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CEO tips Mass. waitress $5,000, issues challenge to Donnie Wahlberg

Near the end of her waitressing shift Saturday at the mostly empty Seaglass Restaurant in Salisbury, Jennifer Navaria seated a party of diners who had just caught a concert at the adjoining Blue Ocean Music Hall.

When their meal was done and the bill was paid, Navaria received a shock: The patrons left a $5,000 tip on a $157.56 bill.

After asking the man who left the tip — Boch Enterprises CEO Ernie Boch Jr. — if she could post about it on social media, Navaria shared the receipt on Facebook.

“Thank you Ernie Boch for your amazing generosity!,” Navaria wrote. “You certainly made a job I really enjoy that much better.”

Navaria told WCVB that she initially thought it was a $50 tip.

“I was, like, ‘Oh, wait a minute,’ so then I looked down again and I saw it was four digits, then a decimal point,” Navaria told the station. “I said, ‘You made my night,’ but, really, he made my month.”

Along with the sizable tip, Boch Jr. left a message on his receipt for actor Donnie Wahlberg, who earlier this year left a $2,020 tip as part of a “2020 challenge” at an IHOP in Illinois: “Your move, Donnie.”

“I saw the post that someone did about Donnie and the challenge, and I thought it was really cool,” Boch Jr. told Boston.com. “I don’t go out to eat that often, but when I do, it’s kind of an event, so I kept it in the back of my head.”

According to Boch Jr., by the time his party was seated at Seaglass, the restaurant was empty. With Navaria — who Boch Jr. called “an amazing person” — providing great service, the auto magnate decided to leave a big tip.

When Navaria asked if she could share the receipt on social media, Boch Jr. said he thought about it for a moment, but then decided it would be worthwhile if others were inspired to generously tip their waitstaff as well.

“Let’s keep it going,” Boch Jr. said. “I’m not just challenging Donnie. I’m challenging anyone with the means to take care of the people that take care of us.”


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