An unnamed Samaritan decided to spend a good two hours of his day at a Utah Denny’s restaurant. Upon entering the establishment, he requested to be seated at a table where he would be served by a single mother. In the 120 minutes that elapsed during the man’s stay, seven families dined at the eatery; each of their tickets was paid by the man.
When asked why he chose to pay over $1,000, the man relayed his story of having lost all of his family and that family was the most important thing in the world. After paying for his food and leaving a $1,500 tip, it was discovered that his server had been caring for a son while living at a homeless shelter. The single mother and waitress had prayed for something positive to happen in the near future and the Samaritan’s act of kindness was just the thing to keep the waitress out of the shelter for at least a week.
Although Utah’s minimum wage has been $7.25 since the beginning of 2014, minimum wage is handled differently when it comes to the food service industry. Food service wages are checked against tips earned, if tips are low or nonexistent, managers must pay the difference; consistently poor tips can result in reduced hours or even being let go from the job.
While the single mother’s story is heart-breaking, Utah has been leading the nation in methods of treating homelessness; some accounts claim that Utah has reduced the problem of homelessness by a whopping 91% over the past decade. A large part of this success is a program that gives housing to individuals consistently struggling to find a permanent residence.