$200 tipper: ‘I would’ve left $2,000 if I could’

Last week at a Perkins in Little Falls, Minn., Tori Dobis, 19, served French toast and a side of sausage to Kelly Blom. Total bill: $14. Tip: $200.

KMSP found the benefactor after it ran a story earlier this week and some friends of hers recognized the handwriting on the receipt.

So she sent the station an email:

I’m from Maple Grove and was passing through town on my way to a friend’s cabin in Whipolt, MN. I honestly didn’t intend to go into Perkins and leave a $200 tip but then I met Tori. I watched and listened as Tori cleared, cleaned and setup dining tables. She never quit moving. She went from table to table effortlessly, with a kind attitude and an endless smile. I could tell Tori had a really good heart and thought it’d be fun to surprise her with a well deserved tip.

When I wrote the tip amount, the manager somehow noticed and was genuinely baffled. I reassured him a few times that I really meant to leave her $200. I also confirmed for him that I did not recently win the lottery.

I wanted to leave before Tori was aware of the tip because I felt it’d be more fun to surprise her. I thought maybe I’d brighten her day and make her feel appreciated while she was working hard on a Friday night.

As I drove out of the parking lot, I could see Tori, the manager and another waitress huddled around the receipt. It made my night. I couldn’t stop smiling the rest of the drive up north.

I cried when I saw the news story. I had no idea, that one moment would have such an impact and I am so impressed that Tori is using the money towards nursing school. I don’t personally know Tori but I am proud of the young woman she chooses to be. If I could have left her a $2,000 tip, I would have.