Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson leaves $1,000 tip at South Florida restaurant

COOPER CITY, FLA. (WSVN) - Former NFL wide receiver Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson wanted to do a little extra to help out a local restaurant.

Johnson paid a visit to Havana’s Cuban Cuisine in Cooper City, Monday.

After paying his bill, Johnson left a tip of $1,000.

“Congrats on re-opening, sorry about the pandemic, hope this helps. ‘I LOVE YOU'” he wrote on the receipt.

Santiago Gonzalez, the restaurant’s manager, expressed his thanks for the former football star’s generosity.

“It’s a really bad time now for everybody, not just this restaurant,” Gonzalez said.

Many businesses barely scraped by during the closures forced by the pandemic. For servers, that meant firings, furloughs or major pay cuts while bills continued to stack up.

Despite many businesses being back up and running, it will still take time for people to get back on their feet. That’s why tips help, and that’s why Johnson’s tip to Catalina Garces really helps.

“To have to survive the pandemic with two months of not working, I feel very happy to receive such a generous tip from the former NFL star,” Garces said through a translator.

Garces said she has a lot of responsibilities. She has two children, is an immigrant from Colombia and has a lot of debt. She added that she split the tip with everyone in the restaurant.

Ochocinco has his own table and a favorite dish the staff whip up for him, and the restaurant said he told them he couldn’t wait to dine in again now that they’ve reopened.

The restaurant never expected the generous gift, and Garces said she’s grateful someone understands how tough the past few months have been.

“Thank you, I love you, Ochocinco, my friend,” Garces said.

Garces said Johnson left before she could thank him, so she’s hoping he sees the story and understands how thankful she truly is.

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