Servers might tell you there's a special place in hell for folks who stiff the wait staff, but the mysterious big-spending, nightlife-loving patron who goes by the handle "Tips For Jesus" has been spreading the gospel of giving to Chicago, South Bend, Ind. and other towns across the country.
The tipper, who leaves outrageously large gratuities and allegedly asks only to be identified by the Instagram handle "tipsforjesus," plunked down $3,000 on a $373 bill at Wicker Park restaurant The Boundary as well as, according to Eater, a $5,000 tip at River North's Paris Club sometime in October.
The tagline for the Tips For Jesus Instagram account, created in September, lists its mission as "doing the Lord's work, one tip at a time."
The handle and often a brief note are left on each receipt (along with those huge tips). According to the server who received the surprise tip at The Boundary, the tipster's only request was that she not divulge his name.
As the server Sarah, who asked that her last name not be used, told the Sun-Times, four men came into the bar "earlier this fall" and ordered drinks and appetizers and behaved friendly but "certainly not loud or showy."
“He was just so nice — kind of soft-spoken,” Sarah said of the tipster. “They were all really nice. It was quite shocking to me.”
While the large heart (or at least deep wallet) behind Tips For Jesus may have wished to remain anonymous, Wednesday Gawker's Valley Wag blog outed the tipster as Jack Selby -- one of the original founders of PayPal.
Selby's Facebook suggests his friends already appear to be "in on the secret," adding that a tipster tells them "all the Jesus talk is a joke."
Joke or not, Sarah and the other lucky recipients of Tips For Jesus are probably in Seventh Heaven over the generous gratuity.