In Brazil, it is very common for slum residents or homeless people to collect recyclables on the streets to sell and make a living—but it’s not so common to see them sit down in a restaurant where the average meal costs $100.
But that’s exactly what happened when a man walked into Benvindo, a high-end restaurant in Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais State.
According to the staff, a customer who appeared to be homeless approached the waiters at the front door and asked for a meal.
The 21-year-old waiter, Felipe Rodrigues Fontes, said that this request was particularly strange because the man also insisted that he wanted to pay for the meal with the money he had made by working decently: a single $50 bill.
Fontes thought this was peculiar, but he proceeded to serve the man as he does every other guest.
The man chose an executive lunch, which includes an appetizer, main dish, and dessert. According to Fontes, the bill came to a final tally of $121.80 – but when the man asked for the bill, the owners of the restaurant asked the waiter to waive the charge.
Instead of accepting the free meal, however, the man politely refused and insisted on paying for the meal with the money he had earned from collecting the cans.
“He truly wanted to pay for it,” Fontes told Correio Braziliense.
When it became apparent that the man was not budging in his position, the waiter agreed to charge him $10 – although, he says that he “had to lie, saying it was an ongoing promotion, because the man had $50 and was refusing to get the $40 change.”
A customer having lunch with her friends took a picture of the man and the waiter and posted it to a private Instagram, saying: “We just watched a great example of compassion and synergy. The ease of this guy made me think about the many paths we choose in life trying to be happy … and many times, it’s in the simplest and most truthful and unexpected way that is is closer and more accessible than we realize.”
The photo was later reposted to a Facebook group about restaurants in Belo Horizonte where it garnered over 2,400 shares and dozens of comments praising Fontes and the customer.
Currently, nobody knows any further details about the homeless man—or whether he is even homeless; but Fontes said that he simply wanted to perform an act of kindness for an honest hard-working man.
Be Sure And Share This Inspiring Story Of Kindness With Your Friends On Social Media – Photos by Rafael Salazar