It’s become an annual tradition for a group of friends, family and co-workers to go eat lunch at a random restaurant in Baton Rouge just days ahead of Christmas and surprise a waitress. The waiter or waitress is a luck of the draw. This year’s waitress, Daytona Alonzo had no idea what she was in store for when she had a group of 19 sit in her section at City Café.
“So far, this has been my first job so this is really all I know. I started as a hostess and just moved my way up,” said Alonzo.
Alonzo has worked at City Café for the past three years. Her smile alone let’s anyone know how much she truly loves her job, but it’s not easy especially when she makes only $2.13 an hour while the rest of her paycheck is based completely on tips from the public.
“I come here in the mornings and I pick up shifts whenever they have a chance,” said Alonzo. “With the holidays, sometimes you expect people to be more giving especially when you’re trying to give them the best spirit to them but things don’t work out especially if the kitchen is getting overwhelmed. Everybody is trying to come in and sometimes, not everyone has the best attitude and it gets to be stressful.”
The young waitress took care of the 19 patrons without any additional help. In fact, she’s actually pregnant while working on her feet all day.
“It’s a boy. March 4th is my due date. I’m just ready for the time to come,” said Alonzo.
With Christmas just days away, Alonzo said despite what she may want to do, she has to be realistic. She is on a waitress’ salary.
“Just making sure you have money for rent, make sure you have everything paid for and bills and not being able to give to the people who have given to me, it hurts,” said Alonzo.
So after a wonderful meal together, the group chose to put everything on one ticket. The total was roughly $333. Each person put up well over what their meal cost. They ended up with an additional $868 that would have been her tip.
But the group decided they wanted to make it an even $1,000 so everyone pulled out even more cash as they prepared to hand off their surprise!
“We really appreciate you taking such good care of all of us and we have an extra tip for you,” said Dana Bass, who has organized the annual lunch. “This is all my friends and we love to do this every year, we surprise a waitress. Here’s a $1,000 for you, actually more than $1,000 and this is your Christmas present.”
“Thank y’all so much! I appreciate that so much. Definitely set up way more than I thought I would be. I’m beyond blessed. I don’t even know how to feel right now! I’m shaking. Thank y’all, going to be taken care of,” said Alonzo!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!!