A husband and wife were sitting at the bar in a Washington, Pennsylvania, Applebee’s. They come to the restaurant three to four times a week and frequently pick up the tab for random diners.
One of the recipients of this generous ritual was Jolie Welling, who was holding her daughter’s birthday party at the restaurant.
She later took to Facebook and posted: “Thank you to the person that took care of the bill tonight at Applebee’s in Washington! This person paid for the whole party of 16. I have never had this happen before and it brought tears to everyone’s eyes.”
Samantha Powell, the server on the night of the party, said: “I was almost in tears. It touches me, too.”
“They were just so surprised. They were like, ‘Oh my god. Who? Who?’ and they were looking around and wanted to know who it was, but I would not tell them,” she added. “He approached me to tell me to give him the check for that table.”
Darla Pepper-Miller had the same experience about six months ago. She is the music director at the Church of the Covenant in Washington, and she was at the restaurant celebrating the birthday of one of the choir members. When they asked for their check, they were told that the bill had been taken care of.
“Just gratitude because of everything going on in the world and so much turmoil and protests and hatred,” she said. “It’s good to know that there are people that care about each other and give, pay it forward.”
Pepper-Miller said that she started to pay it forward. The couple, who own a business in the area, have dined and picked up other people’s meal tabs for years, two or three times a month.
Applebee’s Assistant Manager Bernie Lewis said that she was sworn to keep their identities a secret.
“He always says, ‘I grew up poor and now I’m not’ and that is all he says,” Powell said.