Celebrities like Donnie Wahlberg, Harry Styles, and Tom Selleck have all participated in the challenge

By Mary Honkus
January 11, 2021 06:27 PM
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At the start of 2020, some restaurant servers were surprised when they received $2,020 tips (a reference to the year) from some generous diners. And now, the tipping trend is continuing into the new year—with an extra dollar added on to celebrate 2021.

Known as the "2020 Tip Challenge" the tipping trend quickly gained momentum as celebrities like Donnie Wahlberg, Harry Styles and Tom Selleck continued spreading kindness and money during the year—which happened to come during one of the hardest times for the restaurant industry.

With the hospitality and restaurant industry still struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 Tip Challenged evolved into the "2021 Just Be Nice Challenge," which encourages people with the financial means to give away $2,021 to local businesses.

Miami Squeeze, a family-owned juice bar and restaurant in North Miami Beach, was one of the first places to benefit from the feel-good challenge. A regular diner at the establishment left a $2,021 tip on her $71.84 bill with a note saying "Happy New Year!!! Always love coming here."

"We can't even begin to express how thankful and humbled we are for our amazing customers who have kept us in business," Miami Squeeze wrote in a post, along with a photo of the receipt, on their Instagram page. "Last year was a tough year for everyone so we're so grateful to be able to start this new year like this. At Miami Squeeze we want you to see us as part of your family, the Squeeze Family. We are so blessed to have guests like these, who go above and beyond to support our small local business."

Other restaurants across the U.S. have also been recipients of the tipping challenge. According to Vail Daily, a family of three left a $2,021 tip on a $300 tab at Vin48 in Avon, Colorado.

"They left $1,100 for the kitchen, and $900 for the front of the house," Collin Baugh, Vin48 co-owner told Vail Daily. "And they wrote, 'Great vibe and great service. Happy New Year!'"

J.W. Filmore's restaurant in Petrosky, Michigan also hosted some generous diners. The Detroit News reported that a server was gifted a $2,021 tip on a $44 order with a note that read, "JBN Tip Challenge, Just Be Nice, 2021 Happy New Year."