Waiter Hands Customer Bill, Then Reads The Note And Jumps Back

Stunned Belief

Yelp / Matthew O

A waiter was serving tables one chaotic Friday evening. The weather was beautiful, so everyone decided to eat out on the patio of the restaurant. Since he was the only sever working the outside, he was completely frazzled. He continued serving tables, but could not help notice mysterious eyes follow his every move. As the mysterious stranger left abruptly after getting his bill, the server picked it up and all of a sudden, he was reaching for his phone.


House of Oliver

David Fabila / Facebook

Struggling server of the restaurant, 31-year-old David Fabila is a Sacramento, California resident who is expecting his fourth child. This last August he was working his usual evening job as a server at a wine bar called ‘House of Oliver’ in Roseville. That Friday, something was up. Not only was it jam-packed, and David was completely rattled, but things got even stranger from there.

Friday Frenzy

Eating Through Roseville / S. Carter

Friday evenings are usually hectic for the House of Oliver staff. But that evening, the temperature was so perfect people couldn't wait to soak up the good weather and were seated outside. David, who usually bartends at the restaurant was asked to be that night’s server for the outside section, but to his surprise, it kept getting busier and busier. And suddenly, the mysterious stranger arrived.

Totally Exhausted

Eating Through Roseville / S. Carter

David tried to have everything under control, he even asked for some help from management, but they couldn’t help him as they were severely understaffed. Moreover, David told his co-workers he was having a rough night; he’d just come from his other job and was totally exhausted. But, what he didn’t know was that this hot summer evening was when he would receive a surprise he did not expect.

Young Stranger

Steffen Berr / Facebook

A mystery man, Steffen Berr, sat down at a table on the patio of the restaurant, subsequently sitting in David’s section. Of course, David Fabila was too busy tending to his other tables, he didn’t even notice the young man at the beginning. David didn’t know that this guest, in particular, would turn his night around.


Second Job

Eating Through Roseville / S. Carter

The service industry is tough, it is very demanding, and it takes a lot of backbone to serve orders every day at all hours. David Fabila took on his second job at the House of Oliver because he needed extra cash as his family was growing. While he was working the evening shifts there, he also had a day job as a Bar Porter at a Casino Resort, and never, in all his years as a server had he ever expected that to happen to him.

The Right Section

Eating Through Roseville / S. Carter

All servers are used to people who leave good tips, average tips and some who are just downright awful tippers. But, what people don’t understand is that employees in this industry, permanently live off these tips making them crucial for them to survive. But, Steffen Berr, the mysterious stranger, had something up his sleeve when he sat down in David's section.


Philip Harvey Photography 2018

The night continued becoming even more frantic by the second, and David was running ragged not even knowing if he was getting orders right. What he didn’t realize is that he had an onlooker who was very in tune to everything he was doing. Steffen Berr had finally finished his meal and waited for David to approach.

The Bill Please


David noticed the stranger asked for the check. Then, rushed over to give it to Steffen Berr and went on to serve another table as there were a lot more guests that needed tending. David knew he had to go close the bill from the strangers' table. He finished up with his other customers and headed in that direction.




David returned to collect the bill and noticed that the stranger, Berr, had suddenly left. He might have left the exact cash for the check, David initially thought. Usually, people would ask for change or pay by credit card but not in this case. David found an incredible note and an unbelievable surprise on the bill.

The Surprise

Youtube/CBS Sacramento

"I pulled the check out to close it, and when I pulled it out, that's when I saw everything. Their bill was very expensive it was like $190-something, that's exactly the tip they left me." David explains. Steffen Berr had matched the bill, he had left almost $200 in the tip line, making the total of the bill come out to almost $400. Beside it, a note was written: "We're young, but we're worth serving." David Fabila was in a state of disbelief and all of a sudden, had to re-read the check again.

A Mistake

CBS Sacramento

At first, he thought this was a mistake and pursued to find this man because he could not believe his eyes, he surely thought the young stranger had made a mistake and rechecked the numbers just to make sure. “Unless you work in the service industry, you don’t really understand how much tips mean to a server, to a bartender,” David told CBS. He began his hunt to find his mystery man.

Kind Gestures

David Fabila / Facebook

A kind gesture that came when David needed it the most. He finally tracked down the stranger; Steffen Berr, a 24-year-old college student at Sacramento State. They met up, and David couldn't thank him enough - told him how eternally grateful he was. “Thank you again to everyone who supported Steffen, and I’m glad this story was told!!! He is so young and JUST AN INTERN who goes to college”. David Fabila Posted on his Facebook wall.


Paying It Forward

Youtube / Steffen Berr

It just so happens Berr used to be a server at a diner and knew exactly the feeling that David must have had that jam-packed evening at the Wine bar, so he felt it right to reward David´s hard work. “I’ve been in his shoes before too, I used I work as a waiter in a diner in Texas, so I decided to show him what he did is appreciated,” said Steffen Berr to CBS.

Tip The Bill

CBS Sacramento

Thanks to a viral "Tip the Bill Challenge," a lot of people have matched their bills to their tips, giving their servers an 100% tip. But in this case, Steffen didn’t do it because of the challenge, he didn't even know David was soon to become a new father and was struggling financially, making his action all the more fruitful. He did it because it felt right at the moment to reward someone for their enormous effort. Plus, he had something to celebrate.

Spreading The Love

NBC News

Steffen had just finished his senior year of college, and he wanted to celebrate by doing something kind. “I had this money that I didn't expect to have so I wanted to share some of that," he said. "I didn't plan on it. It happened. I didn't know his situation either. I am just really glad I did it. I’m in a position where I have the resources and luck to do this so why not just go for it.” And David couldn’t thank him enough.

Forever Grateful


David was asked what he wanted to say to Steffen after his generous act of kindness. "You totally just made everything so much better and like I said, you have no idea what you did for me and what made it so great, that he didn’t know anything about me," he replied. But why has tipping the bill become such a popular way of paying it forward?


Bad Tippers


The “Tip the Bill Challenge” is a response to the current era, when people expect good service but aren’t prepared to reward it. According to Eater, a whopping 40 percent of people are unaware that they should be tipping between 15 and 20 percent. It might not sound like much, but it makes a huge difference. Especially given how many people in the service industry are compensated by law.

A Skewed System


Not many people know this, but in the United States there is something called the “tipped minimum wage.” People in the service industry, such as servers and bartenders, are paid a fraction of the normal minimum wage because it is expected that they will make up for it in tips. Sometimes they do, and can even make more, but it is not equal across the board. That is why some people have called for an overhaul of the system.

Voices For Change


People are starting to realize the unfairness of the tipped wage. In 2015, prominent New York City restaurateur Danny Meyer decided to eliminate tipping at the restaurants he oversees. "I just decided -- instead of blaming the tipping system for what didn't seem fair or right, why not take it into our own hands?" he said. With people like him in the lead, perhaps one day, tipping will be gone for good and servers’ wages won’t depend on customers’ whims. Do you think servers' tips should be done away with? - many people do.