'Shock and Claus' stuns Midvale business with big tips on Christmas Eve

Posted at 5:20 PM, Dec 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-24 19:20:18-05

MIDVALE, Utah — To say it’s been a challenging year for small businesses across Utah and the country would be an understatement, and businesses that depend on foot traffic have been especially hard hit by the pandemic.

The Landmark Grill, a local favorite in Midvale, Utah, had to close it’s doors for eight weeks starting in March.

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After reopening, owner Mariann Jesse was relieved to have so many of her staff return to their positions.

“They could have stayed home on unemployment and probably made a lot more money than coming back to work, but they all came back to work,” Jesse said.

These days, even with masks on, The Landmark is a place where customers take comfort in good food and friendly faces.

READ: Park City economy recovering from COVID-19 shut downs

But on Christmas Eve morning, The Landmark was busy serving a small crowd of new faces.

Elaine Zambos, of Utah Key Real Estate is part of a group of realtors, family, and friends, who organize something they call “Shock and Claus.” The idea is to pick a restaurant, meet there, eat, and tip big!

In total, the staff at Landmark Grill received over $3,800 dollars in tips from the group. The money will be split evenly among the small staff, including cooks and dishwashers who don’t often get tips.

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“This is gonna make it so that we are above water a little bit,” said Leo Madrigal who has worked at Landmark Grill for ten years.

“Honestly, I had to use my savings for Christmas this year, so I’ll probably replace my savings, and that’s amazing,” said server Shyla Nelson.

Zambos says her ‘Shock and Claus’ group has visited several restaurants in northern Utah, including others in Midvale and Ogden.