Stranger Pays a Mom’s Restaurant Bill After Overhearing Her Terrible News

Love It! 56

diner's noteI love a good story about a random act of kindness, don't you? A man dining alone just happened to notice the mother and daughter sitting at the next table over. They were dealing with terrible news -- so he picked up their restaurant tab. Such a simple gesture, but I have to think it must have softened the women's pain just a little. Can you imagine getting terrible news -- and then learning that someone out there wanted to make things better for you, in their own small way?

A waiter noticed the mother and daughter crying at their table. About halfway through their meal, the single man sitting at the next table passed him a note -- which the waiter later posted on Reddit. It read, "Do me a favor and bring me their check, too. Someone just got diagnosed. Don't tell them."

It's interesting that he mentioned that someone had just been diagnosed. I think he probably wanted to make it clear that he wasn't hitting on either of them -- that would have been creepy and weird under the circumstances. (Paying a stranger's bill as a romantic gesture isn't creepy and weird in an of itself, just when the recipient is in the middle of an emotional crisis.) Obviously remaining anonymous was the best thing to do, too. I think when you remain anonymous in a good deed, the feelings of gratitude spread wider, and that's better for everyone.

Paying someone else's restaurant tab isn't going to change bad news. But it can fill you with some of the positive energy you'll need to deal with it, whatever that bad news is.

Have you ever paid someone's restaurant bill anonymously?


Image via Whiskkas/Reddit

eating out, restaurants


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D.j. Lord

great story..hopefully it wasnt a con job..worked in a restaurant...heard and saw it all...saw a woman fake a heart attack one time..another said her mother had died...

nonmember avatar J

My friend was going through the McDonald's drive through and when they pulled up to pay the lady said that the guy in the car in front of her had paid for her meal. It was such a simple gesture but she passed it on by asking if she could pay for the person's behind her. Love these stories.

nonmember avatar Michelle

Awesome story :-) mg husband and I took our baby to a restaurant after the zoo on a Sunday and an older man was eating alone. He kept saying how playful and alert the baby was, cute, and just made him smile. When my husband left to pay I texted him to pay his tab too- it couldn't have been over $7.00 but I'm sure it shocked him. Nobody should have to eat alone on Sundays...he looked between 85-90. Such a sweet man :-)

joann... joannawaddoups

I had just finished boot camp and was in the airport going to a school and a woman paid for my meal and left a note saying when she was in the navy women had a stigma and that she was proud to see the tradition of strong women continuing  on.. that has stuck with me for years..

and once after my daughter was born a couple (we still dont know wo but i suspect it was the diner itself) paid for our dinner because we were a young couple and  on the road..

Becky Sumner

We do that on a regular basis. My daughter who is now 17 also does this. We paid for an elderly mans meal one day because she wanted to and when we were leaving she said, 'I feel so wonderful right now mom'. How great is that?

Emily79 Emily79

I was on a trip to OK to a conferance with my aunt, uncle, and three terminally ill cousins.  An older gentleman paid our tab for breakfast one day.  My uncle went to pay and the casheir told him that a gentleman had already paid for him and wanted to tell him he had a beuatiful family.  So nice! 


Sept-... Sept-babies2

When i was a teen and worked at wendy's fast food i would see alot of people pay for the car behind them. I have also had someone pay for my coffee in the drive thru. It is very nice and people do it all the time.

fanta... fantasticfour

I try to pay for military, emts, firemen and cops whenevery I have the money.  If these guys didn't eat in groups of 4-20 I could do it more often :)

Lori Hammer Hull

This "pay if forward" movement has swept through our town. Check it out.!/AJOforeverinourhearts

shygu... shygurl3166

My husband paid for an elderly woman's items at the store the other day when her card wouldn't work. The lady was so someone being kind is something she never sees. Sad that in today's world an act of kindness is surprising.

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