Christmas is the season of giving, and that’s exactly what a group of coastal Mississippians did recently.
At Phoenicia Gourmet Restaurant on Government Street, a party of 20 came in—each with a $100 bill. Their plan was to order breakfast (the average breakfast at Phoenicia hovers around $15) and leave what was left of the $100 to the server taking care of them.
While the restaurant’s owner was aware of what was going on, waitress Ashley Sadler had no idea until the end of the meal when she was gifted a four-digit tip. Thanks to the 20 people, as well as two others who couldn’t make it but passed along their $100, Sadler, a fellow server, the hostess on duty, and a busser split a tip north of $2,000.
Sadler, a mother of four, was left in awe when she walked away with $920 left.
“I was shocked and all smiles, of course. I’m still in shock,” she told Josh Jackson of WLOX. “It just seemed too good to be true. I’m just in awe. It just came at the best time of the year…Thank you so much. You made my year. You don’t know how blessed I feel right now, and you guys are good people. Thank you.”
Ocean Springs businessman Joe Cloyd, who was part of the group, hopes instances like this will translate into the new year.
“Christmas is the season of giving and the restaurant community has had a tough couple years via COVID. We just felt like this was a great way to give back to someone that we don’t know in a real direct way but knew it would make a big difference in their life,” he said. “We are hoping to collectively spark something that can be repeated by us or by others.”
Sadler said the $920 will go to make sure her children have one of the best Christmases ever.