Workers at a Waffle House in Charlotte, North Carolina, got the tip of a lifetime when actor and pop star Donnie Wahlberg stopped by for a bite to eat.
The 47-year-old “Blue Bloods” star ate at the chain restaurant the evening of July 12, leaving a $2,000 tip on an $82.60 bill, according to People.
“My mom waited tables, and my dad tended bars — for years!” Wahlberg wrote on his Instagram page next to an image of the receipt. “So, when I walk into a [Waffle House], and the staff treats me like a king, you better believe I treat them like queens! Thanks to the team at [Waffle House] Charlotte, NC!”
The Instagram post has been liked more than 57,000 times.
The New Kids on the Block singer also gave the staff front row tickets and backstage passes to an upcoming concert on the band’s Total Package Tour, which also includes Boyz II Men and Paula Abdul.
While he was waiting for his food, Wahlberg addressed his friends and followers using Facebook live.
“This Waffle House is happening,” he says in the video. “We need to come to Charlotte more often. This Waffle House is love. Everyone’s in a good mood in this Waffle House. Southern hospitality.”
“We’re just going to have to invite this whole Waffle House to the concert tomorrow,” he adds, before asking individual workers if they would like to attend, encouraging them to call off work.
“You gotta be sick [tomorrow],” he tells a waitress named Trina. “We’re going to give you tickets. Everyone’s going.”
Another night …
— Donnie Wahlberg (@DonnieWahlberg) July 1, 2017
A server named Jasmine was given extra tickets so that she could bring her mother to the concert.
“She was so nice — we’re giving you backstage passes and tickets tomorrow for your mom too,” Wahlberg says. “She’s bringing her mom. She’s coming tomorrow, she’s going to meet Boyz II Men and all the New Kids.”
Waffle House is one of Wahlberg’s favorite restaurants. He has been livestreaming his visits to various locations across the country throughout the Total Package Tour, which began in May.
In June, following a meal at a Waffle House in Edgewood, Maryland, Wahlberg left the overnight staff a generous $500 tip.
“There were two servers and a cook, and he left a $500 tip for the three of them to split,” employee Jessica Reed told People. “They took a picture together and he was apparently really awesome.”
Reed works in the morning and so was not present when Wahlberg stopped in at 3 a.m.
“When I came in at 6 o’clock in the morning, the overnight shift was bragging about it,” she said.
Wahlberg posed an image of himself with two of the staff on Twitter, writing: “Great crew at [Waffle House] in Edgewater MD! Thanks for the awesome service! Night Made!”