The generosity of a customer made Good Friday especially enjoyable at Cavatore Italian Restaurant.
Owner Federico Cavatore said a longtime customer, who asked to anonymous, had left a $1,000 tip for a to-go order on Friday night. The tip was shared among the four servers who were working at the time and provided a morale boost for everyone at the family restaurant, located at 2120 Ella Blvd.
“Everybody was elated. Everyone was jumping up and down,” Cavatore said. “It changed the whole tempo.”
Like restaurants all over the Houston area and beyond, the COVID-19 pandemic has put an economic strain on Cavatore. Since March 17, all restaurants in Houston and Harris County have been restricted to drive-through, delivery and carryout service in an attempt to minimize crowds, promote social distancing and slow the spread of the upper-respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus strain.
Cavatore said to-go orders accounted for about one-third of the restaurant’s business before the pandemic.
“Things are tough,” he said.
Fortunately for fans of the neighborhood eatery, which opened more than 30 years, Cavatore said his restaurant is “not going anywhere.”
The unusually large tip, which came on an order worth $19.49, strengthened the resolve of Cavatore’s employees.
“We needed it,” Cavatore said. “It was something that did a lot for the morale of this staff.”