North Austin sushi restaurant gets unexpected gift from loyal customer

As restaurants allow for dine-in seating, one in north Austin received some much-needed help from one of their loyal customers.

“One of our servers brought the receipt to me and I looked at the amount and said holy cow,” said Steve Riad, owner of Tomodachi.


With their dine-in option only being back open for a few days, the sushi restaurant recently had a customer leave a tip in an amount they never expected. “He told me we deserve it and that makes me tear up so,” said Riad.

At the time the staff thought it was just a friendly check-up from one of their regular customers but it wasn’t till the end of the night that they took a closer look at the check. The amount written on the tip line was $1000. “So I had to really read it trust me. I had to read it, is it 100, is it 1000. I had to really count the zeros, it was shocking and a warm feeling,” said Riad.


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Riad said the regular, who wishes to remain anonymous, just walked in, bought the staff drinks and left. He didn’t even mention the tip. “I immediately texted him. He texted me back saying he wanted to help us and support us,” said Riad.

Riad said he and his staff couldn’t be more grateful. “He wanted us to share amongst our servers and the sushi bar,” said Riad.

Like other businesses,  Riad said these past several weeks during the pandemic haven’t been easy for the sushi restaurant. Part-timers had to be furloughed and staff hours were cut. “If I said I wasn’t worried, I would be lying,” said Riad.

RELATED: Customer leaves $1300 tip at Northwest Austin restaurant

Riad said It’s these selfless acts from their customers that help shine hope during these trying times.

“Not only him, there are a lot of other customers that don’t get this spotlight but have left us numerous generous tips and I just want to thank all of them for what they have been doing for us,” said Riad.


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