The breakfast group that always tips $1000

Richard Brooks, a Boston Lawyer, had a crazy idea to start a breakfast club where the goal was to leave a $1000 tip for the server.

a pile of money sitting on top of a white table

‘I want to start a group to go to breakfast, 10 of us, and we each bring $100 to tip the waiter,’

Richard Brooks wrote on Facebook.

The idea for this group came to Brooks after his brother mentioned that he had once gone out to lunch with a group of men who all left $100 bills for the waiter.  It offered a life changing opportunity, according to Brooks.

For years, Brooks had given out $100 bills to people at random as appreciation for a job well done, or to help brighten their day.  But what if he could pool his resources with those of 9 other people to make a truly life changing moment for someone?

Thus, the $1000 breakfast club was born.

The Facebook Post

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Brooks made a post on his Facebook page asking people to join him on a breakfast outing where they would each bring a $100 bill to tip the waiter.  The response was overwhelming.  Several people signed up to attend the breakfast, and others who couldn’t attend actually sent Brooks the $100 to tip on their behalf.  On their first outing to an IHOP in Framingham, MA earlier this year, the group surprised their server by leaving her a $1300 tip.

In the words of Brooks:

I chose IHOP since they take bigger tables and I also knew that breakfast was a time when waiters aren’t making as many tips because the bill is usually lower than for lunch or dinner.


Expanding the Group

sittin people beside table inside room

After the success of their first breakfast outing, the group decided to continue going to a different IHOP each month in neighboring cities surrounding the Boston area.  They chose IHOP because they were able to be seated at a large table with a single server.  It made more of an impact to bless one person with the entire amount, according to Brooks who says he always picks up the tab for the group’s meal, not including the tips.

The size of the club has now grown to over 20 people, many of whom did not know one another prior to joining.  Most can’t attend every breakfast, but nevertheless the group is now large enough that each breakfast outing makes an impact on the server.

According to the group’s first member, Janet Meaney:

“It’s a small effort for us, but the impact it has on those recipients is huge.  It’s a wonderful way to thank hard working people.”


Meaney, who is 73, enjoys the act of giving, but says she also does it for the camaraderie.

The act of blessing others

open book

2 Corinthians 9:7 tells us:

“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

This group certainly has figured out that “cheerful giving” can make a huge impact on not just the receiver, but also upon the giver.

Still, the impact on the servers who have received these gifts has been profound. Roberto Rivas, an IHOP server in Norwood, MA, had this to say after being handed a $1600 tip:

“Sixteen hundred dollars is unheard of. Servers work hard, but a tip this large is rare. I’m still amazed they wanted to surprise me like this.”


A bright Future

Brooks has heard from other like minded folks in cities like Atlanta and Chicago that are interested in starting similar breakfast clubs.  He says he’d love to see this concept catch on and spread nationwide.  For now, he’s content with doing one good deed at a time, one breakfast at a time.

Personally, this author can’t wait to see what the future holds for groups like this.  For all the division, bickering, and vitriol in this country today, this story serves as a bright spot; a reminder of our humanity and how important it is to reach out and be generous and kind.




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Jay Scott is an author, speaker, and entrepreneur who enjoys a good story! Stories that help us understand the human condition are at the heart of what he likes to explore and write about. Jay lives in Texas with his wife and two children.

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