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Women who bonded with server over being widowed leave $2,021 tip

The two women told their server they were ordering extra takeout, because they cook less after their husbands died.
/ Source: TODAY

A heartfelt moment between two customers and their server at Slyman's Tavern in Independence, Ohio, led to the three women bonding over the grief of losing their husbands — and leaving a $2,021 tip.

The two friends visited the restaurant on Monday, February 22, during lunch hour and racked up a tab of $100.21, mostly on takeout. That's no small feat at Slyman's, which serves sandwiches and traditional pub fare. A classic burger costs $8.99, while on the higher end, a roast beef dinner goes for $13.99.

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The two friends were served by a woman named Tanya, who has worked at the restaurant for two years, according to Rebecca Riemer, the marketing coordinator for Slyman’s Tavern.

"They told her why they ordered so much. They said they both lost their husbands and don't cook as much anymore," Riemer told TODAY Food. "When Tanya heard that, she said she could relate. She said she hadn't cooked since April 2020, which is when she lost her husband."

two women who left this tip for a server who said she lost her husband last year
Two women bonded with their server over being widowed and left her a $2,021 tip.Slyman's Tavern

When the two women got their check, the receipt’s suggested tip guide listed a 20% tip as $19.19 for a total of $119.40. They did much more than that.

"They wanted to take care of her and assure Tanya things would be better," Riemer said. "She was shocked obviously and said she couldn't accept it, but they insisted and said they could afford it."

While Tanya is thrilled with the kind gesture, Riemer said she's feeling a bit shy being the subject of attention after the good deed. She added that the two women who left the generous tip were happy with the restaurant sharing a copy of the receipt, with personal details redacted.

Riemer said the restaurant, which has three locations in Ohio, along with a food truck, wanted to share the story to provide some hope during a difficult period.

"It was a very emotional story and a random act of kindness," she said. "I think the $2,021 tip can represent that this will be a better year for Tanya and everyone."