Johnny’s Tavern employees get $50,000 tip to split
LAW, KS (KCTV) – Before the KU men’s basketball team advanced into the Elite Eight, there were plenty of reasons to cheer at the Johnny’s North Lawrence venue, as staff members lined up behind the bar and mentioned offered a sum of $50,000 to divide them.
March Madness means an insane asylum in Lawrence just like Johnny’s. Need 2/3 of their staff, 40 people in small positions, always at the forefront of action.
“But it was fun. Everyone was so excited about KU here. It was like everyone cheering together and everything. It was like a big party,” said waiter Zoe Madeline McLoughlin.
She and chef Jalen Galloway don’t have much to say about the hard part, save for a few greasy burns, the best part is the same for both.
“The best part of being a chef is getting compliments from customers honestly. You’ll pass by and they’ll say, ‘That’s a great pizza.’ [And I’ll say] “Ah, appreciate it, appreciate it,” said Galloway
“Like, I have a lot of people come in and ask, ‘Can I sit in Zoe’s part?’ And it makes you feel good,” says McLoughlin.
They don’t know what comes from Lexy Burke, a Nashville TikToker known as the “Serial Queuer”.
In 2020, she started asking her followers to put change in a Venmo so she could deliver some pretty big surprise tips. We’re talking $250 to $1,000 and sometimes more.
“We get a lot of emotions. We make people cry, we make people dance, we make people completely shocked. A lot of people think it’s a joke sometimes, and then we just get people who are super happy and even want to pay later,” said Burke.
She raised $300,000 for 168 people.
“It’s just crazy. All the people who want to contribute just to see the smile on someone’s face on social media,” she commented.
Friday night, just before recess, Johnny’s owner asked all employees to come behind the bar to make an announcement. Burke informed them that they would split the tip of $50,000. That includes both the front and back of house staff, cooks and dishwashers, who usually never have been.
“I have never had this. I have never had this. Felt really special for us,” one of them said.
“The amount is amazing. But another thing that I think it just goes to show is that no matter how much the world may be disturbed, the world is still full of good people,” said a manager working behind the bar.
This time the tip was not sponsored by the crowd. Ally Bank financed the deal for what they called Ally Tip Off and hired Burke to do the announcement. Although there were about 40 people working Friday, Johnny’s owner Rick Renfro said he would split it among his entire staff about 60, including those not on the schedule for game night. Play Sweet Sixteen. Split up, that amounts to over $800 each.
Those serving a good time to Jayhawks fans aren’t the only ones getting a little love. They also cover the first half tab (up to $15,000) for customers and do the same for employees and fans at the Arizona Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks and Providence Friars bars.
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