A picture of an Iowa couple’s restaurant receipt is gaining national attention after the pair turned a less-than-desirable experience into an opportunity to “pay it forward.”
Makenzie and Steven Schultz, who own a barbecue restaurant in Iowa, were having dinner at a Cedar Rapids restaurant Saturday night while celebrating their sixth wedding anniversary.
Upon entering the eatery, the couple noted it took 20 minutes to get their drinks in the understaffed restaurant.
“We could hear the other tables around us making negative comments about the service,” Makenzie told ABC News. “One table walked out and another stood up and told a group of people waiting for a table to leave.”
Instead of letting the situation bring them down, Makenzie told her husband they should make the most of their time together.
“I finally said to my husband, ‘Well, we have nowhere to be and everything is usually so rushed in our lives that this is kind of nice,” she explained to ABC News.
According to Makenzie, their server was waiting on nearly all of the patrons at the restaurant at the time of their visit.
“We tried to be as nice to him as possible and he was so nice to us,” she said.
After receiving their bill for $66, the Schultzs, who met while working at a restaurant eight years ago, decided to leave a tip of $100 and a sweet note saying, “We’ve been in your shoes. Paying it forward.”
After getting home for the night, Makenzie posted a picture of the receipt and the note on her Facebook page, along with an explanation why she and her husband left the generous tip.
“I just thought people give generous tips all the time and you see it on Facebook, but I wanted to post it because we had poor service and usually people will post about it complaining and I thought, ‘Let’s do the opposite,’” Shultz explained.
Since posting the picture to her Facebook page Saturday night, it has been shared more than 164,000 times and liked by more than 1.3 million people.
*ABC News contributed to this report.