"About two years ago, one of our guests happened to be a horse trainer at Del Mar. He told me that one of his horses was racing and gave me the horse’s name. Two days later, I bet the horse to win in a trifecta. To my surprise, the horse won the race—I won both bets and ended up winning about $1,500 total. It wasn’t so much a money tip as a horse racing tip—but it paid off!"
Gustavo Zepeda, 37, Escondido
Bartender, Fiore at Harrah’s
"My staff and I produced a wedding in the summer of 2008 at the Hotel Del. We became very close with this bride and groom. At the end, we received a lovely handwritten note with a huge wad of $100 bills. It was a $1,500 tip. I shared it with my assistant Marjeri Smith. It was like Christmas in August!"
Jessica Gillon, 34, Rancho Bernardo
Event Producer/Owner, Events By Design
"A return customer came in with four co-workers and had a meeting. We have VIP and regular single dances—I was in the VIP room with a couple of them. I got $1,100 in tips from just two out of the four. And we don’t serve alcohol in nude clubs; they drank O’Doul’s."
"China Doll," 36, San Diego
Manager/Entertainer, Club Exposé
"A long-time VIP client of Stingaree’s was in the club one night—his buddy was making fun of him because he had just learned you’re also supposed to tip the VIP host. He said, ‘Oh my God, I didn’t know, I feel so bad because you guys always take such good care of me—I’m going to hook you up the next time I see you!’ I laughed and told him not to worry, but the next time he came in, he pulled out an iced-out Rolex for me! His family is in the jewelry business—I tried really hard not to take it, but he wasn’t having that. I still wear the watch from time to time."
Shane Brennan, 28, Pacific Beach
VIP Manager, Stingaree