Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
SALT LAKE CITY — An anonymous donor's generosity is generating a buzz at restaurants around the country.
An individual or group of people operating under the name "Tips for Jesus" is leaving huge tips at restaurants and other establishments, presumably as a gesture of kindness.
Tips for Jesus refers to an Instagram account, @tipsforjesus, that opened in September. It has nearly 27,000 followers as of Wednesday morning.
The only motive so far may be found in the account's bio which says, "Doing the Lord's work, one tip at a time."
Photos posted on the site show receipts with the signature "Tips for Jesus." Some also say, "God bless." They include a $1,500 tip at a restaurant in San Francisco and a $10,000 tip left at a bar in Indiana.
In South Bend, Ind., a customer paid the $84 tab at Legends of Notre Dame on Oct. 19, then tacked on a $5,000 tip. "We were all looking at this like, is this a joke?" said Ashley Rust, a former bartender at Legends.
The donors also left a $500 tip on a $24 bill at a restaurant in Hollywood, Calif. in October.
The photos show the bills and tips, ranging from $500 to $10,000, are paid for with an American Express Centurion "Black" Card. Some speculate the anonymous tipsters may be college football fans, since the tips in some areas have aligned with recent college games.
If it seems too good to be true, another photo posted on the site shows a credit card statement to prove the charges actually are being paid.
Employees from establishments nationwide have posted messages on Instagram, inviting the anonymous donors to visit them.
Thousands of dollars in tips left at two bars and a golf course in Ogden this summer were also mentioned in relation to the movement.