Christmas is the season of giving and people are giving double this year to make up for all the hardships we faced due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Restaurants and their employees have been hit especially this hard with being shut down and/or having a limited amount of space to do business and a reduction in customers too frightened to eat out.
LOCAL RESTAURANTS: WPSD is compiling a list of locally owned restaurants in the Local 6 viewing area that have had to…
The National Restaurant Association reports that about 100,000 restaurants have closed down during the pandemic.
And that about 60 percent of businesses that closed during the pandemic will never open again.
Thankfully, Souk Mediterranean Kitech in Toldeo, Ohio was spared from closure.
Still, they weren’t immune to the financial downturn.
“The restaurant was a tribute to my mother and everything was going great until March when we were forced to shut down,” Souk’s owner and chef Moussa Salloukh told CNN. “Financially there was a huge impact, but we did just about everything to survive.”
While they were thankful to survive, the holiday season is usually when the staff thrives. This is because of all the customers coming in and leaving generous tips which would help servers and staff be able to afford Christmas gifts for their families.
Come shop the Farmer's Market and stop by to pick up Souk Gift Cards for your colleagues, friends and family!
But because of COVID restrictions that limited customers, that wasn’t going to happen.
That’s why the staff and ownership of Souk Mediterranean Kitchen were so touched by the overwhelmingly kind gesture of one of their diners.
A customer, who was identified only as Billy, left a $5,600 tip. They asked that it would be divided among the restaurant’s 28 employees which left everyone with a $200 Christmas gift.
It was a nice surprise because while many of the serves will get generous tips, the kitchen staff doesn’t. Salloukh said some of the kitchen staff were in tears knowing they’d get to buy their children nice gifts this year.
“There was a lot of tears, I’m tearing up now talking about it,” Salloukh said. “Your restaurant staff becomes your family and everyone cares about each other. I’ve been staying out of the kitchen to give employees hours to get through and put gifts under the tree for their kids, so this was so huge for us.”
“Be the reason someone believes in the goodness of people,” Salloukh said in his post. “The words ‘Thank You’ seem inadequate for this gift but thank you Billy, for your generous spirit and for making a difference in the lives of people I care a lot about this holiday season.”
Fans of the restaurant’s Facebook page were delighted to hear about this great act of kindness.
“Thank you for making the holidays possible for so many people who work so hard and have taken such a hit this year!” one fan commented.
“Billy” is one generous person! In a world of so much darkness and negativity, its people like this that bring back the light,” said another.
“My son works there and he was on cloud nine when he came home! This means the world to the staff. Heroes do exist!”
Here’s to all the heroes who give us hope and reprieve during these difficult times. Learn more about this heartwarming story in the video below.
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"An unbelievable act of kindness."On Saturday night, a customer left a $5,600 tip at Souk Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar in Downtown Toledo to divvy up among all 28 employees.More on the gratuity that's sure to make this holiday season just a bit more joyous 👇 https://bit.ly/2WctZIy
Posted by Tyler Paley on Monday, December 14, 2020