Janet Ballard has been a waitress at Cracker Barrel for more than 12 years, but had never experienced anything like she what awaited her at work on Wednesday (Dec. 11).
Ballard was working her usual shift at the Dublin, Georgia, Cracker Barrel when a party of 12 arrived and asked management to give them their best server. The 53-year-old waitress was given the task and cheerfully served the large party. When the group was done eating they handed Ballard a Christmas card. Inside she found 12 $100 bills.
“I read the card and it had Scriptures on it, which let me know they were good people,” Ballard, a mother of two grown children, told Today.
“Counting the money, I got so choked up by the time I got to $400. They wanted me to count out loud. By the time I got to $400 I was like ‘oh my goodness this is really happening,'” Ballard said. “I got so emotional and I don’t really like to cry with a camera in my face, but I didn’t even care at this point. I had 12 total strangers saying, ‘Hey, we care enough about you because of how you made us feel while we were dining and we want to be a blessing to you and your family.'”
The group of 12 diners, all Christian churchgoers, intend to make their generosity an annual Christmas tradition, calling their meal with Ballard their “1st Annual 100 Dollar Breakfast.”
“What a wonderful day with friends as we celebrate our 1st Annual 100 dollar breakfast,” one of the patrons, James Deal, shared on Facebook. “We all gave our waitress Janet a $1,200 tip. May God have the Glory for all that is done in his name. Merry Christmas Janet!!!!”
What a wonderful day with friends as we celebrate our 1st Annual 100 dollar breakfast. We all gave our waitress Janet a…
But, this was just the beginning of the “100 Dollar Breakfast” movement. Some members of the original group visited their local IHOP Sunday morning and surprised an unsuspecting server by taking turns handing her $100 bills.
“We came here and we prayed for you before we started and we asked the Lord to lead us to the person that really needed to see him show up in their lives,” a woman behind a camera told the waitress. “I just wanted you to know that I have a friend named Jason and he wanted to tip you $100 today. And I have a friend named Ricki Sue who wanted to tip you $100 today.”
The waitress can’t hold back her tears as each person at the table takes turns handing her $100 bills, adding up to a $500 tip. Watch the touching moment unfold in the video below.