Winnipeg server Jennifer Peitsch says that when you're working in restaurants, there's a great tip and then there's a life-changing tip.

On Saturday night during a busy shift at Mongo's Grill on Regent Avenue she received the latter.

"To start out 2017 knowing that there are still people out there that have that kindness in their heart inspires me to keep going and do the same to other people as well," she said.

On an $87 bill, Peitsch received a $1,000 tip.

Peitsch works two jobs just to get by. By day she works at a food store in Stonewall and most evenings she works as a waitress at Mongo's. Some days that means Peitsch works from 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. with a one-hour drive in the middle.

She wasn't even supposed to be at the restaurant Saturday night but filled in for a co-worker.

"Unfortunately, the rush, it was very busy. I felt myself falling behind. I didn't want to let any of the guests down," Peitsch said.

"I actually had to let some of the co-workers know that I needed some help at the time."

A table with a woman and three teenagers was seated in Peitsch's section of the restaurant, and she remembers them being patient and kind as she rushed to fill orders and bring out food.

Mongo's Grill

Peitsch says it was a busy night at Mongo’s Grill on Regent Avenue when she received her giant tip. 'I am so happy that I could do such a good thing for somebody like that,' said tipper Lisa Holgate. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

When it was time to pay, however, the table became one she would never forget.

"I saw the receipt come out of the little machine and it said a lot more than their bill was," Peitsch said.

"So I automatically kind of assumed, 'Hey, you kind of made a mistake here. You may want to re-look at this.'"

Peitsch was reassured that the tip was correct, and she burst into tears before hugging the customer. But she forgot to ask for the woman's name.

'I am just ecstatic,' big tipper says

Peitsch shared her big tip story on Facebook so that the generous customer would hopefully see how much the money meant to her.

She graduated from high school two years ago and has been trying to save up for more education but was trying to pay off credit card debt.

The tip has removed that barrier, she said.

On CBC's Up To Speed on Monday, she was able to share that message with Lisa Holgate, the big tipper.

Lisa Holgate on her generous tip0:47

"Now that I have that [credit card] taken care of I can finally put money aside and get my future going," Peitsch said.  

Holgate said Mongo's is her favourite restaurant, and as a former waitress she knew Peitsch was under a lot of stress.

"It's hard work. I understand it fully," said Holgate, who works as a funeral director.

She figured she would tip $100, but when it came time to fill in the numbers she thought she'd add one more zero.

"I am just ecstatic. I am so happy that I could do such a good thing for somebody like that," said Holgate.