Working on a holiday can be stressful. The same goes for Denny’s waitress Danielle Lucas. 

“We get more customers than usual, and things just get crazy from taking all the orders to making sure that food’s coming out on time and correctly, and then busing our own tables so it can get pretty chaotic,” Lucas said. 

However, it was at the end of one of Lucas’ customer’s meals that made her day really flip upside down. 

“At first, I thought I made a mistake. After clarifying with my hostess, it was a neat experience. I had never been tipped that much before.” Lucas said. 

Lucas was tipped $700. 

She says when reality set in, she felt a weight come off her shoulders. 

“I’ve got my own babies at home. Figuring out how to balance, you know, on a server salary, it was a little stressful trying to figure out how I was going to buy my own kids Christmas.” Lucas said. “So that’s definitely takes off a lot of that pressure from where are we’re going to get that extra income.”  

For the man behind the enormous gratuity, this isn’t his first time. 

“In 2020, like when COVID all hit and that’s when (my wife and I) just came up with an idea, let’s do that because everything was so divisive that we just ran with it.” Erik Richards said. 

The reason behind the tip is simple; Pay it forward. 

“I would love for everybody to pay it forward,” Richards said. “That’s what I want to do because everything is just so divided.” 

“That was one of the conditions that he had,” Lucas added. “He was like, I just ask that you pay this forward to somebody.” 

Lucas says she will be able to purchase her children’s winter coats and intends to pay it forward.