because you shouldn’t have done this if this was the end result,” Jacobson said.
You can watch a video about the initial tip below.
And here’s a video about the customer’s change of heart.
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