GREENSBORO, N.C. — Former NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson practices what he preaches.
The former Cincinnati Bengals star, who had seven seasons of 1,000 or more receiving yards during his 11-year career, left a $1,000 tip at a North Carolina restaurant on Wednesday, WXII-TV reported.
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed,” Johnson, 44, wrote on his bill at Stephanie’s Restaurant II in Greensboro, quoting Proverbs 11:25, the television station reported. Johnson was in town to watch his daughter compete in the AAU Junior Olympic Games, WXII reported. His bill for his dinner was $24.39, but he tacked on a $1,000 tip.
“I didn’t know who he was,” Najmah Monroe, the restaurant’s floor manager, told WFMY-TV. “I just thought he was another customer.”
Monroe waited on “Ochocinco” because her other servers were waiting on a large table. She noticed Johnson waiting to be seated and led him to a table.
“We have two servers in the dining room and I believe one of my servers, she had a party of 15 and then another one, she is brand new so she was running around trying to grab tables too, so we had three tables that hadn’t been greeted yet,” Monroe told the television station. “So we had been trying to run around, greet tables, grab drinks, do everything to help them.
“I went over and got his drink and I said someone will come over to get your order, but my other servers, they were still at their tables.”
Monroe wound up serving Johnson his meal, and after giving him the bill she was stunned by the tip.
“When I picked up the check and went back over here, I looked at it and saw all the zeros and I just opened my mouth,” Monroe told WFMY. “I looked at him and I was like, ‘For me?’ And he said yes, and I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh.’ I was just shocked.”
It is not the first time Johnson has been generous with his money.
In 2020, Johnson, who spent 10 of his seasons playing for the Bengals, paid an Ohio woman’s rent after she reached out to him on social media, telling him she was facing eviction, WXIX-TV reported.
On his tip to Monroe, Johnson included a little bit of trivia, writing, “I once scored 6 touchdowns in Madden using myself,” referring to the pro football video game.
Johnson certainly came up big for this server.
“If you aren’t a server, nobody will understand. Because we go through so much, especially now,” Monroe told WFMY. “We are short-staffed and we get so many people that treat us so bad. It’s a relief for someone to come in, being nice, and tip you well.”
©2022 Cox Media Group