DUBLIN, Ga. (WMAZ/CBS) — One Dublin waitress got a surprising Christmas gift on Wednesday.
Janet Ballard received a $1,100 tip.
A party of 11 walked into the Cracker Barrel where Ballard works and asked for their best server.
General manager for the Dublin Cracker Barrel Tabitha Coley said they sent Ballard, who’s been with Cracker Barrel for about 12 years.
“When I went up to the table I just was my natural self,” Ballard said. “I waited on them and gave them excellent service.”
Ballard says when she gave the party their check, a customer said the group wanted to give her a token of their love.
“They said, ‘we want to share back the love with someone what’s hardworking like yourself’,” Ballard said.
Ballard says one of the customers told her the group got her a card. They said they wanted Ballard to read it, and count the tip money, out loud.
Ballard says, at first, she wasn’t sure what was going on.
“When I’d seen all the 20s and 100s I just got numb,” Ballard said.
Each person in the party left her a $100 tip. She says it’s the largest tip she’s ever received.
“That’s the largest tip I’ve ever received,” she says. Ballard is a mother of two and also has two grandchildren. She says her job at Cracker Barrel pays the bills, and this extra cash will add to that.
“That’s why I’m so emotional about it — it’s because this is how I take care of my family. The guests that come in show love and caring and they don’t have to.”
Ballard says she’s grateful for those 12 people who made her holiday season. “I’m thankful, I’m humbled.”
Ballard says she doesn’t expect to see another tip that big any time soon.
The tip was left by a group of 12 friends from around Central Georgia.
A Facebook post says this is their first year doing their ‘100 dollar breakfast,’ and they hope to continue it for years to come.
“I just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you to the community and everybody that was involved that shared the love with a total stranger,” Ballard said.