Dayton-area waitresses get massive tip from ‘Breakfast Santas’ — and group plans to strike again

Lisa Tudor has been slinging breakfast at Bob Evans restaurant for more than 20 years.

About 15 years ago, she got a $200 tip from a patron.

That didn’t prepare her for the massive Friday the 13th tip she received from a group she waited on at the Bob Evans in Beavercreek — a $1,400 tip.

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“It’s just mind-blowing,” Tudor said of the gesture from a local group calling itself the Breakfast Santas. “I am grateful. It is just amazing, amazing.”

Tudor, a mother of four and grandmother to three, shared the money with fellow server Susan Best. 

Both served the group during the busy morning breakfast rush.

Tudor said they also shared the love with others in the restaurant including the restaurant’s cook, who like them is a working mom.

Credit: Vicki Edwards Giambrone

Credit: Vicki Edwards Giambrone

Tudor say the extra money will go toward her family’s Christmas.

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“Christmas is pretty lean sometimes,” she said. “It is based on our customers and how much they leave on the table.”

The "Breakfast Santas" outing was organized by Vicki Giambrone, who read a Facebook post about a similar effort in another community.

She invited friends and connections to breakfast, asking them to each bring a $100 bill.

Giambrone arrived to the restaurant ahead of her group and was surprised to find Best, whom she just happens to have grown up with in Jamestown, working in the restaurant.

“Our moms were friends,” Giambrone said.

The Beavercreek resident told this news organization that her own mother was a waitress before getting a job in advertising at the “Xenia Daily Gazette” and then the “Dayton Daily News.”

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“I remember how stressed my mom was around the holidays,” she said.

There were lots of tears when the money was given to Best and Tudor, Giambrone said.

With the Memorial Day tornadoes, mass shooting and other traumatic events, Giambrone said the Dayton area has had a tough year.

“There are a lot of people who need to know there are people who care about them,” she said.

She said the Breakfast Santas plan to strike other restaurants in the region to surprise servers in the coming weeks.

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The group will target areas impacted heavily by the tornadoes.

Tina Rezash Rogal was among the Breakfast Santas to chip in $100.

For several weeks following the tornadoes, Rogal volunteered with Miamisburg-based Bogg Ministries to provide food for those in need.

She considers her part in Breakfast Santas a continuation of that.

“It is just a terrific way to remember and never forget that there are still people struggling six months after the tornadoes,” she said.

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