Big tips at Huntsville business help workers endure tough times

One small business co-owner said, in 53 years, they've never seen tip amounts this high.

Posted: Oct 14, 2021 5:56 PM
Updated: Oct 15, 2021 11:30 AM

While tipping isn't mandatory, the generous act of kindness can leave a lasting impression among businesses, particularly while many are struggling to stay afloat through the pandemic.

Lee's Magic Tunnel Car Wash in Huntsville has recently been the beneficiary of some exorbitant tip amounts.

"We had one customer come in and leave $850," said Ronnie Brown, part-owner of Lee's Magic Tunnel Car Wash.

The generosity didn't stop there. Brown said he and his staff have also received tips of $350. As recent as last week, someone left a $100 tip.

In the 53 years that the business has been in Huntsville, those tip amounts are unprecedented.

"We've never in the history of the car wash seen tips of that magnitude," Brown said.

Tips of that significance are split among the entire staff. 

John Donegan, a loyal customer of the car wash for 15 years, said he recognizes the sacrifices people have made during the pandemic, and he finds himself tipping more.

"My tips have definitely increased," said Donegan.

Donegan said he's also noticed how businesses are struggling through the pandemic.

"I've seen a lack of employees, and because of that, the lines are long. The wait time is long," he said.

But at Lee's, things are different, according to Donegan.

"They have plenty of employees, so the line is not long," Donegan said. "They get you in and out, so they're doing a real good job here."

When it comes to giving a little extra, Donegan said he understands the value in looking out for one another, especially when times are rough.

"I think we all need to help each other out," he said.

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