10/16/23 By Gandharvika Gopal
The recently established $1,000 Breakfast Club made their most recent contribution of $1,300 to IHOP server Tulio Maldonado in Saugus, MA. The group visits different IHOP locations in the greater Boston area throughout the year for the sole purpose of leaving large tips for their waiters.
Richard Brooks founded the $1,000 Breakfast Club in January 2023. “For years, I’ve given out single $100 bills to people at random in appreciation for a job well done, or just to brighten their day,” the Boston lawyer said. Brooks, 63, started the group with a Facebook post calling for members: “We will find a small place where the server will be shocked to get $1000. It will be a fun quick morning breakfast and we will blow the mind of the server!”
Roberto Rivas was the second recipient of the $1,000 Breakfast Club’s generosity with a tip of $1,600. “Sixteen hundred dollars is unheard of,” Rivas said in a Washington Post article. “Servers work hard, but a tip this large is rare. I’m still amazed they wanted to surprise me like this.”
Rivas, 29, is a full time Spanish teacher at a Norwood, MA high school. He works as a server at two restaurants for extra money, where he usually receives tips of $200 or less for a six hour shift. Rivas and four other family members were granted humanitarian parole to work in the U.S. until December 2024 after immigrating from Venezuela in December 2022.
Established groups who leave large tips for servers are more common since the Covid-19 pandemic, including the 100 Dollar Dinner Club founded by Jimmy Rex in Utah. There is interest in forming chapters of the $1,000 Breakfast Club in Atlanta and Chicago. Brooks and fellow $1,000 Breakfast Club members hope other people will be inspired to form their own clubs in cities across the country.