It has been a great week for a couple of servers at restaurants here in Grand Rapids. Two waitresses have received a big tip by two different groups.

First it was a group called Generosity Lunch. Eleven people showed up at Brann's Steakhouse and Grille on Leonard Street, had lunch, and left a $1,038.77 tip for a waitress named Taylor. You can read about that story here.

After writing the story about Taylor's huge tip, I was alerted that a similar size tip was also given to another server in Grand Rapids last week. It happened at a very small little restaurant called the Choo Choo Grill, located on the corner of Plainfield and Leonard on the city's northeast side. The restaurant has been family owned since 1957.

Choo Choo Grill
Photo: Google Maps

On Thursday, February 10th, one of the area's favorite chefs -- Chef Jenna Arcidiacono, owner of Amore Trattoria Italiana, made a stop at the Choo Choo Grill for Tip Back Thursday (#tipbackthursday).

In this case, Jenna asked an unnamed server what her biggest tip had ever been. The response from one of the other servers in the restaurant was $100. At that point Chef Jenna handed the server five $100 bills. But that's not all. The person who recorded the video also handed over an additional five "Benjamins", for a total of a $1,000 tip!

Here is the recording of the presentation of the tip...

The Choo Choo Grill was nominated by Terry Johnston. In her Facebook post, Jenna commented that "Dad has a bionic arm -- trying to heal -- but he’s still at the grill. One of his lovely daughters was there helping him out."

Chef Jenna has also received a few rewards in the past. In 2020, she was featured on Mike Rowe's Facebook show, "Returning the Favor", and was given $10,000 to continue feeding frontline workers free of charge.

In 2021, she was named "Newsmaker of the Year" by the Grand Rapids Business Journal.

Most recently, she appeared on the "Rachel Ray Show" in September of 2021. Rachel has just kicked off a new series, called "BESTaurants", that celebrates the best neighborhood restaurants across the country -- as chosen by her viewers. Here is that segment...

That's over $2,000 in tips handed out in Grand Rapids in just a week's time. Let's see if this streak continues!

If you would like to visit Chef Jenna's restaurant -- Amore Trattoria Italiana is located at 5080 Alpine Avenue in Comstock Park.


LOOK: Food history from the year you were born

From product innovations to major recalls, Stacker researched what happened in food history every year since 1921, according to news and government sources.

More From 98.7 WFGR