“Sometimes It Pays Off to be a Nice Guy. It Made Me Feel Good. I Went and Bought Myself a Bouquet of Flowers!”

A teenager wanted to impress his date with a fancy French dinner on Valentine’s Day, 1997, so he took her to Le Cafe Miche in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Unfortunately, when the bill arrived, the teenager did not have enough money for the expensive dinners. While his date was in the restroom, the teenager asked to talk to the owner. He explained to the owner that he was approximately $40 short. Fortunately, Claus Hjortkjaer, who has spent his life working in French restaurants, gave him the $40. Le Cafe Miche closed down for a while, then reopened about 15 years later, in May 2013. One of the first customers to show up was the former teenager, who gave Mr. Hjortkjaer a $100 bill: $40 plus “interest.” Mr. Hjortkjaer said, “Sometimes things come back to you. You shouldn’t do them for that specific reason. You should just do it because it’s the right time and the right place and it just felt good.” He added, “Sometimes it pays off to be a nice guy. It made me feel good. I went and bought myself a bouquet of flowers!”

For Further Information: Tanya Mendis, “Patron pays 15-year-old debt at restaurant: French chef offered 1990s teen $40 to pay for date.” KOAT (Albuquerque, New Mexico). 16 May 2013


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