Man Leaves $16,000 Tip for Wait Staff at New Hampshire Bar and Grill

Stumble Inn Bar & Grill Owner, Mike Zarella (center) surrounded by his staff who received the generous tip.
M. Zarella

“Oh my god, are you serious said one of the staffers when she turned over the check and saw the amount and the zeros that followed. 

The staff at a popular New Hampshire restaurant experienced an unbelievable act of kindness from a random customer who left a whopping $16,000 tip.

“Oh my god, are you serious," said one of the staffers when she turned over the check and saw the amount and the zeros that followed. 

On June 12, the good Samaritan, who asked not to be identified, stopped in at the Stumble Inn Bar & Grill located on Rockingham Road in Londonderry, sat down and ordered two chili cheese dogs, pickle chips, a coke, a Sam Adams on tap and a margarita. The total amount came to $37.93.

He paid by credit card and included the staggering tip on his bill. 

“I’ve heard of stuff on TV, but nothing by me. Never in my place,” Mike Zarella, the owner of Stumble Inn Bar & Grill, told Inside Edition Digital. He never got a tip like this one in the 11 years he has been in business, he said. Zarella even asked the customer if he had made an error, and the man told him he "just wanted to do something nice."

"It made me feel wonderful that someone felt that my staff was good enough," he said. "Some are single moms and work two jobs. They work really hard and are just phenomenal people.” 

Zarella said the man, who has been at the restaurant maybe two to three times before, is normally by himself and doesn’t typically interact with anyone.

“He didn’t specify how to divide the money so we treated it like an ordinary tip,” said Zarella, who mentioned that the eight bartenders and servers who would normally split the tips also gave some money to the four cooks. 

“They really look out for each other," Zarella said proudly. 

The generosity was especially well-timed, given the pandemic. 

“The restaurant industry took one of the hardest hits,” said Zarella. During the height of COVID-19, their indoor dining area was closed and they served outdoors, but it “was a struggle,” he said. 

Shannon Corcoran, whose been a bartender at the Stumble Inn Bar & Grill for almost four years, said she wasn’t working the day the tip was given but told Inside Edition Digital that she was excited for her colleagues. 

“It was amazing to hear that eight girls in total and the back of the house got tipped out, too,” Corcoran said. “Especially after last year, with what was happening with COVID, it’s good to have a little bit of luck these days.”

Zarella told Inside Edition Digital that the man has been back since that memorable day and is always sure to leave something generous behind.

Related Stories