A group of diners left a $2,700 tip for two waitresses, who are identical twins, for a secret project called “Shock and Claus.”
On Friday, Ceri Anderson of Loveland, Colorado and 29 other people visited the Village Inn restaurant to have breakfast and drop some surprise cash. It’s a tradition Anderson helped organize three years ago to brighten the holiday season for a perfect stranger.
“A co-worker heard about a movement called ‘Shock and Claus’ where you go to a restaurant with other people, give a huge tip, and leave without saying anything,” Anderson, a real estate broker, tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
Having pulled it off at restaurants IHOP leaving a $1,500 tip and First Watch leaving $1,700, Anderson was excited to strike again.
However, 30 people descending on a restaurant is not subtle, so this year, there was a plan. “We pretended that we were in a goal-setting group and were meeting to discuss the upcoming year,” Anderson tells Yahoo Lifestyle. They were also trailed by a crew from 9News which reported on the project.
The group, consisting of friends, neighbors, and spouses, some of whom were total strangers to each other, occupied two tables. To appear more believable, Anderson gave a motivational speech while two waitresses served their food. Anderson didn’t realize they were twins until she saw them at once.
The bill came to $416.58 and Anderson snuck off to the restroom to count the $2,700 tip, which she divided into two envelopes. Back at the table, she stood for another speech. “So this morning, our intention here was to talk about our gratitude for the year and so, just curious if you guys would mind sharing a gratitude with us,” she asked 26-year-old sisters Tiffany and Taylor Erwin.
After the women named spending Christmas with extended family and their jobs, at which they have worked for eight years, Anderson admitted, “Well, we were not really here to talk about our gratitude. We were here this morning because we wanted to bestow upon our servers a great blessing.”
She handed an envelope with a card and cash to each server saying, “We want you to have the best holiday season you’ve ever had,” and hugged them both.
Tiffany tells Yahoo Lifestyle that she and her sister did not suspect the patrons had anything up their sleeves. “We had no idea, nothing seemed suspicious,” she says. “It’s amazing that they do this every year. It was very generous.”
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