Former NFL Star Chad Johnson Leaves $1,000 Tip for Single Mother Waitress

by Amy Myers
(Photo by Francis Dean/Corbis via Getty Images)

Christmas came early for one Tampa waitress when Chad Johnson sat at one of her tables. After finishing dinner at Bar Louie on November 26, the former Bengals wide receiver left a huge tip and a sweet message for the hardworking woman.

“Merry X-mas early, you can catch the Black Friday sales,” Ochocinco wrote on the check along with the thousand-dollar gratuity.

Of course, this was just another one of Chad Johnson’s many acts of kindness, but his waitress, Kayla Ashby, went back to the former NFL star to be sure he didn’t make a mistake (or perhaps have one too many drinks with dinner). Once Johnson revealed that what he wrote was correct. Naturally, Ashby thanked the former wide receiver.

According to TMZ, Ashby has a young son named Zaith. Together, the mother and son will have a memorable Christmas all thanks to the very generous restaurant guest.

Chad Johnson Is Easily the Best Restaurant Patron Ever

We often hear about celebrities who shell out a chunk of change for average Joe’s and Jane’s of the world. But it seems this happens more often around the holidays when the world seems to be in the giving spirit. Chad Johnson, in particular, has shown his fans that he’s more than willing to spread a little holiday cheer.

In November last year, Johnson demonstrated that his generosity isn’t just a one-time occurrence. After dining at a Miller’s Ale House in Jacksonville, the former NFL star felt that a 20% tip just wasn’t enough. So, he tipped his server the NFL’s leader in receiving yards at the time – which amounted to $963.

Server Michael Formanek couldn’t help but share the happy news with his local station. According to the report, Formanek had been out of work for six months because of the pandemic, so the extra cash from Chad Johnson was a huge help.

“The plans for this money, it’s definitely going to help Christmas, it’s definitely going to help pay a couple of bills. Probably take Mom to a nice dinner,” he shared.

Just a couple of weeks later, Johnson was at it again at another Florida restaurant. This time, Ochocinco headed to Havana’s in Cooper City. But unlike his other dining experience, Johnson felt a bit guilty about his presence.

According to Chad Johnson’s tweet, he was “being somewhat of an inconvenience” to the staff, so he decided to compensate them for the extra work. For each minute that he kept them past their closing time, Johnson promised to tip them $100.

And he kept his promise. Johnson left the restaurant at 10:13 and left a $1,300 gratuity along with a messsage that read, “sorry for keeping you at work 13 minutes after closing.”