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Facebook group surprises Colorado restaurant staff with $3,000 in tips

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Posted at 10:09 AM, Mar 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 12:09:43-04

PARKER, Colo. — A Facebook group called “The Denver $100 Dinner Club” surprised staff at Black+Haus Tavern with tips that totaled $3,000 in three hours.

Rick Moses and his friend, Nick Carpenter, got the tipping idea from a Facebook group in Utah and decided to launch their own in Colorado. They began promoting “The Denver $100 Dinner Club” in February. The goal of the group is to round up 100 people willing to go out for dinner, and each leaves a $100 tip for restaurant staff for a total of $10,000.

Since many restaurants are under capacity restrictions, participants reserve their tables in waves. Moses says the money tipped is designated for staff who have been struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic.

Moses reached out to Black+Haus Tavern in Parker, Colorado, after several recommendations. The restaurant opened four months ago, during the pandemic.

Jenn Black, the owner of Black+Haus Tavern, was hesitant when she got a call from Moses. She initially thought, “he was crazy,” asking him, “what’s the catch?” After a little homework and some thinking, she was on board.

“I was excited. I didn’t tell my staff,” Black said. “I wanted it to be a surprise.”

Participants made reservations online, and in three waves they had dinner.

“Every single person that came in from that $100 club left a $100 tip,” Black said.

“I noticed my waiter was loving the night, and you could just see people running around with a little pep in their step and having a good time,” Moses said.

During a three-hour span, participants tipped $3,000.

“It's incredible to have a group of people going out there to help the restaurant industry at this time,” Black said.

The money was split among 24 staff members including waiters, kitchen staff, bartenders and the host.

Laura Ludvigson was off on the big tipping day, but she still received $100. The single mother is working two jobs to make ends meet. She said the pandemic has depleted her savings and checking account. Ludvigson said the extra money puts food on the table.

“Just thank you so much, like from the bottom of our hearts, just thank you so much,” Ludvigson said.

Moses hopes to keep paying it forward by hosting a tipping event once a month at a local restaurant. He is currently accepting restaurant recommendations for the event in April. If you would like to participate or make a recommendation, visit the “The Denver $100 Dinner Club” Facebook page or reach out to Moses directly on Facebook.

“Stimulus checks are great, but you know, why can't the community help out too?” Moses said.

As for Black, she plans on attending the next event to help pay it forward.

This story was originally published by Adi Guajardo at KMGH.