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Waitress and grandma of 7 receives $3,000 tip for hard work and 'smiling'

Waitress gets $3,000 tip on $44 check
Waitress gets $3,000 tip on $44 check Copyright Courtesy of Michelle Bozeman
Copyright Courtesy of Michelle Bozeman
By Julie Pennell with TODAY Food
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One server from Washington state is still in shock after a generous couple left her a four-figure tip.


Michelle Bozeman just can't stop smiling.

The 50-year-old waitress at Ramblin Jack's Rib Eye restaurant in Napavine, Washington, got a very generous tip during her shift on Sunday evening. A couple traveling through town added an extra $3,000 — on a modest$44 bill.

"I first found out when [a coworker] said, 'Do you realize you got $3,000 tip?'" Bozeman told TODAY Food, adding that the restaurant was so busy she didn't see it until the couple was long gone.

"I looked at it and was astounded."

On the back of the check was a note that read, "Thanks for smiling. You work hard and the country is in a bad place." The note also requested that she do something good for someone else with the money.

Bozeman, who has been working as a waitress for over 20 years, said the couple had asked her about her family and she briefly talked to them about how she had supported her three kids as a single mom. She also mentioned to them how much she loved her job and the people she works with.

On a happiness scale of 1-10, waitress Michelle Bozeman said she\'s a 10 after receiving a $3,000 tip at work.
On a happiness scale of 1-10, waitress Michelle Bozeman said she\'s a 10 after receiving a $3,000 tip at work.Courtesy of Michelle Bozeman

"They were just a really nice couple," she recalled.

To pay it forward, Bozeman says she plans to share some of the money with her coworkers. She said she also plans to spoil her seven grandkids, who range in age from three to 17 years old.

Bozeman and a friend are also planning a trip to Ireland, which they had been talking about for a while, but money issues halted their plans.

As for what she wishes she could tell the generous strangers who left the tip, Bozeman said she wants them to know much she appreciates it. She told TODAY, "What a world of difference it'll make in my life, and I will definitely pay it forward."

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