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Former NFL player leaves $1,000 tip at Florida restaurant

WSVN / CNN Newsource
WSVN / CNN Newsource

Cooper City, FL – A former NFL star shared some love with the staff of his favorite eatery in Cooper City, Florida.

Chad Johnson, also known as “Ochocinco,” left a $1,000 tip on a 37 dollar check after his meal on Monday.

Waiters and waitresses heavily rely on tips to pay their bills and after the past few months we’ve all been through, that couldn’t be any more true.

"It’s a really bad time now for everybody. Not just this restaurant,” said Manager Santiago Gonzalez

Many businesses barely scraped by during the closures forced by the pandemic.

For servers that meant firings, furloughs, or major pay cuts while bills continued to stack up.

And despite many businesses back up and running, it will still take time for people to get back on their feet.

That's why tips help and that's why this specific tip really helps.

That's a $1,000 tip left on a $37 check by Johnson to his waitress, Catalina Garces, at Havana's Cuban Cuisine in Cooper City.

Garces says to have to survive the pandemic with two months of not working, she feels very happy to receive such a generous tip from the former NFL star.

And she split it with everyone.

She has a lot of responsibilities being a mother of two and an immigrant from Colombia, has a lot of debt and says she will of course share with her coworkers.

Johnson is a regular.

He has his own table and a favorite dish the staff whips up for him and the restaurant says he told them he couldn't wait to dine in again now that they've re-opened.

The restaurant never expected the generous gift and Garces says she's grateful someone understands just how tough the past few months have been.

"Thank you, I love you, Ochocinco, my friend,” said Garces.

Johnson also left a note that congratulated the restaurant on reopening.

It also said “hope this helps. I love you.”