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'Shock & Claus' Holiday Breakfast Strikes Again, Staff At Aurora IHOP Gets More Than $2,000 From Diners

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) - The "Shock and Claus" holiday breakfast, which has been surprising Colorado servers, dishwashers and busboys since 2015, struck again earlier this month at an International House of Pancakes restaurant in Aurora. A group of eight diners sat down Thursday morning at the restaurant on East Colfax Avenue.

They had a plan to each tip $100 on top of their bills. Organizer Taylor Pardun collected another $1,000 from other friends who couldn't be there in person.

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"I love doing it because it's a small gesture that can make a real difference when you pool resources with others," said Pardun.

Joanna Deanda, 25, had no idea what the group had in store for her. She gathered their orders for eggs, hash browns and omelettes. When she collected payment for the breakfasts, she was shocked when the patrons tipped her $1,200.

"I'm so grateful. Thank you guys," she said. Deanda said she had been waiting tables for 7 or 8 years, but had never had anything like this happen before.

"I'm going to pay bills," she said.

She planned to send some of the money to her parents in Mexico who are building a house.

The diners then handed out $100 bills to all the cooks, dishwashers, busboys and other servers in the restaurant who smiled broadly, hugged the restaurant patrons and expressed gratitude for the unexpected windfall.

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Pardun said it was "an easy way to make an impact on a deserving person." She said her group has given away at least $20,000 since they started doing this.

The holiday tradition started in Denver in 2015 with diners gathering in groups, adding $100 tips to their bills and making significant financial impacts on restaurant workers who had no clue how their days were about to change.

The idea has since spread around the country to North Dakota, Texas, Maryland and Illinois as others are paying it forward to hardworking restaurant employees.

"The Shock and Claus generosity," said Pardun, "has a broader impact beyond just the dollars that are handed out. I also feel that this world is disconnected and by doing this we show that we are a community, people care and there is kindness and connection."

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