Lifestyle & Human Interest

Waitress Receives Tip of a Lifetime When Two Customers Surprise Her with Car


Times have been hard for people in the food service industry. If their places of employment aren’t completely closed, their hours or capacity have been reduced.

Fewer customers, of course, means less revenue and overall tipping — at least until customers like one couple from New Jersey show up and shell out.

The man and woman, who asked to remain nameless, have been regulars at the Empire Diner in Brooklawn, and after the restaurant’s several-month hiatus, they returned this week with a special tip for their waitress.

The time off has affected the employees, and waitress Lisa Mollet experienced a double whammy this year: First, no work for a few months, and then when work opened up again, her car died.

“It’s really been a struggle,” Mollet told WTXF-TV. “I mean I was off from March until June.”

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“It was hard, it was very challenging. Being a single mother with two kids, and I have my own house, and I’m just paying the bills, trying to get everything right, keep everybody happy.”

Once the car broke down, Mollet had to Uber to and from work — cutting into her earnings once again, but what choice did she have?

On Sunday, she was surprised by the couple, who gave her a new-to-her car, their own personal vehicle.

“It’s a blessing,” Mollet said. “They blessed me.”

“They’re wonderful people. They come here constantly. They come here with their family. I know their family. They’re like family to me. They invite me to their house.”

“It was shocking because not many people out here do stuff like that,” she continued.

“It’s very touching because they’re really good people and I really appreciate it.”

The gift of a car surprised and continues to surprise many people. The diner’s owner was shocked, but also seemed to understand the gesture, because Mollet is one of his best.

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“They said, ‘We got a car for Lisa.’ I said, ‘Oh wow!’ and that was shock for me,” owner Daryis Aketurk said. “There’s still good people out there.”

He also said that as one of his hardest workers, Lisa definitely deserved the generous gesture.

The restaurant’s Facebook page shared a photo of the waitress and her new wheels.

“One of our loyal customers just surprised their waitress Lisa at the Empire with a new car to help her during these challenging times,” the diner posted on Facebook on Sunday.

“We, at the Empire Diner in Brooklawn, NJ feel truly blessed to be surrounded by so many good hearted customers paying it forward to make this community a better place. THANK YOU.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking