NEW ORLEANS – A mystery tipper known for leaving outrageous tips at restaurants around the country paid a visit to the Crescent City.
A photo posted on Instagram shows a party racked up a $9,000 bill at Galatoire's Saturday night and then left an even bigger $10,000 tip. The Instagram account, "Tips for Jesus," has created a nationwide buzz with photos of other hefty tips left around the nation.
It's every server's dream, especially during New Orleans' slow summer months.
"Come on down to Antoine's," said Michael Frazier, Jr., a waiter at Antoine's. "That's the first thing that went through my head."
"It would make your night anytime of the year, but in July it would make your month," said longtime Antoine's server Matthew Ousset.
One woman commented on the Instagram photo of the receipt, saying, "I dined at Galatoire's the same night and was there when his party arrived and after they left. He had a party of about eight men and bought bottles of champagne (that ranged from $300-$600) for every table."
Earlier on Saturday, Tips for Jesus garnered dozens of responses with a single question, "In New Orleans, where should we go?"
Eyewitness News is told it's not the first time the mystery tipper has left large tips at Galatoire's, but the restaurant itself is keeping tight-lipped.
"Galatoire's does not discuss payment information related to our guests. Further, Galatoire's does not withhold or retain employees' gratuity," said management, in an emailed statement.
A restaurant manager told Eyewitness News not to speak with customers inside and said he could not confirm or deny the large tip.
"The name on the receipt, if that's the person it indicates, is a long-serving Galatoire's waiter, somebody that people would recognize from the restaurant if they've been there," said Ian McNulty, a food critic for our partners at the New Orleans Advocate.
According to McNulty, if the mystery tipper is still in town, there's no telling where he or she might end up next.
"It just causes a lot of speculation of who these people might be, what they might be up to," said McNulty. "If they're still in town it could be a coffee shop or an old po-boy joint next."
Regardless of the size of the tip, waiters like Frazier and Ousset say the biggest reward is giving people the best possible service.
"We treat everybody the same, we're going to treat you special. Sometimes you get rewarded with big tips but it's always rewarding," said Ousset.
There has been speculation that the mystery tipper is a former PayPal executive but no one has publicly come forward.