Woman leaves $10,000 tip at Florida Keys restaurant

MARATHON, Fla. — A server in the Florida Keys received a wonderful surprise from a customer on Tuesday -- a $10,000 tip that she will split with the restaurant’s 13 other employees.

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Khara Wilson, a server at Castaway Waterfront Restaurant & Sushi Bar in Marathon, served a group that rolled up a $193.95 tab, WSVN reported. Wilson told Keys Weekly the tip came from a woman named Pam.

“It was a party of 10 and they were waiting on a few more guests to arrive,” Wilson told the newspaper. “It was a busy morning, but I had a little time so I chit-chatted a little bit -- where they were from, when they were leaving. I got the impression that she was visiting with her kids and grandkids.”

Well deserved Khara and Team Castaway!

Posted by Castaway Waterfront Restaurant & Sushi Bar on Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Wilson said the woman told her she was from Oklahoma, adding that she would be flying out of the Florida Keys Marathon International Airport on a private plane.

“And then I went about my business,” Wilson told Keys Weekly.

Later, the woman approached Wilson and asked how many people were working in the kitchen.

“She could see how many people were working on the floor. I asked her why she wanted to know and she told me it would be a surprise,” Wilson told the newspaper. “But that I needed to share with all the staff.”

The woman’s credit card slip was handed to an employee, who quickly took it to Wilson.

“I said, ‘Are you kidding me?’” Wilson told Keys Weekly.

“Well deserved Khara and Team Castaway,” the restaurant wrote on its Facebook page.

It was no joke.

Wilson, who has lived in the Keys for seven years, holds down two other jobs. She works at a breakfast restaurant and a steakhouse in Marathon, the newspaper reported. She began working at Castaway Waterfront Restaurant just before the pandemic hit, according to Keys Weekly.

Wilson said she is going to use her share of the tip to pay some bills and save for a planned trip to Costa Rica, the newspaper reported.