A mystery is on tap in Utah after two oversized tips were left at two local bars in two days.
The mystery first started brewing last Friday when a customer left a $5,000 tip on a $214 tab at Brewskis Bar and Grill in Ogden, Utah.
The next night, Saturday, at a bar just down the street from Brewskis, in the town’s popular “Historic 25th Street” area, a customer left a $1,000 tip on a $49 bill.
The tip was so large, and so rare, that the customer had to get help when he tried to pay using the bar’s tableside iPad, which only allows patrons to tip up to 100 percent.
“He called over the bartender and said, ‘This thing isn’t letting me leave a good tip,’” said Jared Allen, the owner of the bar, Alleged. “We’re like, ‘Well what do you mean?’”
“He said, ‘Well, I want to tip a $1,000 tip,’ and the bartender said, ‘Let me get my manager,’” said Allen.
The tip was so large that Allen and the bar’s staff double and triple checked with the customer that he wanted to leave a $1,000 tip and that it was not a mistake.
“I really wanted to stress the fact that he did indeed want to leave this tip, and he did,” said Allen. He was quite adamant about it. He was very polite.”
The polite customer is also, as it turns out, very discreet.
Staff at both bars say they know the identity of the customer but are keeping it a secret.
The UK’s Daily Mail has raised speculation that the outsized tipper could be British billionaire Sir Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Airlines. Branson has been spotted in the Ogden area, anonymous sources told the paper, but neither the restaurants nor Branson’s reps have commented.
It’s also still unclear whether it is just one man behind the generous tips, which also include a $1,000 tip given to a beer cart girl at a local golf course the same weekend as the tips left at Brewskis and Alleged.
While the world focuses on who the tipper could be, restaurant workers in Ogden are thanking their good fortune and wondering if more tips are to come.
“They were all just glowing and really excited,” Allen said of the three bartenders and one server who split the $1,000 gratuity at Alleged. “Everyone was a little bewildered and just laughing and couldn’t believe it.”
“It was definitely a positive thing,” said Allen.