By Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporter
DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA – Last Sunday Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond had brunch at Che Restaurant in Delray Beach, and did his part to help support restaurant workers catch up for lost time with a $1,000 tip. The gesture caught national headlines and made a lot of new fans for the 6-foot, 11 inch professional basketball player.
When waitress Kassandra Diaz brought the signed check back to her station, she was shocked by the $1,000 on the tip line of the $164.25 bill. It had been signed by Andre Drummond, a 6-foot, 11 inch center for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“When I was given the checkbook, I went to put in the tip & information to close the table and I couldn’t believe it,” Diaz wrote on Instagram. “From a $160 check, the tip read $1,000. I was shaking and had tears of happiness after what he left me.”
“I had no idea how to react, I didn’t want to draw attention but at the same time I couldn’t describe the amount of appreciation I had/have,” Diaz added. “It’s so amazing to see people displaying acts of kindness in these uncertain times. This is a story I will never forget, thank you again so much @andredrummondd!!”
Drummond replied, saying “Thank you for being amazing!” It has been reported that Drummond, 26, earns more than $24 million a year, according to Forbes Magazine, and has endorsement deals with Nike and other companies that add $1 million a year to his earnings. He has played in the NBA for seven years.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the leisure and hospitality industry are among the worst hit by the coronavirus closures. Employment in that sector fell by 7.7 million in April nationwide, and almost three quarters of that is specifically in restaurants and bars, with 5.5 million of the job losses.
Restaurants in Palm Beach County reopened two weeks ago at 25 percent capacity, and are now allowed fifty percent occupancy indoors, and no restriction outdoors except tables must be six feet apart.
Che Restaurant opened in 2016 and offers Argentine and Spanish fare with a full bar, live music, dancing and waterfront views. Conceived in Buenos Aires, the restaurant concept was brought to life in Spain by brother-sister restaurateurs Daniela and Martin Sujoy.
In Spain they opened fifteen related Che restaurants in as many years. “Che” is a Spanish-language colloquial slang used for “friend”, and corresponds to expressions such as “mate”, “pal”, “man”, “bro”, or “dude”.
Daniela Sujoy, the co-owner and general manager of the restaurant, confirmed to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that Diaz could keep the entire tip.