Iowa Couple’s Huge Tip for Terrible Service Goes Viral

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – The Iowa couple behind a goodwill gesture that went viral said they did it to serve as an inspiration for others.

Makenzie Schultz and her husband, Steve, were celebrating their six year wedding anniversary over the weekend at a sushi restaurant in Cedar Rapids.

But the service “sucked.”

Instead of taking to social media to complain, Makenzie posted a picture of the tip they left.

The image took the internet by storm gaining over a million likes and 147,000 shares.

fb post

Courtesy: Makenzie Schultz/Facebook

Despite waiting for 20 minutes to get water, 40 minutes for an appetizer and over an hour for their entrée, the couple gave a $100 tip on a $66.65 bill.

“People all around us were making fun of the restaurant and how bad the service was,” the Facebook post explained.

That would usually mean pitiful tips for the server. However, the couple blamed the wait on staffing.

“That’s when I told my husband, ‘He’s working so hard and you can tell he’s so stressed out but he’s not letting on to us.’ When he came to the table he was very sweet and nice,” Makenzie told Channel 13. “That is why it touched me. We have been in his shoes.”

The couple met while working at a restaurant.

“We completely understood that feeling because he was doing his best but his best wasn’t good enough,” Makenzie said.

Makenzie added she hoped her small act would be taken positively.

“It wasn’t about the amount of the tip but it’s about being understanding and being kind,” Makenzie said. “Sometimes we need to take a step back, look at the whole situation and understand it and not judge it so quickly.”

The post has been shared around the world and Makenzie says she has received hundreds of emails sharing how their story has inspired others to pay it forward.

“It was something we could do to be a little positive.”


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31 comments

    • Saigon

      While you may be right about these two, your cynacism is trumped by my experience. I have been a server for years, and yes there are people who tip like this in silence.

      I’m sure there are people you patronize every day who make more money doing far worse.

  • iamjoespinkyfinger

    Google ItWorks for their BBB review, and then try to find a review that isn’t an obvious schill. Their response to the BBB was hilarious, sounds like it was written by a trial lawyer coming up with defenses to a lawsuit…

  • Thomas William Hyden

    The couple are frauds who promises money to whoever signed with them, then spend the money and themselves and whatever can get them attention, Pay it forward is an expression for describing the beneficiary of a good deed repaying it to others instead of to the original benefactor, meaning you shouldn’t do it to try to get on Ellen with your friends and ten mintues of fame, by them posting it themselves then later on bragging with friends about being famous, when she claimed “not doing it for a pat on the back” if she really was trying to pay it forward then why brag about the amount of tip you gave to somebody?

  • nozona

    1) Thoughtful. Iowa has nice people.
    2) Their business is not a scam. I actually know people (not me) who have chosen that path for network marketing and are having great success. Whenever you buy anything, somebody has sold it to you so it’s all legitimate and a matter of choice whether you get the product or not. Lose your job at John Deere? Why isn’t that a scam, because somebody at the top is still making money.

    • D

      Well if John Deere made you but the tractor to work at John Deere and then sell it or you own it I would call John Deere a pyramid scheme. Same if I had to pay to work at John Deere before u could work there. Same as if half my job was to recruit people under me to work and i made a portion of there profit and money for each person I got to sign up. I would call it a scam. Same as If I lost all my friends because all I ever did was try to recruit them or sell them something. Scam.

    • iamjoespinkyfinger

      Funny, if you look the company up on the internet, everything you find says it’s a classic MLM selling a product with highly questionable benefits, if any at all.

      And Jesus told people to give their charity anonymously, not post it all over the internet yourself.

      But I tell you what, when my own doctor doesn;t laugh at the product, I’ll consider you something more than another schill for the scam.

  • dudemcool1092

    The business is an absolute scam because it’s snake oil. They claim it does so many wonderful things but have no scientific evidence that it works (no pun intended). The pyramid scheme they have for their “distributors” is a joke and preys on people at the bottom. The high level that this women is at (ambassador diamond) means she is trying to get her name and company out there so that she can milk more money out of poor, innocent people who think this product will change their lives. It won’t.

