This Olive Garden server is wowing diners with his stellar voice originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com
Patrons of an Olive Garden in Washington state get an unexpected surprise when they celebrate their birthday at the restaurant.
Instead of the usual clapping and chorus of servers singing, one server, Alphonso Nichols, comes to their table and, in what has become routine, blows them away with his rendition of "Happy Birthday."
"The managers and everyone tell me the whole restaurant stops and goes silent and then starts clapping when I finish," Nichols, 31, told "Good Morning America." "It's gotten to the point where I'm doing maybe 20 birthdays a night."
Nichols started working as a server at the Olive Garden in Kennewick, Washington, one year ago. He moved back to his hometown after trying to make it in the music business in Los Angeles for several years.
He said he toured with the likes of Ashanti and Ja Rule and opened for stars including Robin Thicke and Genuine but decided to return to Washington to be closer to his 8-year-old son and figure out what he was going to do next in his life.
Nichols ironically has gone viral for his singing skills since moving away from Los Angeles. A mom filmed Nichols singing happy birthday to her daughters last month and posted it on Facebook, where it has received thousands of views.
"It’s been super shocking," Nichols said of the response. "Each day someone new is reaching out so it’s pretty amazing."
Because of the response to his singing, Nichols said he is now speeding up his work on a Christian album that he plans to release next year.
"One thing I'm big on is never giving up on your dreams and I want to show my son that," he said. "This has been awesome because he’s seen all of this happen."
Nichols said he plans to keep working and keep singing at Olive Garden, where people celebrating their birthdays now come in specifically to have Nichols sing to them.
"When I get busy, the other servers come over and help with my tables so I can go and sing happy birthday at their tables," he said. "My manager told me that on Yelp every other review was about me singing for birthdays and people coming in just for that moment."
A spokesperson for Olive Garden told "GMA" in a statement that Nichols' gift of singing to guests is a "perfect illustration of what Olive Garden is all about."
“We’re proud of Alphonso and the recognition he is receiving," the spokesperson said. "His special talent, coupled with his passion for hospitality, is a perfect illustration of what Olive Garden is all about -- celebrating life’s special moments and making our guests feel like family.”