Massachusetts

Customers at Swampscott Restaurant Pay Others' Bills Before, After Christmas

An unnamed customer set off a chain reaction of generosity at Lincoln's Landing in Swampscott, Massachusetts, when he asked to pay for another customer's meal on Friday

NBC Universal, Inc.

A man set off a chain reaction of generosity at a restaurant in Swampscott, Massachusetts, with dozens of customers paying it forward the day before Christmas Eve.

There was the typical breakfast rush last Friday. Lincoln's Landing was filled with customers. One customer had an unusual request. The unnamed patron asked waitress Erin Lovenberg if he could pay for another customer's meal.

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"I told him that the man that was sitting in front of you actually paid your bill, and he was, like, overtaken, so he said, 'I want to pick up that entire family's bill.' So this went on and on and on and on," Lovenberg said.

The chain reaction continued when the restaurant reopened the day after Christmas, with more than 10 tables and dozens of customers paying each other's bills.

"There was a large family of five, a family of three, another family of four, a single mom with her three kids,' Lovenberg said, listing some of the pay-it-forward participants.

Lovenberg said none of those customers gave reasons why they were paying it forward, but hundreds of people on Facebook had positive reviews after Lovenberg posted about the trend.

"I had to, like, let people know something positive that happened and what a positive place this is," she said.

Lovenberg told NBC10 Boston if the man who started the chain reaction of giving returned to Lincoln's Landing, she would cover his meal — to keep paying it forward.

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