How $40 tip turned into over $10,000 for Atlanta IHOP waitress

Facts about IHOP. IHOP, or International House of Pancakes, was founded by brothers Al and Jerry Lapin.The first IHOP opened July 7, 1958 in Toluca Lake, California.It celebrated its first National Pancake Day in 2005.In 2018, it briefly changed its name to IHOb or International House of burgers

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story misstated the money Jazmine Castillo received.

A waitress received over $10,000 after a Facebook post on her service went viral.

On a bustling Wednesday morning in IHOP, Jazmine Castillo was working her shift as a server. Castillo was serving food, checking up on tables, pouring coffees and tending to each customer. Meanwhile, Rita Williams was eating breakfast with her mother.

Williams couldn’t help but notice Castillo’s exceptional service and hard work. When it came time to pay the bill, Williams gave Castillo a $20 cash tip for a $30 meal, but it didn’t stop there.

Y’all… So today my mama and I went to ihop and had the best service! It was crazy crowded and our waitress was stretched...

Posted by Rita Rose on Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Castillo expressed gratitude for the tip before Williams pulled out another $20. Castillo was even taken further aback. She initially refused to take the full $40.

“I was like ‘It’s $40 take it’ and she’s like, ‘Oh my God, you don’t know how much this means to me. I wasn’t going to come to work today because it costs me $40 for daycare,’” Williams told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

On a typical day, Castillo makes around a $100 in tips, and half of it goes toward her child’s daycare and Castillo’s Uber to and from work. Williams later found out that Castillo hadn’t been receiving any federal financial assistance during the pandemic.

Before leaving, Williams asked for Castillo’s Cash App, “I had made a decision when I left and I was going to give her $500, for Christmas for her family,” said Williams.

Williams then took to Facebook, spreading Castillo’s story and her Cash App username.

It inspired a movement to pay it forward. People from all over sent money to the Atlanta waitress and she received $10,000. After her post, people began coming to the IHOP location.

Y’all… I just gotta share this with you. I wanted to go live but I look a mess… Jazmine just texted me this!!! People...

Posted by Rita Rose on Tuesday, December 14, 2021

“You wouldn’t believe the wave you caused,” Castillo wrote in a text to Williams. “A man came today asking if this is the IHOP where the blessing happened, and he tipped his server $200.”

Castillo still works at the IHOP and talks to Williams daily.

“It was the first of the month and I still hadn’t paid my rent,” Castillo told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I don’t have to worry about rent for this month or the next. I was able to send my mom money for her medication.”

Castillo got into a car accident earlier this year and she was putting the money she received towards saving up for a new car. However, two days ago, Williams gave Castillo a small car from her childhood. Now, Castillo can go to and from work without spending money on Uber.

“I am really grateful. I can’t express how grateful I am to total strangers. For my baby, she gets to struggle a little less,” said Castillo. “I really hope God multiplies your blessings by a thousand. I am grateful to Rita. She is just a giving soul and spirit. I don’t know where she finds it in her heart to give so much.”