  • Kriss Gross

    Who cares why they did it and where the guy works! Would it have made a difference if his heading had said “Maintenance Supervisor at XYZ Industries” or some other job? You can bet that server could care less. And for those of you saying “Poor Service, No Tip”…either you have never worked in the restaurant industry or you have no empathy. Work one of those crazy shifts, when fellow workers have called out, the kitchen is down two cooks and it’s payday so everybody and their brother has decided to go out for dinner, then see how much bitching you do about poor service.

    • iamjoespinkyfinger

      Actually I leave a 10% tip regardless of service, and move up from their based on service.

      But when people give charity and immediately use it to promote themselves, it’s not charity, it’s not goodwill or compassion, it’s about vain people trying to get attention, if anything they used that waiter for their own benefit, I hope the waiter and the retaraunt never respond, the couople already got their reward.

  • Sue

    I’m just tired of everyone thinking everything they do must be posted for the whole world. Guess what, most of us couldn’t care less.
    Oh, I got bad service, better get online quick and badmouth this restaurant.
    Oh, I got a bad tip, better get online quick and badmouth this person.
    Oh, my kid didn’t make the varsity team, get online quick and badmouth the coach.
    Oh, my kid got in trouble, get online quick and badmouth the superintendent.
    Oh, I did something nice, get online quick and pat my own back.
    Live your lives and quit telling us all every time you blow your flipping nose. If you truly did it to be a good person, you shouldn’t need your 15 minutes of fame. Do it quietly and go about your day.

  • Larry

    At least it’s something positive for a change. It’s a lot better than listening to everyone else complain about why they did it. I understand that the Bible says not to let the left hand know what the right hand is doing. Sometimes we need something positive even if it’s not in our own lives. Just a side note; I noticed some commented without even reading the story. I am all for good in this world.

  • TsG

    i feel bad for everyone that has to comment with such negativity. I personally work for It Works and have just started the last couple months. It is not a scam! I am starting from the ground up and just starting I have talked to the president of It Works and he treated me exactly like he did with the upper ladies as well. I have never had an unhappy customer and I do this because I love hearing the testimonies from people I know and how I am changing their lives for the better. And I think the “couple” that did this sincerely did this not because they need to get public for their business but because they truly felt bad for the guy and they have been in his shoes before. I have seen all over the place people posting pictures of their tips and such on FB so this was not a surprise to me. It Works had a thing going to “pay it forward so on FB people with the bussiness would support that and post images and show what we did to pay it forward, and this obviously was one that the couple did to show that they cared. Just hate how this was such a positive thing that has happened and everyone has turned it so negative! Sad really is sad.

    • iamjoespinkyfinger

      Hi schill, do you get paid to go around making anonymous posts telling us how good your snake oil is?

      Anyone can google your product and see it’s just yet another flavor of snake oil.

      Do you really think anyone here buys your silliness?

      • TsG

        Did I say anything about how amazing our products are in that post?!? No I didn’t think so. I’m just saying if you would have read her original post it was only for her friends to see. She never thought it would go viral like it has. I don’t know why you are going it snake oil or whatever but until you try it don’t diss it. Thanks

  • William Simpson

    Im currently writing a book titled “AN EVENING DINNER OUT ON THE TOWN” which is a narrative of one dinner, who the restaurant employees are, and all of what goes on to ensure that the customer enjoyes their dining experience. All the books and magazines and TV shows today focus on the chef and the food. This book takes the reader into the here and now events of every aspect of the restaurant experience. With real time circumstances and the language and mindset of all involved. It’s a fun read, and a small token of justice for those whom the world of peoples does not really appreciate. Stay tuned…:-)

  • LDF

    When you do something nice for someone….it is up to the person who received your charity to proclaim your charity and appreciation for what you did. Wow, so you did something nice for someone…and instead of the beneficiary posting the receipt on his facebook page…you posted it on yours? Wow!….talk about self-promoting pigs!…and it only cost you $100.00!!…..amazing!

  • Sarah

    I’m confused. Where in this article does it mention what company this couple works for? And why is this act of understanding and kindness making people so angry and bitter? It states clearly the restaurant was understaffed but the service the waiter gave was quite good given the circumstances. I’ve been a waitress but clearly none of you have. Disgusting. You are all sad, sad individuals.

  • Rebecca Hergert

    I think the couple went to extreme’s here on the tip for bad service.
    Make sure the the waiter claim’s it on his taxes!!
    And good luck the credit card company getting money out of the couple paying their bill!!

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