A restaurant is suing a customer who paid a $3,000 tip to the waitress for a $13 meal.

Mariana Lambert

A restaurant is suing a customer who paid a $3,000 tip to the waitress for a $13 meal.

The waitress was upset when she saw the tip, but things quickly worsened.

A Pennsylvania restaurant filed a civil suit against a customer after he left a $3,000 tip for a waitress, but his kind gesture was more complex than it initially seemed.

Employees at Cafe Alfredo in Scranton, Pennsylvania, were stunned in June 2022 when a customer, Eric Smith, left his huge tip after entering the cafe and ordering a Stromboli.

The meal cost just $13.25, so his server, Mariana Lambert, became understandably emotional when she saw how much he tipped.

Lambert later said: "It meant a lot to me because everyone goes through things. It touched my heart. I still can't believe it. I'm still in shock."

Wanting to make sure the money had not been left behind by accident, Matt Martini went out of Alfredo's Cafe to check the number and collect additional identification from Smith, who had written "Tips for Jesus" on the check.

When Martini asked about the note, Smith explained that he was inspired by a social media trend called "Tips for Jesus" and decided to participate after experiencing Lambert's hospitality.

Despite Martini's efforts to ensure the tip was above the plate, the situation worsened a few weeks later when the café received a letter saying Smith was disputing the tip fee.

"We thought someone was trying to do something good," recalls Zachary Jacobson, who works at the café. "And now, what, three months later? There's not even, there's nothing. There's nothing to show for it at this point."

Since Alfredo had already given $3,000 to Lambert, they had to repay Smith out of their pocket.

They tried to contact Smith via Facebook but ultimately filed a civil suit against the client.

"Unfortunately, we had to file charges through the judge's office because now we don't have that money at this point," Jacobson said. "He asked us to sue him. That's what we'll eventually do, I'm guessing."

Community members tried to rally around Alfredo's Cafe by creating a GoFundMe to support the work, but the cafe refused to accept funds, and the fundraiser was eventually closed.

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