But days later, the customer who had been unidentified was found out and she apparently didn't have a philanthropic reason for the big tip.
Police have charged Serina Wolfe, from Buffalo, New York, with grand theft because she put the $5,000 tip on her boyfriend's credit card as revenge, WFTS reported this week.
Wolf, according to the affidavit, had argued with her boyfriend about his refusing to buy her a plane ticket to New York.
Police said he had put a hold on his card, but when it was lifted, she made the $5,000 charge, according to WFTS.
She said she didn't do it, but then he reported the tip to his credit card company as a fraudulent charge, saying she was either drunk or trying to seek revenge, police said.
Cafe officials were told the charge was a fraud earlier this week, but after the restaurant paid the waitress for the tip, WFTS reported.
Wolfe gave police the card when she was arrested.
The television station reported there's no word on if the server will get to keep the tip.