Jennifer Navaria ran out to try and find Ernie Boch Jr and point out the huge tip but he had driven off. "I was shaking. And it was, like, really unbelievable," she said. "It’s huge. You see this happening, but you would never think of it happening to you."

By Ian Horswill


Posted on February 5, 2020

The billionaire CEO and President of Boch Enterprises, Ernie Boch Jr, has issued a challenge after leaving a $5,000 tip at a restaurant.

Jennifer Navaria was working at the upmarket Seaglass Restaurant and Lounge in Salisbury, Massachusetts, and was waiting on a table of four, which included Ernie Boch Jr, who owns a string of car dealerships in Norwood, which is an hour’s drive away.

It was the last table of the night for Navaria. She chatted with Ernie Boch Jr and his friends and brought them their food before leaving a US$157 check.

She returned to find what she initially thought was a US$50 tip.

Ernie Boch Jr, Salisbury, Massachusetts

“There was no decimal point in what I thought was 50,” Navaria told Fox23. “But then when I went to the bottom (with the total), it was four digits, then a decimal point. So that’s when I knew it was not $50.”

The total Ernie Boch Jr paid was US$5,157.56, a tip more than 3,000% of the actual food and drinks bill.

Navaria ran out to try and find Boch and point out the tip but he had driven off.

“I was shaking. And it was, like, really unbelievable,” Navaria said. “It’s huge. You see this happening, but you would never think of it happening to you.”

Navaria sent Ernie Boch Jr a private message on Facebook before sharing her experience publicly on her page.

“I already thoroughly enjoy my job, but you (Boch) just made it that much better,” Navaria said of her message to him. “And you made my night. But in fact, he really made my month.”

Boch told Boston 25 News that he was inspired by the 2020 tipping challenge started by New Kids on the Block singer Donnie Wahlberg, who is also from Massachusetts.

Wahlberg’s wife, Jenny McCarthy, posted a picture on social media, showing a US$2,020 tip he left on an US$87 bill for a server at an Illinois IHOP on New Year’s Day. The challenge has gone viral, encouraging other generous diners to support their hardworking servers.

“Waiters and waitresses, they’re such fine people,” Boch said. “It really hit me, and I wanted to do it. I wanted to take that challenge, and I couldn’t figure out when or where. But when I saw Jennifer, and Jennifer took care of our table, that’s when I said, ‘Here is when I’m going to do the challenge.'”

Boch wrote on the receipt “Donnie, your move, Ernie”.

“Who’s making the next move? Who’s it going to be? Who’s going to help us out?” said Ernie Boch Jr before being asked how much the next tip should be.

“It’s got to be more than me. I was more than Donnie, it’s got to be more than me. Let’s keep it going.”

Navaria said she is only beginning to consider what to do with the money but said she will likely pay off some bills and donate to an animal shelter.