Colorado family leaves surprise $2,021 tip for Vin48 staff

’They were just a really nice family'

A Colorado family dining at Vin48 in Avon recently left a generous tip on a $300 tab. The family opted to remain anonymous. (Chris Dillmann

As much of the world returns to the daily grind after the holiday season, they’re still celebrating 2021 at Vin48. Actually, make that $2,021. On Sunday, a family of three left that as a tip on a $300 tab at the Avon restaurant.

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

The family opted to remain anonymous, but it’s possible it was part of the “2021 Just Be Nice Challenge,” a movement that calls for people with the financial means to do so, to give tips worth $2,021 at local businesses. But regardless of the inspiration, it certainly made a big impact on the spirits of the crew at Vin48.

“It was really nice especially for the kitchen to be recognized for all of their hard work, in creating all of those dishes,” said Carly Dierolf, the server who waited on them. “We servers are constantly getting tipped for our service and the back of the house doesn’t get tipped for their hard work. It was great to see all the guys be so happy about it.”

The party of three included two parents and their adult son, who was perhaps college-aged. They spoke of their annual tradition of vacationing in Beaver Creek the week after Christmas, but this was the first time they’d ventured down the hill to eat at Vin48.

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“They were just a really nice family,” Dierolf said. “They seemed super down to earth. Even in the beginning of our conversation, they were interested in how we were doing because of the pandemic. They asked about our yurts, and said where they were from in Colorado, restaurants were using ice-fishing tents. They thought it was cool that people were using tents and being creative, to keep their restaurants open.”

The kitchen divided its share equally between the staff, meaning the dishwashers and the chefs all left with the same amount of cash in their pockets. Likewise, the front of the house divided its share equally — which is how they always do it at Vin48.

A full-time outpatient clinician and therapist, Dierolf waits tables part-time.

“I’ve been in the service industry for over 13 years, and Vin’s my favorite restaurant I’ve ever worked at,” she said. “Everyone on staff cares about their positions, about the guests who come in. And I feel like they take care of the employees, too. I like my coworkers and I like the owners.”

As for the kitchen staff, it was a boost for morale, certainly, but it doesn’t change how they approach their job. As one chef put it, “This is about those people’s act of kindness. We just did the same thing we always do: put out excellent food.”

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