Smith placed the tips in bright red envelopes, which are exchanged as gifts on Chinese New Year.
The pandemic has hit the world like nothing else, affecting businesses globally. One of the biggest industries to be affected is the hospitality and restaurant sector, which primarily depend on socialising and eating-out. While on one hand, many restaurants shut down, some are still struggling to make ends meet. This is exactly what made a YouTuber in United States help some of his most favourite food joints in Manhattan’s Chinatown by giving them generous tips, a gesture that has gone viral.
XiaoMaNYC, a foodie and a popular YouTuber whose real name is Arieh Smith, makes videos across the New York City. In a heart-warming video, he filmed himself shelling out $1,000 to five Chinese food joints, who were completely unaware of them being filmed. Smith did this on the occasion of Chinese New Year which began on February 12, since it is considered auspicious. He begins the video by also explaining how he got the idea of doing this from a comment he received on one of his videos that suggested forming a fund that spreads through the restaurant community in NYC as a pandemic help. The video has so far garnered more than a million views.
Smith explained how he had neatly placed the tips in bright red envelopes, which are traditionally exchanged as gifts on Chinese New Year and are called ‘hongbao’. “I got five thousand dollars (approx. INR 3,67,960),” he says, “we’re going to be at five different restaurants and handing out each a nice little ‘hongbao'” he says in the video. He added how all these small eateries “not only provide great food, but also support a lot of employees and are all family-run.”
At the first restaurant that XiaoMaNYC visited, he starts chatting in Mandarin with Wendy, one of the workers about how the business is doing and she says “Honestly, we’re just hanging in there”. After she packs in his order, along with complimentary tea and candies, Smith hands over the red envelope which she refuses at first. When she looks into the amount of money, she immediately hands it back to him. He tries to convince her and she says “Are you sure? I can’t really accept it.”
Similar reactions were seen at other food joints as well, who were unaware of them being recorded. After handing out all the envelopes at the end of the video, Smith urges people to support them by simply showing up or buy something.
Isn’t this the sweetest thing on the Internet right now? The reactions of the restaurant owners were definitely worth the effort! What do you think of this act of generosity? Let us know in the comments below.
About Aanchal MathurAanchal doesn’t share food. A cake in her vicinity is sure to disappear in a record time of 10 seconds. Besides loading up on sugar, she loves bingeing on FRIENDS with a plate of momos. Most likely to find her soulmate on a food app.