As restaurant workers struggle during the pandemic, a waitress in Pleasanton received a huge surprise from a customer — a $1,200 tip of a lifetime.
The tip could not have happened at a better time for Allie Geissman, just days before new COVID orders went into effect temporarily forcing her out of a job.
“This is $1,200 we know you are shutting down soon, thought this would help,” said Marilyn Weinstein of Pleasanton.
Geissman still can’t believe the first-time customer at Brava Garden Eatery in Pleasanton gave her that big of a tip.
“I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it. I started tearing up. I was overwhelmed and filled with gratitude,” she said.
The gift came just before Geissman would be forced out of a job by COVID restrictions. She and her husband were struggling to pay for his schooling and rent.
“Now that I can’t work this was a big blessing,” said Geissman.
Weinstein gave her the mega tip as part of a Venmo challenge on TikTok.
“I threw it on Facebook and said ‘anyone want to give money to the challenge,’” she said.
Within a few hours she received money from 61 of her followers which she promised to give to a server.
“Everyone can make someone’s life better for just small amounts,” said Weinstein.
And just as she paid it forward, so did Geissman. She gave some money to the staff, gave the owners a bottle of wine and, “she showed up with a huge pizza for everyone,” said owner German Carlucci.
Geissman said that during this time of COVID-19 when people are trying to avoid each other, she’s grateful one person reached out.