China worker takes tipping to new level at noodle shop with a heart

Leaving a tip in a restaurant is not unusual, but one young construction worker in China had a special reason for doing so – and he took his cue from the owner of the establishment.

Zheng Liuzhuang ordered a bowl of noodles and a drink at a restaurant in southern China’s Foshan in May, according to a report in Zhejiang Daily.

When he had finished his meal, he paid 200 yuan (US$28) through the social media app WeChat and left although his bill was only 20 yuan.

The restaurant boss, Xu Yuliang, thought the customer had overpaid by accident by adding another zero, so he ran into the street to find him.

But Zheng told Xu he had intentionally overpaid after reading a poster on the restaurant’s door.

The eatery boss thought the customer had overpaid and chased after him in the street. Photo: Baidu

“If you have difficulties in your life and have no income, you can come here to have a free meal. If you become rich in the future, please do not forget to help those who need help,” it read.

The restaurant boss had been offering free food to people who could not afford to pay since he opened the outlet three years ago.

He said that when he was a migrant worker many years ago he lost all his money on one occasion and the boss of a small hardware store helped him out.

“He took me out of the dilemma of starving. I will not forget that for my whole life. So I want to do something to help those who are in times of difficulty,” Xu said.

Zheng, a 24-year-old construction worker, said he had read news reports of free meals for penniless people and decided to make contributions.

After his company learned of his charitable action at the restaurant, it gave him a certificate of merit, calling him a “positive-energy model”, in addition to some cash as rewards. He only kept the certificate and returned the money to his employer.

A sign on the door of the restaurant offers free meals for people who cannot afford to pay. Photo: Baidu

“This certificate which carries much significance is enough for me,” Zheng said.

“Zheng Liuzhuang’s donation is the recognition for my free-meal charity scheme. His behaviour made me feel warm in my heart,” Xu said.

The news received more than one million likes on mainland social media, including the Weibo and Douyin platforms.

“I salute both of you good-hearted people,” one online observer said.

“I hope this restaurant has a prosperous business and this young man succeeds in his career. They will have good karma,” said another.

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