It’s no secret that COVID-19 has been more than a health crisis. It has also hurt many people and businesses financially. Some companies filed for bankruptcy and closed their doors for good. Meanwhile, employees found themselves out of a job and struggling to pay the bills.

Many industries have been hurt by the pandemic, and that definitely includes restaurants. Not as many people are eating out as they used to. Many people are choosing to get take-out or cook at home. After all, baking and sourdough making have become pandemic hobbies for many.

Meanwhile, restaurants struggle to stay open, and their regular customers try to do everything they can to help, like ordering food more often and telling all their friends to support their local restaurants.

One customer in Estes Park, Colorado, did more than support his favorite bakery by ordering some baked goods. He went above and beyond anyone’s expectations by leaving a super generous tip.

The customer, who wants to be known as “The COVID Bandit,” is a regular at Notchtop Bakery. On his most recent visit, his server was Gloria Fuentes. Before paying his bill, he asked Fuentes how many people were working that day. He did some simple math in his head and wrote a tip large enough for every employee to get $200.

To make sure the tip was split equally, The COVID Bandit wrote an explanation at the top of his receipt. He explained, “COVID Sucks! $200 for each employee today.” There were 7 employees working, so that means he left a $1400 tip for his $20 meal.

Watch the video below to learn the customer’s real name and to hear how this generous tip impacted the workers that day.

Fuentes told FOX 31 that working as a server throughout the pandemic has “been a struggle.” She explained, “It’s been hard, I think not only for me but for everybody because we have to live one day at a time and we don’t know what’s going to happen next.”

Nailya Khametvalieva is the owner of Notchtop bakery and she is familiar with The COVID Bandit. She said that he is a regular customer. She told FOX 31 that she appreciates not only this generous tip but every customer who has visited her business to show their support during the pandemic.

The seven employees that shared the generous tip at Notchtop Bakery posed for a picture to share the happy news on their Facebook page. Even though they are wearing face masks, we can tell that they are smiling.


Are you supporting local businesses during the pandemic? What would you do if someone gave you a $200 tip?