Long-time waitress in Waterbury says surprise big tip from customer is essential to get her through holidays, pandemic

New Haven

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Santa came to Waterbury, delivering a surprise gift to the waitress at the Seven Villages Restaurant on Bank Street.

Edie Lopez discovered the surprise gift the day before Christmas Eve. It was a tip one of her customers left behind.

Edie calls it “a blessing”.

The was $100 and it came at a time when many restaurants and restaurant workers are struggling to make ends meet.

According to the National Restaurant Association, more than 110,000 restaurants have closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

RELATED: 30 retailers that struggled, shrunk or closed for good in 2020

Closer to home here in Connecticut, our state’s restaurant association says that number is at least 600 — that’s thousands of jobs gone.

It gives Edie some pause.

“It’s hard. It’s scary,” she told News 8. “You don’t know from one day or the next if you’re gonna be here or not.”

News 8 contacted the customer who left that blessing for Edie. His name is Jason Granger. He was visiting family for Christmas when he popped into Seven Villages for a bite to eat.

“I just wanted to make her day a little bit better,” Granger said. “It wasn’t some $10,000 tip from some millionaire you hear about on the news but it’s what I could do.”

“42 years of this; I finally feel appreciated,” she said.

Little did she know, Granger had more appreciation to give. Because after our interview Tuesday, he left behind another big tip.

“We’ll do another $100 for her so she can have a good Christmas time and New Year’s,” Granger said.

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