SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Canceling March madness took a big bite out of sports bars. But a generous tipper made up for a lot of lost business this weekend for hourly workers at TC’s Referee.
Gerrit Pearson started working at TC’s Referee a few weeks ago. The Coronavirus means a lot of extra work, sanitizing everything that a customer touches. For Pearson, it also means a lot of uncertainty.
“There’s definitely a fear inside of me catching it because then if I can’t go back to work. I’ve got a house myself, so I’ve got bills to pay and that’s my biggest fear,” food server, Gerrit Pearson said.
Pearson has gotten some nice tips as a server, but never expected a hundred dollars just for taking a customer to a seat.
“I was actually just cleaning off his table and all of a sudden Sean talked to him. He comes up and was like, hey, we just had a generous offer of a large tip. He wanted everybody who is not salaried to have a hundred dollars and that was amazing,” Pearson said.
General manager Sean Bade didn’t get any of the money himself. His reward was getting to hand out cash to people who never expected it.
“It was $1,450 is what he wanted to leave. The dishwashers and the cooks were like, what’s this? I go, it’s your lucky day, somebody out front said everybody that’s working, non-salary, I want them to have $100 and a lot of lit up faces,” TC’s Referee manager Sean Bade said.
14 lit up faces to be exact. Both Bade and Pearson got to thank the generous man face to face before he left Saturday night, and both took the opportunity to say it again.
“Thank you very much. I know you made all of their weeks. There’s at least two I know that they were wondering how they were going to get groceries this week because of rent and stuff coming up, so very cool,” Bade said.
“Thank you for the generous offer. Gestures like that just go such a long ways, especially in times like this when everybody needs a little extra when there’s less flow of traffic through. I appreciate the things you did for us and everybody else at TC Referees,” Pearson said.
Bade also wants to thank his regular customers. He says many ordered food “to go” this weekend, making up for some of the business lost when March Madness was canceled.