TOLEDO, Ohio — An extraordinary act of kindness from one man brought a Toledo restaurant's entire staff to tears over the weekend.
"It's been a rough, rough year," said Moussa Salloukh, the chef and owner of Souk Mediterranean Kitchen in downtown Toledo.
It's a common sentiment felt in restaurants across Ohio, Michigan and the nation. Dining establishments, like Souk, have been hit hard by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
"It's understandable why things have slowed down but something like this just brings a little joy to everybody's hearts," Salloukh said.
A little joy with a lot of digits; on Saturday night, a customer -- only identified as "Billy" -- left a $5,600 tip to divvy up among all 28 employees.
"I've seen generous tips in the front of the house with the servers but never for the kitchen," Salloukh said. "The kitchen guys got it, too, and a couple of them cried with tears, saying that now they can help get the kids some toys. It's just been rough on everybody."
Salloukh said Souk hasn't been immune to the pandemic's ravaging of restaurants. Sales and morale are down and hours are hard to come by, but this unexpected act of kindness shines a bright light during a dark year.
"It's a time to be kind to one another, help one another, and not to that extreme," he said. "It's just a time that is rough on everybody and hopefully somebody can find a little joy and pass some happiness on to somebody else, which he did."
Employees are grateful for the gratuity that's sure to make this holiday season just a bit more joyous.