BOSTON (WPRI) — Last week, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker extended the 25% capacity limit at restaurants for another two weeks, causing more strain on local businesses.
But Wednesday night, six establishments in the Boston area got an added boost of money, and hope, from a prominent figure in the community.
Remember the 2020 tip challenge? A waitress at the Harvest Market in Swansea was the recipient of a mystery tip of $2,020, but that challenge came to an end once the pandemic hit.
However, a new year means a new challenge. Car magnate and philanthropist Ernie Boch Jr. filled six mysterious envelopes with $2,021 in cash and left them on tables at six restaurants.
“I usually cook,” Boch said. “I don’t get takeout that often, but when I do, I can just see the problems that are there, and I encourage anybody that can do it, please support the industry.”
Boch and a friend decided to discretely enjoy their time at each of the restaurants and leave the envelope of cash next to the receipt before leaving.
“One of the most mind-boggling things that’s happened to me in the 10 years of doing this,” bartender Conor Gallivan said.
Gallivan works at Corner Tavern in Boston, one of the restaurants Boch visited, and said the money will pay his rent for a month.
Boch didn’t stop at the generous tips. He took the challenge to another level by announcing a $1 million donation to a restaurant fund set up to help small businesses.