AUSTIN, Texas - Since last Friday, Texas restaurants have been able to resume having guests sit down to enjoy meals. Softening these restrictions is great news for business owners, but one Northwest Austin restaurant received a huge token of gratitude: a $1300 dollar tip.
Frog & The Bull was barely open for about six months when COVID-19 hit Central Texas. Owner David Fernandez says they felt it in every way.
Fernandez has had a passion for food for years, so last November he opened Frog & the Bull, which serves its take on Iberian inspired food, best known for its Iberian style meatballs.
“From Spain, somewhat spicy seasoning with a tomato-based sauce done Iberian style but they’re a huge hit out here," Fernandez said. "Most people are familiar with a meatball but most people haven’t tried it the Spanish way.”
They’re also known for quality wines and lobster and steak, and that’s what one family ordered last Friday. It wasn’t a typical day of business though, as it was the first time dine-in guests were allowed since Gov. Greg Abbott eased restrictions in Texas.
“Josh came back frazzled about the guy’s request to double the bill and the demeanor was a little perplexing because it seemed like it was a bit of a problem," Fernandez said. However, there were no issues at all, in fact, the customer had discovered the restaurant before COVID-19 and was excited to take his family out.
That excitement was extended.
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“We were closing out at the end of the night and Josh noticed that he got a $300 tip almost half a bill on a bill that was doubled. It was incredible and he was so excited about it," Fernandez said. "Josh had actually missed the guy topped that by adding a thousand bucks to the house. So he had tipped us $1300 plus, I mean more than that, counting the fact that he doubled the bill.”
Fernandez says the great thing about the Steiner Ranch area is everyone has each other’s back. The husband and father of five has a son that’s about to graduate with the server who waited on that generous table.
Fernandez says he can’t put into words how gracious the entire community has been. “We can see that in numbers, tips to bill ratio. They straight up said we want to keep you alive. We want to get you by," he said.
Fernandez says they’ve stayed in the fight since the very beginning and the fight is far from over. “I’m a lean mean startup, close my doors and shut down, there’s no hiding under the covers for me, I go belly up, I’m done," he said.
Fernandez says their restaurant donated to a charity before COVID-19 and that same charity recently turned right around to give back to them. So it’s gifts that keep on giving.
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