Joy Factor: Couple Pays Waitress’ $10K Student Debt

Cayla Chandara - Waitress

Joy Factor is a new Joytv.ca feature that celebrates moments that will bring a smile to your face! Be it an uplifting news item, a funny viral video, or an instance where good emerges out of bad situation, Joy Factor strives to shine a light on the best this world has to offer. 

When it comes to laying down a tip at a restaurant, some people totally overthink it. Often, patrons struggle with deciphering which percentage or dollar amount makes the most sense to leave. Others, meanwhile, may over-analyze every aspect of the service they received and try to make a determination through that.

When it comes to laying down a tip at a restaurant, some people totally overthink it. Often, patrons struggle with deciphering which percentage or dollar amount makes the most sense to leave. Others, meanwhile, may over-analyze every aspect of the service they received and try to make a determination through that.

On rare occasions, however, you find very generous individuals who take an interest in their server and opt to not just tip, but help change a life. Recently in Hawaii, waitress Cayla Chandara received a life altering gesture, thanks to one big-hearted couple – who has asked to remain anonymous.

Chandara, who currently works at two different restaurants in Waikiki, waited on a friendly Australian couple at Noi Thai Cuisine. During their meal, the duo conversed at length with Chandara.

“They asked me where I was from, and I told them I moved here for school but I was kind of in a little bit of debt and I couldn’t go back to school – because I couldn’t afford it and the cost of living here,” explained Chandara during an interview with KHON 2.

After ringing up a $200+ tab, the couple kindly left Chandara a $400 tip. The two managed to scoot out of the restaurant before Chandara discovered the sizeable amount she’d been left. Flabbergasted, Chandara recalled where the couple was staying and after work headed over there with a thank you card and flowers.

“I just thought it was so generous of them,” said Chandara. “I never get tipped that big. I had to say thank you.”

The following day, the kindness train kept rolling, as the anonymous couple returned to the restaurant and insisted on helping Chandara pay off her student loans and debt – which totaled more than $10,000. All the couple requested in return was for Chandara to “be your best possible self, dream big and strive for your goals.”

“I want to make them proud,” said Chandara. “I will take this opportunity with an open heart and be a better person that I can be every day.”

-Adam Grant

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