Seattle Man Leaves Big Tip For Lincoln Park Restaurant Staff

Lisa Fielding
April 16, 2018 - 3:04 pm
Boka Waitstaff gets huge tip

Courtesy Darcy Horath


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- It started out as a usual Sunday at Boka Restaurant on Halsted in Lincoln Park.

"We were setting up for the dinner crowd around 5 o'clock," said Brie Meyers, Sous Chef at Boka.

"That's when he walked in. He and his wife and his family. He was in town from Seattle for some concert. He said he really likes restaurants and starting talking to everyone," she recalled.

"He was seated at a six top. We decided to send him some extra food because he was so nice. When he finished he asked to go back into the kitchen," she said.


That's when the man, only known as Mike, gave out 16, 100-dollar bills to everyone in the kitchen, in addition to a $300 tip to his server.

"I think everyone was in shock. He kinda made a joke, then made a speech. He was addressing the whole team, just saying refering to everyone as artists and that everyone was doing an amazing job and he wanted to make sure we got shown as much appreciate as the front of the house staff does, he said it was the best meal he ever had then said 'lets hand out some Benjamins," she laughed.

Meyers says she's never seen anything like it.

"We thought, is this serious? He shook everyone's hand and thanked them, he gave them a 100 dollars, every single person who was in the kitchen, all the dishwashers, me, the other Sous chef, every person that was working that night," she said.

Meyers says it boosted the morale for the rest of the night. She says it's not often patrons recognize the kitchen staff let alone tip them.

"People have left money with the server to buy around for the kitchen, but never has anyone ever come in and been so appreciative and handed the staff a certain amount of money," Meyers said.

It's an experience she said she and her co workers will never forget.

"He and his party didn't even order that much, so he went above and beyond," she said. "It was incredible."

Boka has already garnered attention this year for receiving the most 2018 James Beard Award nominations in the country: Best Service - Boka, Best Chef Great Lakes - Lee Wolen, Outstanding Restaurateur - Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz, Outstanding Pastry Chef - Meg Galus.